>How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day with a person whom you’ve spent the last 11 years with, like The Guy and I have?
We’ve shared friendship cards on Valentine’s Day when we hadn’t confessed our love for each other (perhaps, when we didn’t know we were in love).
When we definitely were in love and couldn’t hide it from each other, we went all out to make it a special day for ourselves and for each other. We did what seems like silly stuff now: waited in a long queue to have a heart-shaped pizza and get an instant picture clicked of it. Somewhere, that picture still lies with us. I would rack my brains much in advance to think what I would wear on Val Day when I met my boyfriend so that he’d think I was the most beautiful girl in the world. He would fabricate lies at home to come and meet me in Delhi. We bought each other plenty of chocolates, plenty more roses and still plenty more of cards for each other saying in verse what we couldn’t then in words. We wrapped our gifts in paper covered with a zillion red hearts. We said ‘I love you’ more times than we could count. And I don’t regret any of it – even the stuff that appears juvenile and cheap and immature now.
On our first Valentine’s after we married, I lit up our bedroom with as many candles as I could and waited for The Guy to discover me in my lacy pink things. We’d been married for two months then and I felt excited at last to be spending not just Valentine’s Day but also the night with the man I loved. He bought me a cute stuffed toy for the third time in our lives, and for the third time over I thought it was cute.
After some time we graduated to buying each other gifts that weren’t just pretty things but could actually be used. We graduated to more sophisticated eating places than a pizza joint, places where there would be candlelight and dinner and wine and just the two of us. I still took pains to dress up, not just for the dinner but also for after-dinner.
And then we grew up a little more and planned dinners together with close friends so that instead of just the two of us there would be just the four of us. Some time later, it became just the six or eight or ten of us – the more, the merrier. I hate this kind of growing up but I went with the game plan because I knew The Guy liked it like that. I knew he liked us to have fun with friends and I went along with it. Love had become a different thing for him. It wasn’t something he needed to talk of over candlelight dinners. He didn’t need to seek me out alone to express his love to me. He didn’t need to say it with gifts. He didn’t need the lace, the music, the romance on Valentine’s Day. His love had changed while I was still holding on to my old-fashioned ideas of red roses, slow dances and soft lights.
I will be celebrating this Valentine’s Day with a bunch of friends – all of whom I love a lot and have lots of fun with. But even so many years after we celebrated our first Valentine’s Day, I want to be alone with the man I love because the years haven’t changed my love. I’m still the foolish romantic who hopes her knight will come not once but always in shining armour and whisk her away to someplace beautiful. I still want him to look at me like he used to when we were younger and more visibly in love. I still want him to think that I am all he wants even though he has me.
I still think this day would be more special if it were more romantic than fun.
Did Archies Cards do this to me?