I never was much for Valentine's Day, back in the days before I had kids--I was of the "don't fall for that nefarious Hallmark crap" camp (see also: still at 37 trying to learn to remember Mother's/ Father's Day), plus, I don't know, roses and chocolate never really excited me. Not that I have anything (ANYTHING) against chocolate, or roses either (except for those damn thorns). It was more like, hold the trite symbols of Official Romance, let's go get ourselves some sushi and green tea ice cream.
But, now that kidlets have given me an excuse to celebrate/ educate the new generation about society's symbols, I embrace the day in my own haphazard way. Thus, tonight we are having a Red Dinner. Spaghetti and meatballs, red wine (fruit punch for the under-ten set), and beets. Also, spinach salad. Also, because Valentine's Day is about red but is also about products made with that little dry bean that grows on some South American trees, chocolate cake.
After this evening, we will all be dyed red from the inside out, and even our private moments will be festive.
In related news, for the past few years I've tried to embrace the (self-)educational possibilities of President's Day, and try to read a presidential bio every February. This Feb: James Garfield. Who was a confusing political muddle of great ideals (he believed strongly in civil rights, and that full enfranchisement of the newly-liberated slaves was the only way to full citizenship), appallingly bad ideas (he thought all property of rebellious Southerners should be confiscated and given to loyal northerners--how's that for a way to mend a battered nation), and fantastic charisma. All cut down after four months in office. Hmm.