Valentine's Day is always a mixed bag of emotions for me. I remember the first time I hated this pseudo-holiday: February 14th, 1981. I also remember the first time I loved this holiday: February 14th, 1999.
1981, I had my first mad crush on a boy; let's call him "J." It was the Class Fundraiser. Students would buy a rose, attach a note and it would be delivered for all to see in homeroom on Valentine's Day morning. "J" was mysterious, elusive, and aloof – apparently I thought this was fabulous. The days leading up were filled with angst; long, melodramatic phone calls with my bf's – would he or wouldn't he give me a rose (Yes, I just realized this sounds like The Bachelor, too). I still remember sitting in class physically nauseous as I watched the roses being passed out. I did get one, but there was no sweet message. It read: From, J. That was it – Bubble burst! And thus began my aversion to Valentine's Day. Looking back, I am horrified at the range of emotions I felt all because of a boy, a flower and a made up holiday.
I still have that note. It's in the same box as letters from my Grandparents, old report cards and my retainer. Not sure why I've kept it all these years but, like my retainer I can't seem to throw it out.
Fast forward to February 14, 1999. Rob and I had been dating a few months and we are on our way to Vermont. We stop at a gas station and Rob returns with Diet Coke, yodels and a small bag. He hands it to me, smiles and says Happy Valentine’s Day. In it, a tin can of potted meat. Absolutely disgusting meat in a can! I loved it!
20 years later, this tin sits proudly in our home. It is a beautiful symbol of the thoughtful, funny, considerate man I married. It reminds me that I will never need a man to buy me flowers or validate me. That can of meat is a symbol of maturity, inner strength, and self-love! I knew right then that I had found a person who values me, treats me with kindness and respect and most importantly, loves me for me. Rob has taught me many things thru the years – love, patience, kindness and how a small, silly, kind of disgusting gesture from "The One" will always mean more than any rose.
Happy Valentine's Day to my One and all of your One’s, too!
Risa Barash, Founder & Owner & the entire Fairy Tales Hair Care Family
Our Fairy Tales complete line is available at Ulta, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Target, salons and select pharmacies and retail stores, as well as online at www.fairytaleshaircare.com. #1 recommended by pediatricians, school nurses and moms since 1999!