Monday, February 14, 2011
Well, it's V-Day again, and I have to admit that this year I did not go overboard with a gift for Jay. As a matter of fact, I kind of went 'underboard' for the first time I can remember. This year, the purchasing of Godiva chocolates with frilly wrapping, silly heart-themed boxers, or funny yet sentimental cards didn't get done, so we currently have an unwrapped, uncute, slightly ripped bag of run-of-the-mill Peanut butter M&Ms on our counter instead. I was kind of left feeling like a disappointing cupid this year.
This synthetic feeling of inadequacy did start me thinking though. First, I logically thought about how the idea of this day is totally over-marketed and causes unnecessary stress for those in a relationship as well as those who are not. Then, I 'rebelled' against the entire idea of the holiday and rationalized about how I don't need to provide chocolate or flowers or cards this day every year as a marker of my emotion when it truly should be a year-round daily sentiment that chocolate just can't touch. Finally, all of this 'serious' thought led back to the very first Valentine's gift I gave Jay, and even after all these years - no, especially after all these years, how it really did mean more than any chocolate candy or flowers that I could have given, or that I could give even now.
Though I don't remember exactly all of the components of the first V-Day gift I presented to Jay, I do remember the heart of the gift - a small sack of potatoes. I know, you're thinking I really went out of my way for that one, completely bent over backwards to make sure that I got just THE perfect gift for that very special first Valentine's token; who wouldn't melt immediately at receiving a bag of potatoes ... and organic to boot, right? Well, I should have known it was the beginning of a beautiful relationship because Jay loved them, and knew exactly what I was saying.
You see, just prior to Valentine's day that year, Jay had sent me this clip he saw on bash.org that we both couldn't stop laughing over. It was an argument as to why flowers are really awful things to give someone as a token of affection, and why instead, we should give potatoes. So why would someone give potatoes you ask? Lucky for you I have relocated that comment thread from so many years ago to explain.
well, there's a lot of reasons
i mean, roses only last like a couple weeks
and that's if you leave them in water
and they really only exist to be pretty
so that's like saying
"my love for you is transitory and based solely on your appearance"
but a potato!
potatoes last for f***ing ever, man
in fact, not only will they not rot, they actually grow s**t even if you just leave them in the sack
that part alone makes it a good symbol
but there's more!
there are so many ways to enjoy a potato! you can even make a battery with it!
and that's like saying "i have many ways in which I show my love for you"
and potatoes may be ugly, but they're still awesome
so that's like saying "it doesn't matter at all what you look like, I'll still love you"
At first read, I hadn't really thought of actually gifting a bag of potatoes for real, but the more I thought about it, the more I knew that I couldn't express what I felt we had together any better. There was certainly no chocolate, fancy dinner, or stuffed animal that was going to sum it up with that much meaning or provide that much laughter. What I failed to realize back then, is that starting with that sack of potatoes, our relationship grew into something more substantial than I could ever have imagined - just like the comment thread pointed out - solid, enduring, and unwavering. So, because of a small bag of potatoes gifted six years ago, this Valentine's Day we will share that slightly ripped, run-of-the-mill bag of Peanut Butter M&Ms together, and smile as we realize that there is no gift that can be given or received, wrapped in red ribbon or otherwise, that could be better than just spending our time together.
Happy Valentine's Jay, I love you!