Feb 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine’s Day! Or should I say Happy Single Awareness Day?! That’s what the Drama Queen calls it. One of those days when you are the only one not getting a flower at the middle school or the only one not getting a smootch from your sweetie in the main hall of your high school. Or maybe you’re the only one not going to the Sweethearts Dance or the only one who has a blind date to the Institute Dance. (Hey, Teach, was he in an accident or was he blind at birth?) Seriously though, Valentine’s Day can be hard even if you have someone. 

Our church has a custom called the Adult’s Sweetheart Dance (not to be confused with the Youth Sweetheart Dance). Both are held at the church on the weekend before Valentine’s Day. Paying attention to the posters is critical! You would be in real trouble if you showed up at the wrong one. We have spent many happy hours at these dances, some nights just sitting and talking; taking a break from the kids, and sometimes dancing until our feet hurt. Often we show up near the opening song and stay clear through until the last slow dance. 

So this year we made our annual appearance, danced only two dances (the band was not my favorite), ate an éclair, drove back home to pick up Baby Doll, and then went out to dinner. We were trying to remember if we had ever missed one of these church dances since we moved to this area and we are pretty sure the answer is "no." Although it’s hard to say for sure since they are all pretty much the same. Except for the one in 1997. I had my knee surgery in the fall and I was still not completely healed. We spent most of that one sitting against the wall and just listening to the music. 

It was just before Valentine’s Day in 2001 that my sweetie was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. We had to skip the eclairs that year and only help ourselves to the carrot sticks and fruit. Then there was 2005. Scout was born the end of November so she was still really small. We took her with and she danced most of the night between us. 

One year they really threw us a curve! There were no eclairs, just ice cream and sundae toppings! Another year somebody got the bright idea that they were having a dance so they needed to take dance pictures. They accosted people at the front door and before they could say anything, they were thrust onto a couch, coached to smile, and their panic-stricken looks were immortalized for all time. Last year they actually put card games out on the tables so those with two left feet would feel like they could participate in some of the activities. 

 They always set up tables so couples can sit around and visit and eat goodies and just think about dancing when a slow song comes on. And this year they added something else…they put huge candy bowls on each table and filled them with conversation hearts, chocolates, chocolate covered pretzels, and gummy bears. We were supposed to get a little cello bag and fill it with stuff from each bowl. It was really just a ploy to get us to talk to people at each table, but we were smarter than that. 

We waited until they played a slow song. Most of the couples got up to dance and that left the tables empty. We quickly visited each candy bowl and scooped up a ton of goodies for our babysitters at home. Then we took our bags out into the hall and stuffed them into the pockets of my jacket. We headed back into the gym, once again giving the photographer the slip, and finished out the last part of the song. We stopped at the refreshment table for another éclair (stocked by my own Prima Donna), and ducked out the door. 

It wasn’t moonlight and roses, but the candy put all the little ones in a sugar-dazed stupor so we were able to spend the last tiny bit of the evening alone in our room. Well, if you call "alone" Curly in the little racecar bed and Baby Doll asleep in the crib…I’d call that a Valentine’s Day success.

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