February last, I was waiting in the airport. Waiting. Waiting some more. Still waiting. There was ice in Chicago, delaying the flight to Little Rock which delayed the flight to Dallas which delayed the flight to Houston, and that’s where I sat, waiting for my Valentine.
While I was waiting, my aunt was sure I was a lesbian. I had written on Facebook that I was going to pick up my Valentine from the airport – a she. I was in the middle of a divorce and I was calling my girl friend, Danya, my Valentine, which my aunt interpreted to mean my girlfriend and, well, whatever.
“A friend loves at all times…” Proverbs 17:17
That’s what Valentine’s do, though, right? They make some sort of sacrifice of what they want to do, in order for their Valentine to feel loved. Danya left her husband (whom she loves very much, thank you) to come down on the flight delay from Hades, to spend the holiday with me, because I was kind of in a personal dump. Her spending Valentine’s Day with me was the best Valentine’s gift ever. While everyone else was being mushy and smooshy, we were snarky and silly.
There were no fabulous parties for the two of us. We didn’t rub elbows with anyone at a posh restaurant or order a dessert big enough for two. We did what we’ve always done, which is to sit around without ever making a blasted decision about anything because the action isn’t nearly as important as the interaction.
I’ve never been shy about my lack of enthusiasm for Valentine’s Day, but last year, my last Valentine’s Day, I enjoyed the love of a friend who made a sacrifice to make my day. We read magazines and watched movies and came up with crazy schemes we never brought to fruition; the Joycean flow of shared words would suffice for us.
We conference-called Mary, our long-lost Pennsylvania bud, to round out the reliving of our glorious grad school days and it was well and good. There’s a serenity in nothing, when nothing is in the company of friends. That love, the love of your friends is a love worth waiting, and sacrificing for.
What was the best Valentine’s gift anyone has ever given you? What gift did you sacrifice the most to give?