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The Loves of My Life

Valentine’s Day!  A day for lovers of all kinds.  I made heart shaped pancakes for breakfast and most of them really resembled hearts of some sort or another.  An extra drop or two on a side became little handles.  I even warmed the syrup.  The kids had written out a valentine card for everyone in each of their classes and Daisy’s class had constructed little mailboxes from shoeboxes to collect them in.  Junior was not quite as excited about the cards, but most boys in his grade still thought girls were yucky.  I’m okay with that.  Steve gave me an extra kiss good-bye and promised not to be too late.  I had planned on spaghetti and meatballs for dinner since they were red.  I made some cherry jello too.

But first, it was card party day.  Everyone would wear pink or red, of course.  I had a red sweater that I was a going to wear with a black skirt and place a red bow in my hair.  A couple of layers of my signature lipstick would complete my outfit.  Sarah always makes such a beautiful presentation.  I knew there would be a red drink but I had no idea what she would serve.  I found time to make some baby heart cookies that I would bring also.  Edie inspired those sugary treats.  I knew it was going to be fun.

When I arrived at the party, Sarah was wearing a beautiful pale pink dress with pearls on her ears and a strand around her neck.  It’s her classic look and it never looks stale on her.  The table was glowing pink and red with little hearts strewn around the platters and pedastals.  A ruby red punch was shimmering in the bowl with Gail and Edie already pouring their own first cups.  Mags wore a very sophisticated looking red dress that clung a little more than her usual daytime dresses.  I wasn’t sure if she had purchased it a little too small or she had added a pound or two just to get the effect.  Judy Anne arrived with her blond tresses tied up in a bright pink bow.  Always a knockout.  When Chloe arrived, she was stunned at the universal color scheme.  Apparently, Valentine’s day is not quite the same kind of holiday in France.  After everyone had their first cup of punch, we had planned to start playing and take turns so everyone would get in a hand or two.  There was so much love in the air; we had been practicing air kissing on both cheeks for Chloe and there was a lot of laughter as we smooched loudly into the air.

As hostess, Sarah gets to  introduce the topic of the day.  Sarah usually chooses things that we can all agree on but she announced that she had been pondering the subject of love and wanted to talk about it.  I know that I had never heard Sarah talk about how she and Roger had met and I had only a vague notion of what he actually did for a living.  They seemed suited for each other since they both were quiet. It was rare for Sarah to say anything negative about Roger and they seemed to have found their best match.

I wanted to know what aspect of love Sarah wanted to discuss, but Chloe took over the conversation.  I guess being French gave her the legal right, so it was fun to hear her impression of all the silly ways we celebrated our love.  Chloe had noticed the giant red hearts and candy everywhere for the last week.  She chuckled to herself at the American way of doing things.  In France, there were celebrations for love, but without the dramatic decorations and candy.  Chloe was intrigued with the difference and agreed that she always liked getting fresh flowers, but expected them at unexpected times.  That was love to her.  That explanation was enough to make me rethink how I showed my love.  Sure, the pancakes and cookies were fun, but the unexpected ways of showing love was what I was missing.  It’s never too late to change so I started thinking about how to incorporate more unplanned events into the way I demonstrated my love.  Maybe not just to my family, maybe to everyone I met.  Granted, I did not plan to love everyone.  But maybe I could be just a little more pleasant to strangers in passing.  I realized that while I was lost in my own world, the girls must have all talked about their thoughts on love and were now looking at me.  I silently swore at myself that I missed what Edie said.

I took a deep breath and quietly blurted out that I loved them all for being in my life.  They continued to stare at me and I asked what they were looking at.  Sarah actually chuckled a little and said that she would repeat her question since I must not have heard her right.  I blushed a little after Sarah repeated that she had only asked me if I wanted to deal first.  I got up and started toward the table without embarrassing myself any further. While everyone got to their seats, Sarah leaned down and whispered in my ear that she was touched by what I said.  I’m not usually the heartfelt person; that’s not my persona in this group.  But it was sure nice of Sarah to make me feel better about my lapse.  Maybe it’s not so bad to not pay complete attention to everyone all of the time.

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