I didn’t grow up with Valentine’s Day. Sweden didn’t celebrate it back in my day. (You know, when blonde and blue-eyed dinosaurs roamed the Nordic countries.) These days however, the retail industry all over the world has caught on to the opportunity presented on February 14, so pink and hearts are the dominant displays even in my little home country.
My first Valentine’s Day in the states, I was a little shocked at how important it was to everyone in high school–especially the girls–to have someone to call “My Valentine.” I had a boyfriend, and luckily one of my friends clued me in on that I was expected to buy a card and a gift for him.
I don’t remember what happened on the actual day, or what gifts we gave each other. I think we double-dated with another couple. The memory is not a blur because I didn’t care, I just hadn’t been conditioned into feeling like having a Valentine’s Day date was a direct reflection of my self-worth. I can however remember what book I returned to that night. It was Arrow’s Fall by Mercedes Lackey.
That pretty much sums up my dating life through my teens and my twenties. It’s not that I didn’t have big moments of dating drama. I was as caught up in my crushes as any girl raised on a steady diet of 90210 (the original) and Dirty Dancing. And there were angsty moments of heartbreaks that had me ugly cry, but I don’t remember them as clearly as I remember the books I read. My teenage self tried to shake the bookworm persona I had required as a kid and preteen, but it didn’t work. I had a stronger emotional connection with the people in the stories I read than with the people I actually dated.
And then I met my husband. Our’s was not the kind of love story you read about in books or see on the big screen, but it’s lasted over fifteen years and I actually remember most of our dates.
We didn’t give each other any cards or candy today, we never do, but we are going out to dinner and then maybe seeing a movie. This celebration happened mostly because one of our local restaurants are doing a killer set menu.
I hope everyone is having a wonderful Saturday, whether you celebrate Valentine’s or not. My gift to you on this pink and heart-filled day are two signed books by Rachel Gibson, one of my favorite contemporary romance authors. She’s the master of fun and heartfelt romance with an emotional connection that quickly pulls her readers into the story.
Tell me about your best or worst Valentine’s and/or your favorite book boyfriend/girlfriend, plus whether your new book boyfriend should be sexy undercover cop Quinn from Sex, Lies, and Online Dating or hot hockey goalie Luc from See Jane Spar. I’ll keep the discussion open for a week.
Happy Valentine’s Day!