Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Lime Green Love

I love Valentine's Day.  I always have, even when I was a moody teenager and wore black on February the 14th to commiserate my lonely existence.  I mostly did that to be "edgy' or something, but I probably looked pretty lame.  Let's face it, I could never be edgy.

My mom always taught us that Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate all kinds of love - not just romantic love.  On Valentine's Day we should celebrate the love we have for our families, friends, teachers, colleagues, and anyone and everyone else.  True, I'm not going to out and buy each of you a new kkkkkkk sssss like I did for Lewis, but that has more to do with a lack of funding than anything else.  I still love all of you, and I celebrate that love today.

With that in mind, let me tell you a funny story.

A tradition we had when I was growing up (one that I hope to continue with my children) was to host a Valentine's Day breakfast for people in our lives that we love.  Each of us would invite one person to dine with us.  The person we invited had to be an adult, like a teacher or family friend, and someone who was special to us.  I think one year I wanted to invite the old man who ran a newsstand outside of a London tube station that we frequented, and who always called me "Sweetheart" and gave me free candy, but my mom wouldn't let me.

My senior year in high school, my mom was our seminary teacher, so she decided to host this breakfast for our class.  She had each of us pick three people (two back ups, in case of scheduling conflicts) and she sent out formal invitations.

Something you should understand is that a lot happened for my family in 2004.  I was getting ready to graduate and move out to Utah for college.  Andrew was preparing to go on a mission.  Later that year, my sister got engaged.  My dad had just gotten is new assignment with the Foreign Service - Romania - and he and my mom planned on selling our house before they left.

The housing market was up in 2004, it's true, but my parents still wanted to fix up our house a bit before they put the "For Sale" signs up.  This included redoing the carpet, updating the fake wood panelling in the basement, stripping off the abundance of paper that covered the walls, and painting them a nice, neutral white.  Or maybe eggshell or something.

Something else you should understand is that we had some pretty high-brow guests coming to this Valentine's Day breakfast.  One girl had someone flying in from Arizona.  Another was bringing the principal of our high school.  Kind of a big deal.

The night before the breakfast, my parents decided we were going to strip the wallpaper off the walls in the living room, where the breakfast would be held.  We wouldn't have time to paint the walls, but it would be dark outside and the lights would be fairly dim, so it shouldn't be a big deal.  No one would (hopefully) be able to notice the wallpaper goop we missed.

And they were probably right.  No one would have noticed, had the walls underneath been a lovely, normal shade of white.  Or even taupe.

Lime green was a little more noticeable.

And it's not like you could just put the wallpaper back.

So we all pulled together and worked all night to get the wallpaper and leftover goop removed, and then painted right over that garish hue.

The breakfast was a hit and love was felt by all.  And the walls looked lovely.

Happy Valentine's Day, readers.  I love you.

I made these for Lewis to give to his fourth graders today.  Another Valentine's Day tradition from my great mom.

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