Remember my rant the other day about how Valentine's day is a bunch of corporate nonsense? Well, this is an edit to that. An addendum of sorts. There IS actually one thing about Valentine's day that I very much look forward to: a care package from my mom.
I should preface this by saying that my mom and I are rather different. She's always very well polished: makeup done, hair blow-dried, perfume applied. When I was a kid she started working as a flight attendant, which suited her perfectly. Whenever she was away at work and I missed her, I'd open her closet and plow my face into her perfectly-hung jackets and skirts. I loved her smell. That mom smell.
Despite having a job that required her to be gone on occasion, my mom made a tremendous effort in every aspect of motherhood. She constructed Easter baskets, she drew pictures on the napkins in my sister and I's lunch bags, she wrote us little notes to open any night she was away. She baked rhubarb pie and had long conversations with our 85 year old neighbor. She cut out hearts for valentines and wrapped things in pink tissue paper.
She still does that last part, in fact. A bundle of pink and red and white inevitably makes its way to my doorstep in mid-February. It's usually a shirt or a dress or a book that she picked up somewhere along the way, nothing too big as we've never had a ton of money. But it always makes me feel loved.
Perhaps that's why I don't enjoy the hyped-up flowers-and-chocolates-and-jewelry Valentine's Day that everyone else raves about. It could just never compare to pink tissue paper and hand-written notes.