Monday, February 14, 2011

Almost Valentine

I had an off-and-on again crush on Ben during most of high school.  He, in turn, had an "always on" crush on my best friend.

The odds were not in my favor.

However, he did become one of my good friends.  One of my favorite Ben stories concerns our Spanish class field trip to the Art Institute of Chicago in which we convinced everyone that 2 college guys had hit on me.  Ben went as far as scrawling fake names and phone numbers on my class handout- our proof.  We could have kept that joke going for quite awhile!

My other favorite Ben story is about Valentine's Day, in a way.

Junior year, my dislike of Valentine's Day fully formed, I had to work at the pharmacy the day of the holiday.  I wasn't dating anyone so it's not like I had other plans. It started to snow and my boss decided to close early so we could get home safely.  I called my Mom so she could pick me up.  When I left, the pharmacist and a couple of others were still there, finishing out closing duties.

A couple of nights later my youth group held an event, which Ben came to.  At some point, he asked me if I hasn't gone to work on Valentine's Day.  This was strange because Ben did not frequent the pharmacy to my knowledge.  I explained that we had closed early, not understanding his question.

He told me he'd stop by to give me a flower.  He'd taken his girlfriend out for a Valentine's Day dinner.  He bought her a bouquet and, knowing I was bummed about the holiday, bought me a flower as well.  He'd wanted to surprise me at work before he went on his date but then couldn't find me there.  We figured out that he'd arrived shortly after my Mom had picked me up and just before the pharmacy closed. 

I was so touched by his thoughtfulness. I'd never been given flowers by anyone other than my Dad at that point. Honestly, if Ben hadn't had a girlfriend, I would have fallen back headlong into my crush.

Even though I never did get that flower from him, the knowledge of his kindness went a long way.

It didn't make me like Valentine's Day any more but it did help me dislike it a little less. Ben's flower wasn't a romantic gesture but a sign of our steady friendship.  And, after all, isn't this holiday about all the ways we experience love?

I collect stories of the ways people have shown their love for me throughout the years.  The story of my almost Valentine is a definite keeper.

This Valentine's Day I'm celebrating all the love in my life.  I pray you are celebrating all the love in your life as well.

(Don't forget, there's still time to support the work of Love146! As I signed my Valentines the other day and prepared them for mailing, my heart was light in the redeeming.)

What's the best Valentine's Day you've ever had?  I'd like to live vicariously today!


  1. I love this! I wish more people would take this approach instead of saying that they are bitter about the holiday or that they celebrate their loved ones all year round. I think an extra special day is great!

    My best Valentine's Day was probably my junior year of college. It was my first Valentine's Day with a "real" boyfriend. I came home from class that afternoon and my roommates were waiting in the apartment with TWO flower delivery boxes for me. "He sent you TWO orders of flowers!!!!!!!!!" they kept saying! Turns out that someone at the flower place messed up, and that he really only meant to send me one. But I got four dozen red roses out of the deal! It was a nice little bonus!!

    Happy Valentine's Day!!

  2. Love your Ben stories. My favorite Valentine's Day was in college. One of my friends (who unknown to me) had a crush on me and filled my mailbox with tiny hearts and the sweetest Valentine card ever. While my feelings were not mutual and I told him that as soon as I noticed him waiting nearby, it was the sweetest Valentine I have ever had - and yes, I am happily married. Valentine's just doesn't have the same weight at this point. May your Valentine come soon!

  3. Oh, I love that, Leigh. You are so right - this should definitely be a day of celebrating friendship and love in ALL of its various forms.

    I guess probably best Valentines ever was my first one with Kyle. I was a freshman in college and we had JUST started dating. I was giddy and giggly over everything. He somehow snuck a giant teddy bear into my dorm room, a giant teddy bear that I still have and the girls love to play with. We call him Max. :)


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