For those of you who had a romantic dinner with your loved one yesterday, complete with roses and chocolate and no tag-along children, this blog is not for you. This entry is for the rest of us schmoes who may have crumpled under the stress that can be Valentine's Day.
The day started off harried and it got harrier. I awoke at 6 a.m. to run to the store to get the girls some treats to give their classmates for Valentine's Day. As is often the case when shopping at Wal-Mart, I had to buy more stuff than I needed because I started thinking of other poor souls who might not get a Valentine. More than $50 later, I left Wal-Mart with a cart full of "schtuff."
Just as I arrived home, the neighbor lady called me. The neighbor lady has a phobia of driving in the snow, so she calls me up for rides to her work in the River Bottoms anytime it snows. Despite the huge dumps we've been getting this year, I've only had to drive her three times. Yesterday was one of those times. I quickly drove her to work and tried to make it home before Lissy's preschool began. Luckily, the preschool teacher canceled school because of sickness. Woot, woo! I could make my loved ones a great Valentine's Day breakfast. I set out a little Valentine's gift at the table for each girl, and I brought out Kulani's Valentine's gift (a meat grinder--nothing says "you're mine" like a meat grinder). Kulani wasn't interested in any waffles, and the girls didn't care for any either, as they were busy with their new Valentine's gifts, so I scratched the breakfast idea. Kulani left for work, and we planned to later meet up for the Elder's Quorum's Valentine's Dinner and Dance that was to be catered by Carabbas and free babysitting from the young women. All for the incredibly good price of $25 per couple. Schweet!
I had to finish up a little project at work, and then two neighbor kids needed to be watched for a few hours. We got Lilia's Valentine's ready for her class and dropped her off at the bus stop. I posted a Valentine's Day post on this blog. We drove to Orem to pick up the neighbor across the street. The babysitting parents came to pick up their kids. We dropped off Valentines to my visiting teachees and some neighbor girls. We picked up Lilia from the bus stop. I decided to squeeze in a run after reading the scale that said I'd gained three pounds over the past two weeks. The 40 minute run took over an hour thanks to Nohea constantly trying to come close to the treadmill. The three girls took a bath while I took a shower. My shower took about 45 minutes because I needed to shave my legs. (Damn those long legs of mine--hee, hee!) By this time, we only had 1/2 hour to get the girls fed and all of us ready to go. Kulani arrived 10 minutes before the dinner, and the pizza was still in the oven, Nohea was in her diaper, and narry a shoe was to be on foot. Nohea had a slight break down, so I sat in the chair to nurse her. We found shoes and socks, loaded up the girls, and made our way to the church; a good half hour after the event had started. We walked into the church to find the babysitting room. Turns out, no babysitting room. Where are the babysitters? Kulani found the Elder's Quorum president, who told Kulani they'd canceled the babysitting but forgot to tell him because he's in nursery. We felt like we'd showed up to the prom in our underwear. We just felt...dumb. The Elder's Quorum president tried to convince us to take our kids to his house and have his babysitter watch our kids as well as his 2-year-old daughter, but it just didn't seem right. Here it was a solid 45 minutes after the event had started, and we were going to require the use of his babysitter unannounced. We tried our best to politely turn down his urgings. He felt really bad, but it just didn't seem right to impose on him like that. So we left with the girls and drove to Orem to McGrath's for dinner. We managed to find a seat within a half hour. The service was slow, and Nohea insisted on being walked around the restaurant. We didn't bother waiting to order dessert. Melissa fell asleep on their floor. Lilia was sad because she wanted to be watched by the young women, and we'd built up the night for her. To soothe our sorrows, we went to Wal-Mart and bought a Playstation 3 with Blueray player. Yes, I suppose we are guilty of guilt shopping.
In short, sometimes we make a huge deal about Valentine's Day. I don't want to be a hater, because I welcome a day to show those we love that we love them. But perhaps it's too much to try to live up to the perfect ideal of a perfect Valentine's Day. I see it in men's faces as they stand in front of the displays of flowers wondering which kind to get their significant other. You know, I'm not sure I can recall one Valentine's Day my parents went all out to show each other their love for one another. They showed it through working hard for the good of the family, through being kind and loving on a daily basis, and by doing acts of service. For my parents' generation, Valentine's Day was for school kids to pass out little card Valentines to each other. Well, Kulani and I may have muffed up this Valentine's Day, but at least we now have a Blueray player--ah yeah! And Lilia summed up the night thusly: Sometimes you want to do something and things go wrong, but it's okay because we can just do other things as a family.