I love this holiday.Â Because when I was a kid, my friend Susan and I used to make each other the most amazing cards. We’d spend weeks on them.Â Crafting them from old doilies, bits of saved ribbon. I remember a particularly stellar example, for which I cut up pictures of unicorns from a Michael Hague calendar, stuck them into hearts, and glittered up all the horns. The whole thing was held together with bits of tinsel icicles.
Besides that, Valentine’s day always brings to mind the Blue Valentine for me. As well as a certain poetry collection I can’t find online. It was red, with goofy cartoon art, and a random assortment of poems that included Shakespeare’s “All in the morning betime…” (though as I recall they re-translated it as “morning, evening…”)Â Anyone else remember such a book? Anyone? Anyone?
Then, too, Valentines Day brings a whiff of chalky candy hearts, and the flavor of the gum on those tiny thin envelopes that came with a packet of classroom cards. The smell of the tacky carnations sold by the “spirit committee” in middle school.Â You knew the popular girls were popular girls because they each got about 14 stupid carnations.Â What you *didn’t* know was that they just bought them for each other!
There is also a particular family myth, about my father walking through a blizzard to buy me a box of cherry cordials( my favorite) when I was a wee thing.
Still not clear on what candy and flowers have to do with a saint martyrd by a nice beheading, after failing to die like a good boy during a good sound clubbing.Â But either way, I plan to celebrate this year with spicy szechuan green beans.
I’ve got a craving!