Is it wrong the thing I’m looking most forward to on Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, is that it’s the premiere date for the new season of MasterChef Canada?
No, it’s not wrong.
MasterChef Canada is an entertaining program offering valuable tips to the ambitious home cook.
Also, Valentine’s Day is a cruelty.
It is the square on the calendar most likely to raise hope, while dealing disappointment.
When we were little kids it was clean fun, though.
Every class went through the exercise of fashioning Valentine folders from red construction paper, cut like hearts, decorated with white paper doilies, and you could eat the paste.
Each student was required to purchase or make a Valentine for every other child in the class, and slip them in the folders, all pinned along the bottom of the blackboard.
Every boy and girl got the same number of Valentines.
It was a bit like all the players at the dodge ball tournament getting a participant trophy.
Fair, but meaningless, and doing nothing to prepare young people for the real world.
Which is high school, of course.
At the secondary institution in Paris, Ont., attended by both myself and Mr. DeMeer at different times, Valentine’s Day was a big deal.
Carnations were on order to send to others – 50 cents a piece – and student council members spent the morning delivering the flowers to recipients in their various classrooms, along with accompanying messages.
Valentine’s Day is a cruelty.
The popular girls, and a few of the popular boys, received all the carnations, making an enormous fuss in the process.
I was not a popular girl, in most circles.
Probably something I said.
Two years running I considered sending carnations to myself, just to not be left out.
From a matrimonial perspective I blew the Valentine’s Day gig early on.
Mr. DeMeer came home from work with two dozen roses, on the Feb. 14 following our nuptials.
First words out of my mouth were: “How much did those cost?”
Second sentence and a death blow to romance: “You put those on the VISA, didn’t you?”
Money wasn’t really the genesis of all that ingratitude.
Anyone with an ovary understands flowers given from your partner don’t count unless you accept them among an admiring crowd of your peers.
It’s a high school thing.
Why did he not send them to the office so my coworkers could ooh and aah and experience envy?
Making matters worse, on Feb. 15 $60 worth of roses were half dead in the vase on the kitchen table, limp and wrinkled at the edges.
In a pique I bundled them up and drove them to the florist where they were procured, demanding compensation.
After a thorny discussion the store manager said he would give me new roses.
Sliding my business card across the counter I responded: “Fine. Have them delivered to my office.”
I’m incredibly blessed with much love in my life. (Mr. DeMeer is a martyr and so was St. Valentine of Rome. Coincidence?) I’ve more children and friends than I deserve.
And I don’t need one day a year to be reminded of that fact.
It gets spread out over all 365.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
Also don’t forget it’s the premiere date for the new season of MasterChef Canada.
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