By the time this is available for you to read, thanks to the wonder of scheduled posting, I will be in upper Manhattan, waiting for Rhea to get out of class so that we may go for our Valentine's dinner over at our beloved Tom's Restaurant. Just before writing this post, I've put the finishing touches on tonight's gifts and presentation. They're nothing big: a small photo album with fifty-two carefully selected pictures from my hard drive that I think do a good job of telling our story, and a DVD that thankfully just finished downloading that you'll hear more about on Day Seven of this series. As for presentation, the t-shirt that I'll be wearing under my hoodie would probably just look like some sort of retro-rock hipsterism to you, but Rhea - and only Rhea - will get the joke. That, friends, is where the magic lives in all of this.
It's a funny thing: back when I was younger and far more doomed, I always pictured Valentine's Day after The Big Win as being bigger and fancier somehow. Champagne and tuxedos or something, I don't know. I suppose it's easy to mythologize what you don't immediately have at your disposal. Now that it's here before me though, I couldn't imagine doing anything other than what we've got planned tonight, save for maybe the Love Castle, which we've done in years past. Why? Well, folks, there's a secret to all of this - and unlike other folks who've scored The Big Win and then play all their cards close to the vest, I'm going to let you all in on it. Ready? Here goes.
Valentine's Day is actually meaningless. I'll give you a moment to let that sink in. Surprising, I know, coming from someone who's all in love and everything, but it's the truth. How you treat your loved one on Valentine's Day doesn't mean any more than how you treat them on, say, the Wednesday afterword, or any other random day. At best, Valentine's Day is an excuse to maybe pick up an extra gift, or wear a shirt that your lover will either love, laugh at, or both, but that's all it is. It's a kick up the backside at best.
If you can't find reasons to love and laugh the other 364 days of the year, you have no business claiming to be in love no matter how great a display you manage to put on for one day. If you need to be told to do something special for your partner, you have relationship problems that Hallmark can't solve. If you take the opportunity to act as loving and goofy as you might any other day when you just happen to be in a particularly good mood, then you're both into Valentine's Day and above it.
That's where Rhea and I are. Quite frankly, dinner at Tom's - sometimes even with presents in tow - happens often enough on days that aren't designated for love. If the supposed import of today served as a catalyst for us to clear space in our schedules to make it happen tonight, then good on it. I expect that tonight will prove the best Valentine's Day we've had yet. In fact, I expect that with such certainty that I've written this in advance. I expect that next year will top it. Ain't love grand?
It is, at that. It's also worth fighting for and continuing to believe in even if it doesn't have your number right now, no matter how obnoxious the hype is.