Friday, February 13, 2009

A Homemade Valentine's Day

Okay, so I know it's a Hallmark holiday, and I'm totally with Barbara Kingsolver and her boycott of any holiday that calls for buying uneccessary stuff...However, how about using Valentine's Day as an excuse to act on those sweet thoughts that float through our minds on occasional whims throughout most normal days? And use that as a reminder how we should act on all days!

On most days lately, working from home has included extensive gchats with Hira, my amazing friend from college who works in the nonprofit world of Chicago and just generally brightens up all paths that she crosses. We were chatting about Valentine's Day, and she said she and her boyfriend aren't doing anything extravagant, but she bought him a Dilbert comic book (she is a self-proclaimed Calvin and Hobbes girl, but her bf is a Dilbert fan through-and-through), and wrote on the inside cover, "I love to hear you laugh." If that is not the sweetest reason to give someone a gift...

Nick and I don't really celebrate Valentine's Day. However, because everyday I think how grateful I am for him but I'm not sure on most days that I do enough gestures to display that gratitude, I took advantage of the occasion to surprise him in a mini-homemade way. When he was at his evening class, I took the opportunity to construct a collage--I chopped my way through many a magazine, cutting out pictures that reminded me of him--pictures of wine and tomatoes, mountains and ski hills, words that characterized him, you know the thing we all did for our lockers in 7th grade. I covered an empty wine bottle with all the cut-outs and stuck a lonely flower inside, and there we had it, a new vase!!! Then I painted a very elementary-school-style card and that was the extent of it...So simple, but he was genuinely surprised when he came home, and it was such a nice feeling for me to know that I surprised him with something meant for just him. It was a good lesson for me to do that more, and not just once a year on a Hallmark-designated day. (Although, I shouldn't be too critical of Hallmark--afterall, they are the ones ultimately teaching me my lesson :-) ).

As the clock struck midnight, Jenny, Nick, and I welcomed in the official Valentine's Day with a big hug between the three of us, just as we finished watching the adorable movie "Waking Ned Devine" (for anyone who hasn't seen it, it will put you in the best mood!). A perfect way to welcome in a holiday. :-)

And today...I can hardly believe this myself, but Nick and I are off with Leonor and Elsa to Gualeguaychu, the site of the biggest Argentina Carnival celebrations! Us abuelos!! I am laughing at the thought of us there right now, as I sit all cozy and domestic at our upstairs desk, so quiet and peaceful with no idea of what tonight will bring! Nick has gotten a lot of high-fives from his students when he tells them that he's going to Gualeguaychu this weekend...Until he mentions that he's also going with his girlfriend. The admission is almost always followed with a sigh, and "Uh, it's probably not a good idea to bring your girlfriend there," or, my favorite, "That's unfortunate that your girlfriend is going..." Poor Nick!!! :-) I guess we are headed for Argentina's version of girls gone wild! I will keep you all posted upon our return tomorrow. Until then, happy carnivaling!!

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