Perhaps the memory comes to mind because my boyfriend at that time was always willing to give me anything and everything I wanted. He was 30 and single; I was 36, divorced, with two kids. He probably would have done this for me the rest of my life, since he really and truly loved me, but the timing was off and I eventually sent him on his way. One of those, "It isn't you; it's me" break ups. The road not taken. Interesting that I have discovered we're both still single.
Before he gets too much credit for giving me exactly what I asked for on V-Day, I should point out it wasn't because of any prescient skills on his part. It was entirely because he was smart enough to ask me, "What do you want?"
I think when Freud wondered, "What do women want?" it set him and everyone who followed him on an unnecessary journey, one which ended up with the questionable discovery of the "G" spot. I think the reply to his query was right in front of him the whole time. What women want is simple. We want you to ask us,"What do you want?" He could have saved himself and a couple of generations a lot of time and wasted effort.
So, when my boyfriend asked me, "What do you want for Valentine's Day?" I was shocked. No one had ever thought to ask what I wanted for Valentine's Day. My generation of women was trained to drop hints, to say one thing and mean another, none of which I have ever subscribed to. So asking was a brilliant move on his part. It took me all of one second to answer, "Flowers, candy and perfume."
I know I probably could have, should have, asked for jewelry. He may have even been prepared to give me an engagement ring, but at the time, any sort of jewelry would have felt too permanent. I needed something more ephemeral.
Meanwhile, back to my flowers, candy and perfume. One thing I've learned is that those of us with a penchant for comfortable shoes and waterproof clothing often find ourselves on the receiving end of vacuums, blenders, and car parts. To which I can only say, "Do you want to get laid or not?"
Which brings us to the day when most women-expect-way-too-much-and-usually-get-disappointed. I was expecting a pound of candy, probably Fanny May vanilla creams, but I would have enjoyed a half dozen Snickers in a bag. I also wanted flowers, roses preferably, but any kind, in any color, was fine. Same with a bottle of perfume. It could be eau de cologne or toilet water, as long as it was something that smelled good. After all, he had asked and I had told him. Even if I only got one out of the three, I was going to be happy. I'm not proud of being low maintenance, but it does make a modicum of happiness easier to achieve. Certainly where men are concerned.
I know what you're thinking -- how did he screw it up? He's a man.That's what they do. Ah, but don't forget, I said he really and truly loved me. On Valentine's Day when a man is in love, he doesn't screw up. So, he made my wish come true above and beyond my expectations
On the day of days, he first handed me a beautifully wrapped box. It was very heavy and way too large for perfume. And way too compact for flowers. I knew it couldn't be candy. Could it? I opened it up. Inside I saw the familiar gold box that defines Godiva chocolates. Only this wasn't any box of Godiva chocolates I'd ever seen. It was big enough for a pair of Air Jordans. I knew from experience that a two-pound box of Fanny May Chocolates was huge. [You know, for parties and special occasions, not just to keep in the freezer and eat on Saturday nights]. But this was three pounds of not just any chocolate, but Godivas -- and it was the motherlode. Inside I found three layers of the most dazzling array of handmade chocolate pieces, ever.
For show and tell I did a screen grab of this box of Godivas. I tried to find a 3-pound box, but they no longer seem to offer one that large. So I had to use this one. It holds 36 pieces. It weighs just under a pound. Now triple it. Then be prepared to empty your bank account to pay for it.
Next, he presented me with flowers. Two dozen roses. Not one dozen tulips or carnations like I half expected. Not just red or white or yellow or pink, but all different variations of each. At first I thought a single color would have been prettier, but then he told me why he chose so many different shades. Instead of just putting in his order and letting the florist do the work, he had gone into the cooler, freezing his ass off in the process, taking the time to select each rose for its size, the perfection of its bloom, and its beauty. Each one for its own self. Until that moment, I had never believed that "it's the thought that counts" meant very much.
And then there was the perfume. The icing on the cake. Not cologne. The real thing. To this day I enjoy the smell of Chanel's signature scent. I don't wear it as often, but every time I dab some on, I experience a flood of Valentine's Day memories.
Those three gifts left a lasting impression. Enough so that remembering each one is almost as good as getting them again.
Of course, while I may not have anyone waiting to make my wishes come true this Valentine's Day, I did get some funny cards from a girlfriend to help cushion the reality. My favorite is one with a little girl on the front whose face is covered in chocolate. Inside, the card says, "see the chocolate. taste the chocolate. be the chocolate."
Excellent idea. Luckily, there's a 24-hour Walgreen's not far from here.