Valentines Day, is a day for all those loves to come forward and be faithful to their loved ones. This day is subjective. The most subjective of all days. For most people the candy, card, flowers, maybe dinner or a special treat is enough. For some, the lavish excursion to some destination. For others it’s simply a card or a gesture.
For me, I expect very little. However, I am blessed to have a wonderful love who knows that even though I don’t expect much, that the thought behind the gesture is what is most important.
So rewind to a former love who was the “high school sweetheart” for the purposes of explaining this. He was not a thoughtful guy. He was also on drugs, which probably led to the failings of all gifts, but nevertheless I thank him for the learning lesson.
Expectation and reality are a hard lesson to learn, and luckily between the high school sweetheart and my own father I was lucky because the lesson was this: Get what you want for yourself because you can’t count on anyone else to know better. I’m not cynical enough to think that you shouldn’t count on anyone but know what you are up against, and don’t set yourself up for failure.
So this is the scene, valentines day, a box with flowers in it. The box is almost as good as the pre-vased flowers but it leaves an element of surprise which is nice. So the box is strategically placed on the table, this was one of many failed attempts at gift giving…
As I opened the box to my dismay, there lay 2 dozen long stem carnations…yes the filler flowers.
They were red.
They were ugly.
I was pissed.
This was not the first failed gift, a few weeks prior, Christmas, there was another one. This one was by far the worst gift of all.
Thoughtless, and cheap.
The worst part about a bad gift isn’t the gift itself but the fact that it was offered without any consideration or mindfulness. Gift giving is about presenting something the other person will like, because it’s something they like…..
This gift, was pink, it was plastic, and it had dolphins on it. Now, I know what you are thinking and no it’s not a pool float… it was wind chimes.
This ladies and gentlemen had absolutely no relevance to my taste nor did I collect wind chimes nor was I an advocate for dolphins.
So there you have it, I hope you feel better about you half ass gifts from CVS or the roses that died after the first day. At least they weren’t pink plastic dolphin wind chimes. I still have one of the dolphins, and when I see it now I laugh, because it was so stupid, but it taught me something very important, other than not to use drugs.
The wind chimes taught me that a partner in life knows you, they know what means something to you, they know your favorite flowers, and they do things for you that they know you will enjoy out of the simplicity of the love they have for you.
Presently, Joe, the most amazing man there ever was, outdid himself once again.
I walked into the house, candles lit (I love candles), Flower arrangement on the table, (no carnations-he knows the story), a tiny box,and a record player playing a record I bought at a show we went to in New Haven a few months back. He also made me corned beef and cabbage, and we bought our first kitten.
Naturally I cried.
My father passed away 7/11/14 he was a sentimental guy, or a hoarder, but he definitely kept the things that mattered to him. One of the major keepsakes were a box of original vinyl records from the 70s. Everything from Led Zeppelin’s stairway to heaven, to Janice Joplin in the 60s. There were amazing records, but no record player. I bought a record because records are returning, for their amazing sound quality, and general nostalgia. So It was my intention to get a record player. However I never got myself one.
So when I saw it I obviously started crying. That was just the perfect gift. It was not only for my new record but for all the hundreds of records we left at my dad’s house. They were also picked up and presented later with the new record player. So not only did he think about this very thoughtful way to rectify our lack of record player but he took it a step further and brought home the records my father so carefully kept for a rainy day. (Gentlemen take notes)
Corn beef and cabbage has relevance because each year for St. Patty’s day, I’m fasting for lent. During lent I give up meat. To most people that sounds extreme but to the Greek Orthodox that’s just the half of it. Typically, a devote Greek Orthodox person, would give up meat and dairy, and essentially become vegan for 40 days, as a means for repentance, and to honor Christ’s 40 days in the dessert. So I look around every year at those eating their corned beef and cabbage on St. Patty’s day and I cry a little inside because I love it. Hence, the clear gesture of making this very annoying and time consuming meal.
There were no red roses, there were no chocolates, in fact there was not even a card purchased from Hallmark. In fact, he made it. He made the card out of cardboard and glue and he wrote it out. He knew that the act of doing this would mean so much more than a generic hallmark card with the words already decided.
I’ve found in working my 8th consecutive Valentines Day in a restaurant that people are only on their best behavior on occasions. They don’t do actively participate in the love they have until they have to. I think that is how people get divorced. Although I’ve never had a marriage I’ve seen many and I took a lot away from the good, the bad and the ugly. The most important part of love is being in it. All the time not just occasionally.
Love and gifts are subjective, but for those endless searches for the perfect gift, ask yourself this, are you doing the search with their heart in mind? If they truth is, if he or she really knows you love them and you really do your best to show them, then even wind chimes will suffice (only if they are relevant). Love is for those of depth and quality not thoughtless and careless expressions.
To be in love I find to be rare, and when I see it, I know, because I have the best and most wonderful love. When I see others in the kind of love I have, it’s like a mirror.
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