Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Time After Time, Part 1

It was interesting the see all the different reactions to Valentine's Day on the various social networking sites: Blogger, Facebook, Twitter.  There definitely seem to be two distinct camps of love it or hate it.  A lot of the hate it posts I saw came from single people who are not in romantic relationships right now, but there were a few from couples who seem to allow Hallmark and the florist lobby to pressure them that they need to feel or act a certain way.

I have always viewed the day as one to celebrate love - no matter who you are there is probably someone who you love, including, surely, your pet.  So no pressure.  Just an extra opportunity to say I love you to someone.

Mr. Helen and I have mostly been non-celebratory, in the traditional definition of the word, as generally we are in the midst of living our usual lives of work and recreational activities.  Last year he was working until 8 p.m. on Valentines so you understand what I mean.  Even when the day has fallen on the weekend, we at most exchange a card and have a homemade dinner, sitting at the table together, which as you know in these busy days is a celebration all in itself!  In other words, it's not a big hoopla for us.

As you know this year he was gone for the entire week before Valentine's.  I figured he'd be so sick of travel type food that he'd very much enjoy some good home cooking. When he arrived home on Saturday evening, I had made one of his very favorite dishes: Braciole with Creamy Polenta.  I told him that was my Valentine's dinner to him because I couldn't pull something like that together on Monday after work. We did sit at the table and enjoy a leisurely meal and talk about his week away.  Lovely.  On Sunday, I made another of his favorites: Chinese Chicken served with sticky rice and a salad with mandarin oranges, walnuts and a homemade vinaigrette.  He joked that he was enjoying how all this worked out - that he was lucky to get two Valentine's meals this year.

While I was pulling the chicken I also made a roasted vegetable dish that has eggplant, zuchhini, red peppers and fresh tomatoes with olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette.  I will eat this concoction over brown rice for a hearty and satisfying lunch.  Mr. Helen smelled it roasting and asked me what it was.  When I told him he said, "Oh. That really goes will with 'my' special pork chops."   I replied that we were having the chicken not pork chops.

On Monday morning, which is his usual day off,  as I was leaving for work he told me he had to go in to turn in all his receipts and to check on some orders.  Then he casually said  that if he had time he might throw something together for dinner, otherwise we'd have leftovers.  When I got to work, I laughingly told a friend that I was pretty sure I was getting his pork chops and my veggie side dish as my Valentine's dinner - either that or leftovers.

When I got home Monday evening, I can only say to you that I was astonished when I walked through the door and he was standing there in his red shirt, grinning from ear to ear as he pressed play on his iPod and played the most impossibly corny song that makes me melt, simply because he tells me every time he hears it, it reminds him of me: Chris Montez, Time After Time.

But that was only the beginning of a Valentine's Day that I will never forget...


  1. Aww how sweet. We're also of the no hoopla category, but a little hoopla once in a while is nice :)

  2. I love that song! That was from my era - Chris Montez - a blast from the past. Mr. Helen sounds like a dreamboat in every respect!

  3. Well I'm one of a couple who are in a happy relationship but don't celebrate Valentine's Day.

    But fair is fair: if R. would have done something for me last Monday I would totally not have mind celebrating this day.

    What a sweet gesture (of the both of you)

  4. Awwwww! Absence DOES make the heart grow fonder! Can't believe you split this post into two parts, though...I want to know the rest of the story!!!

  5. He missed you!!! We are also of the "little hoopla on Valentine's Day" school. But I did get a lovely bouquet of yellow roses and a card. No dinner though--our son is out of town, and my husband was helping our daughter-in-law pick up their new car about 100 miles from here. He is a great guy, and I'm lucky! PS: Love the song!

  6. Really? A cliffhanger? OK. I'll be patient.

    Sounds very romantic so far. Can't wait to hear the rest. :)

  7. Hmmmm... Can *I* be your valentine? I would love to eat those meals LOL!

    Absence does make the heart grow fonder.

  8. can't leave me hanging.......

  9. lol, this is really the first year Tim and I celebrated valentines day as, ain't it?!
    What a way to celebrate.

  10. Oh man! I can't wait for part two!!!

  11. That is so sweet! I can't wait for the rest of the story....

  12. Dear Helen,

    Getting back on your comment on my blog: you're definitely one of the people who's advice I like to get and appreciate. You are an example to me with running and you've helped me a few times when I had questions.

    About the strength, reading your comment it came to me: that's me! She's talking about me. I don't like strength training either and like you I start it but never finish it. Guess I just have to accept it and do the things I like doing as running and Pilates and yoga. Okay I might not have a muscular upper body but "frankly my dear I don't give a damn" :)

    So thank you for your advice, please continue giving it to me!