I told myself I wasn’t going to write about Valentine’s Day, but as I’m sitting here in my polka dotted pajamas soaking in a relaxing Sunday evening, I want to tell you about the best Valentine’s Day the hubster and I ever had.
In our first couple years of dating, the hubster went out of his way to make Valentine’s Day a big deal. He took me for horse drawn carriage rides in Central Park, tram rides over the Hudson River, and to nice local, seasonal, and organic restaurants that served amazing gluten-free, sugar-free meals that were totally me-friendly and totally showed he cared. But in the year of our engagement, we decided to keep it more simple and do dinner at my place.
At the time I was sharing the top floor of a beautiful Victorian home in Brooklyn’s Ditmas Park neighborhood with a fashion photographer named Amy. Our block was a total hidden gem of a community in the heart of New York City – think Smallville with a subway. We had a grand front staircase with winding stairs and oriental rugs and a bare back staircase with a dumbwaiter to lower food down from what was now our kitchen to the original family’s living quarters below.
It was super comfortable and charming, and that night I had our tiny kitchen table set under the small chandelier and a nice dress on as I rolled meatballs in the palm of my hands and dropped them into a simmering pot of marinara sauce to cook.
When the hubster arrived he immediately recognized it as the same meal I’d made for him on his birthday just two and a half years before. He’d loved it then, and I couldn’t wait to share it with him again now, because if there’s anything I know about the hubster it’s that the way to his heart definitely includes a big plate of food.
And then, just as everything was going perfectly in our small, simple Vday dinner for two, the back door flew open and my roommate Amy walked in. She took one look at our freshly served plates and said, “That looks good guys! Can I have some?” while quickly grabbing a plate, pulling up a seat, and joining our Valentine’s Day dinner for two. And you guys? It was the best Valentine’s Day we’ve ever had.
We love Amy. She’s hilarious and generous, and she told us to prepare for feelings on the night she made us both watch The Notebook with her. And when we sat around the table and celebrated Valentine’s Day together it felt like family.
I have no problem letting my husband plan romantic nights out for two or coming up with special plans for just the two of us around Valentine’s Day. But as we ask Jesus how we can follow Him into authentic community this year, I also want to be intentional about asking God to show us how we can share genuine love with the others on top of showing love to each other as we celebrate Valentine’s Day.
I don’t know exactly what that’s going to look like yet, but I have some thoughts up my sleeve about how we can turn Valentine’s Day into a radical day of love, and I’ll be sharing a few ideas this week.
What about you guys? When you think of Valentine’s Day, do you think romantic or cheesy? Tell us about the best Vday you ever had.
Image by Stephanie Oh.