Thursday, February 14, 2008

Do the Crime, Do the Time, Be Mine

In preparing today's blog, I consulted with My Friend Caprice about possible topics for Valentine's Day. We discussed various angles, but kept coming back to Criminals Who Are Hot. She pointed out that this might be inappropriate and may even be offensive to some (like our husbands), so I abandoned the whole thing. UNTIL I GOOGLED "VALENTINE'S DAY HISTORY" AND CAME ACROSS THIS:

According to one legend, Valentine actually sent the first 'valentine' greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl -- who may have been his jailor's daughter -- who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed 'From your Valentine,' an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic figure. It's no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France. (courtesy of The History Channel)

Who knew?! Valentine may have been the original Hot Criminal, so it only makes sense that we thought of his type on Valentine's Eve.

I have nothing more to say on this topic, so on to the next: Bad Gift Ideas.

This one goes down in the Annals of Great Ideas, Bad Timing. Five days postpartum after Baby No. 1 and not sure how I was going to shed the 38 pounds that remained after delivering an 8-pounder, I received a Valentine's gift from my dear, dear husband who had paid a little visit to Victoria's Secret. I've tried to block most of this event from my memory, but I do recall that the item was ivory in color. Let me be clear: It was tasteful, but way too hopeful. If I had to put it in a category, I would place it somewhere between "nightgown" and "hey, you're not a mom." A man can dream, I suppose, but the nightmare was all mine.

This practical piece of loungewear was much prettier than my long, faded t-shirt and lone pair of stretched-out pajama bottoms that hadn't experienced elasticity in nine months. I think Craig was probably looking forward to me dressing like a person again, bopping through our one-bedroom rental in shiny new sleepwear while caring for a cute baby and making homecooked meals.

But let's be honest: Even in my pre-pregnant state, I'm not sure my thighs would have made the cut. This was a tiny little piece of nightwear, and with a belly that still seemed about five months along, I was looking at a good month or two of wearing maternity jeans. This ensemble only confirmed that I was a cow—a cow that would eventually shed some girth, but for the moment, a nice-sized, healthy cow.

I waved Victoria's Secret in the air and said, "What am I supposed to do with this? Hang it in the closet for inspiration?"

"I just thought..."

"Well, that's where you went wrong!" I think I spit a little when I said it. And I'm pretty sure I busted a blood vessel in my eye.

What would have been a better gift option? Nothing, really. Faced with near puddles of raging hormones, a crying baby and a wife the size of a barn, the best move he could have made was to take the long way home and maybe not try so hard.

That was 16 years ago, and I love Valentine's Day so much more now than I did then. The gift-giving pressure is off, nobody yells, the kids eat until they're sick. Heck, I even cook like I mean it.

The greatest part is I can wear whatever I darn well please...or whatever Craig brings home. And maybe watch a Cops marathon.

Have a delightful Valentine's Day ...