Friday, February 14, 2014

Outside the Heart-Shaped Picture Frame

I believe Valentine's Day is intended for two groups of people: lovers and children under the age of ten. For the lovers, it is an excuse to buy each other chocolate and flowers and write romantic love notes. For children under the age of ten, it is an excuse to eat lots of candy (although apparently now schools don't allow candy valentines for their class parties due to health rules) and perhaps get a valentine from your elementary crush (I still have the Fun-Dip from my third grade sweetheart stapled into my journal). 

For everyone else, it is just another ordinary day, filled with some chocolate and lots of cute couples to be envious of. Maybe envious is too strong of a word. Jealous? 

But when I think of the girls walking around with roses from their admirer, or who have their hair curled for a Valentine's Day date, envy is a word that comes to mind. Because their day fits that heart-shaped picture frame. They have a reason to celebrate Valentine's Day, and it's hard not to feel a little left out. "If only someone would offer me a chocolate or a cookie," I thought at lunch, and then laughed at myself for being melodramatic. I've been spending too much time on the stage. 

I have to remind myself that everything I have ever tried to fit in a picture frame has ended in disappointment. Shouldn't I know by now that the best things are often outside the frame I molded? The best things are often the ones I didn't plan? I'll remember next year (or the year after that). 

Regardless of the fact that I wasn't visited by Cupid on this particular Valentine's Day, I found other reasons to celebrate, and upon reflecting back, it wasn't as bad as I first made it out to be. 

The morning began with a two-hour delay and a Valentine's Day-themed breakfast. Heart-shaped raspberry chocolate chip waffles, whipped cream, and strawberries cut in the shape of a heart. I think we only use these heart-shaped plates once a year, but they're great for that one time.

Also, a blend of french vanilla and strawberry-banana yogurt, topped with a strawberry heart and speckled with chia seeds. 

Then, instead of a hot Valentine's Day date, I babysat for my director. Which in hindsight, ended up being the best way I could have spent my Valentine's Day night. Like I said, Valentine's Day is meant for two groups of people: lovers and children under the age of ten. My director's daughter (she's six) and I had a Valentine's Day-themed dinner: peanut butter and fluff sandwiches cut in the shape of a heart (fluff died pink with Hershey's strawberry syrup); heart-shaped strawberries and kiwi; and strawberry milk. 

Then we made valentines and played charades.

Maybe next year I'll have a valentine, but in the meantime, I'll stick with my heart-shaped waffles, strawberry milk and babysitting. (And by the way, the heart-shaped peanut butter and fluff picture frame was delicious...especially with the toasted bread.) 

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

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