Valentine's Day has never really been my favorite for various reasons. I think it is contrived, and I don't know why we have a special day to celebrate love, which should happen every day. And the focus on romantic love bothers me. I'm a curmudgeon that way and have been for quite some time.
However, I do have a special Valentine's Day story I like to share. It's the only memorable Valentine's Day gift or anything I've ever had, and it was Jay's and my first together. We were both a whopping fourteen years old, and I think I got him a copy of The Matrix that had Spanish subtitles. (No, I did not realize it had Spanish subtitles when I bought it, but it made for funny stories and viewings later.) He gave me my gift, which looked quite promising. It was a clear Rubbermaid plastic box about a foot across with various objects wrapped in red tissue paper inside. I was excited enough about the storage box but definitely intrigued by the surprises inside. I opened the box and carefully unwrapped one of the tissue paper packages, only to find a can of vienna sausages. Okay. Next package...more canned meat product. Turns out there were five of them in there, all wrapped up nicely. Keep in mind, I'm fourteen and have been dating this boy for about four months. I don't know what my reaction is supposed to be. I mean, I am excited about the Rubbermaid box (don't judge a girl), but I don't get the canned meat. I just look at him and say thank you...and he bursts out laughing. He then proceeds to pull another, smaller package out of his coat pocket, and it is The Beatles' White Album on CD. If I didn't know before, I knew then that this was Real Love. I'm not good at sappy or sentimental; I'm too likely to crack up during all that. (The story of how it was all I could do not to burst out laughing during our wedding is for another day.) But I did love the boy, and I still do love the man. I am quite lucky.