I’m not very big on Valentine’s Day. Sure, when I was a kid it meant special treats and Valentine’s from my friends… but as I grew up, I admit I soured on it.
Not because I didn’t have a Valentine (though through high school I never did have one), but because it seemed like forced romance. Let me explain. I grew up with a dad who was a civilian working for the Navy. He worked in a couple different divisions, but all required travel (the first moreso than others). My dad would be somewhere and come back with a small gift for my mom, or sneak off to her favorite boutique and find out from the owner what jewelry she’d been looking at. They were wonderful gestures, and seldom for anything other than to tell her that he loved her. They didn’t need one special day of the year to show off how much they loved each other.
Then you had some of the people I worked with. I met a few women who actually got upset if their SO didn’t send them a giant bouquet and take them out for a fancy lunch- not because they really wanted the flowers, but they wanted to brag. One woman had a boyfriend who took her out to a nice restaurant and gave her flowers there- so she brought them in the next day so that she could parade it around the office. They were so obsessed with having the appearance of the perfect boyfriend/husband, that whatever their husbands did could never be spontaneous or deviate from their explicit wishes. It just seemed so… Stepford.
That said, there is one Valentine’s Day that was especially special to me. It was 2000. TheBoy had already proposed to me, but without a ring other than a little silver ring that I happened to wear on that finger anyways. We’d talked about looking at rings, but between work and school, just hadn’t made it to any jewelry stores to look.
For Valentine’s Day, we decided to go into The Park (aka Disneyland). It was TheBoy, his best friend and his wife and my best friend C. We went on a couple rides, and while in New Orleans Square, stopped off at the Jewel of Orleans (which was an estate jewelry store).
I wanted to show C and Ry’s wife something, too. On another trip to Disneyland, I had seen something unusual. A simple gold band with two small offset diamond rings. I joked that it was a Star Wars fan’s dream, like the twin suns of Tattooine. We laughed. The ring itself was a much larger size than my tiny little ring finger… but I loved the setting. Simple, but unique. I had joked to Ronnie that if it was still there- since it was much less than the rest of the rings (which were usually thousands of dollars)- that it was meant to be. And it was there.
As the girls oohed, he hemmed and hawed and said that he just wasn’t sure if we could. Then we left to go get some clam chowder bowls and enjoy a fun Valentine’s meal. We sat there, and midway through the meal, TheBoy excused himself to go to the restroom. 5 minutes passed, then 10, then more… We joked about him falling in, falling ill… and then C said, “You don’t think he went to get the ring?” I said no, and we sent off Ry (the best friend) to make sure that TheBoy wasn’t ill in the bathroom, and Ry came back shortly. And just sort of smiled and said he was alright. So we all knew that he was buying the ring. When TheBoy came back, he didn’t say anything about the ring, so we didn’t say anything either.
Time passed, and I had assumed that he had just been asking them about buying it and hadn’t gone through with it. Then while I was balancing our bank account, I noticed a charge from Jewel of Orleans. Nowhere near as large as the entire ring, but it was clear that he’d been making payments on the ring and accidentally used the card for our joint account instead of his account. I mentioned it to him, and he finally admitted that he’d bought the ring on Valentine’s Day and had been paying off the balance.
This is my engagement ring w/ my wedding band. Yes, we did have to have a custom band made, since there’s no way a standard band would fit around it.
So there you have it. My favorite Valentine’s Day. A pretty ring, fun with my best friends, and clam chowder- all at the place where I met TheBoy.
I still love love love this ring, by the way. I’ve never seen another setting like it, and while the stones aren’t that big, they fit the scale of my teeny tiny hands- and they’re a pretty good quality. I’ve tried on other people’s rings, and even 1 carat seems giant on my hand. Guess TheBoy lucked out in that respect. Some day I want to get another band (like my wedding band) to put on top of the engagement band, and then get them all sandwiched together with white gold.
So that’s my favorite Valentine’s Day…. what’s yours?