What pressure the month of February has. It might be the shortest month, but it has all the responsibilities every other month has: bills still need to be paid on time, grocery shopping needs to be done, there’s the Superbowl, several presidents’ birthdays, which means more white sales in February than any other time and did you know that February 10th is the day most couples break up? Of course, we can’t forget the biggest event of the month – Valentine’s Day. It’s probably the next most important gift giving holiday after Christmas. Hence, why February 10th is probably a very popular time to end that rocky relationship.
According to Wikipedia, Valentine’s Day was first associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines“). In Europe, Saint Valentine’s Keys are given to lovers “as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver’s heart.”
Like I said, a lot of pressure. It’s no wonder in our modern day world every jewelry store uses this time of year to convince couples their love won’t be complete without a clear, nearly colorless, rock either dangling from a neck or sitting high on the third finger of the lady’s left hand.
I, many, many years ago, was no different. Let me set the stage. My hair was its natural color and my skin as flawless as porcelain. I was young and in love. The Coffee King and I had been in a committed, long-distance relationship for three years. We wanted the same things from life. We knew there was no one else and Valentine’s Day was quickly approaching.
Sometimes being young also means being clueless. One evening, The Coffee King said to me, “There’s something I want to get you for Valentine’s Day, but I want you with me when I pick it out.”
My heart beat skipped to quarter notes. Of course, I would go with him.
He said something about me not having this gift idea of his.
He said he didn’t know my size. Ring size, certainly? Though I didn’t ask.
I arrived at his house in a new outfit with my nails freshly done. I couldn’t wait to see what this Valentine’s Day gift might be. “I have a picture of it,” he said.
My hands shook as I took the catalog from him. This was it, he was going to ask. We would spend the rest of our lives together professing our love for each other. Would it be a round cut? Or maybe marquis? How big would it be? Not that the size mattered. Absolutely, not.
I looked down.
The Coffee King is very practical. I had never owned snow boots before and this fact was something he could not comprehend. He wanted me to be warm and dry. He wanted me to be safe on icy surfaces. That kind of caring is true love. Something I wouldn’t trade for all the diamonds in the world.
Eventually, we did get engaged. That is a story for another time. One that The Coffee King loves telling. And when we got married I wore the snow boots.