Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Putting Together the February Newsletter

If a knee could have a shiner, then the right knee has one.   It is black and blue.  The only saving grace, today, is the pain pill.

Since I couldn't do much today, I decided to work on the first page of my February newsletter.

Of course, there has to be a mention of Valentine's Day.
I started my "Tales from the Tower" feature with a couple dancing.

Then, I realized that it was really a generation or two before most of us.
That got me thinking about the 1950s and if Valentine's Day cards and sentiment had changed since then.

When I was in grade school, everyone in the class HAD to give each student a card. It wasn't until sixth grade that passing cards became more selective.
That year, one card I received felt heavier than the thin envelops should be. I opened it to find a pair of tiny figure skates attached to a pin. It was from a boy who sat waaay across the room from me. We were casual friends and it came as a surprise.
I remember thanking him for the pin. He explained that his parents took him to Ice Capades that weekend and he purchased it there. He wanted me to have it.

What a fun memory.

I think our expectations about Valentine's day change as grow older.
It goes from childhood exchanges to a personal and intimate experience as we reach young adulthood.
As we get older, the expectations change again. Maybe a dinner, a box of candy or flowers. The sentiment changes to something more like, "we are like two old shoes that are comfortable". Not bad, but certainly not the romantic hearts and flowers day of our youth.

A few years ago, I invited a friend to taste test a recipe I planned on using in the newsletter. After dinner, he noticed an ad in the local paper for a restaurant serving prime rib for two on Valentine's day.
He thought it sounded like a good deal and asked if I would like to go.
I agreed.
Valentine's day turned into a very busy day. I did get my hair styled that morning but, from that point on, it was a day filled with must do errands.
Perhaps it was partially my fault for not mentioning the plans for dinner.
At our last stop to complete the errands, he handed me a box of candy.
I commented that it really was nice, but way too much considering we were going out for dinner that evening.
He looked at me with a total blank stare. Dinner?
I reminded him about the dinner plans. He totally forgot.
He was apologetic and offered to see if he could still make a reservation, but I knew it was too late.
We ended up eating pizza on the sofa while watching tv.
Was the evening a total loss?
I don't believe it was.  It was the thought that counts.

That year, I gave him a large coffee mug with a neat saying on it.
He put it away and said he didn't want to break it.
I found it a year later, still tucked away in the closet.
Jokingly, I gave it to him again last year. He didn't remember it from the year before.
So, I put it away again.
I'm not sure if I'll drag it out again this year.
If I happen to run into him, I might just do that.
Time will tell!