Madelyn and Luke’s first Valentine’s Day together was an appropriate celebration for a couple that had only been together six months. She cooked him his favourite meal over at her place, and he made sure to bring the wine and flowers. He also brought a copy of Four Weddings and a Funeral, but Madelyn didn’t have a television or VCR in her bedroom so they never got around to watching it that night.
Their second Valentine’s Day was what you’d expect from a couple together a year and a half. He made dinner reservations at a fancy restaurant and she picked out the sexiest negligee she could find.
Their third Valentine’s Day brought the outcome Madelyn was hoping it would: a marriage proposal.
“You know, Valentine’s Day falls on Saturday next year,” Madelyn said to Luke. “That would be a romantic day to get married, don’t you think?” So that’s how they celebrated their fourth Valentine’s Day.
The following year, both felt that they still had to go all out, seeing as how it was their first Valentine’s Day as a married couple. Dinner, dancing, champagne, a trail of rose petals leading to the bedroom…it was full of clichés, but neither one was disappointed. The disappointment didn’t set in until the following year. That’s when their crying newborn made them reconsider ever wanting to have sex again.
The year after that, they were back to wanting to celebrate, but the roof needed repairs so they kept it simple and exchanged practical gifts: bubble bath for her and work gloves for him. By the time the tenth Valentine’s Day together rolled around, they were down to exchanging cards. When year fifteen rolled around, only words were exchanged.
“My house league has a game tonight,” Luke said. “You’ll probably be in bed by the time I get home.”
“Okay. Have a good game. Happy Valentine’s Day, by the way.”
“Yup, you too.”
When year twenty-one rolled around, their son asked if he could borrow some money so he could buy his girlfriend a gift.
“Remember when we used to celebrate Valentine’s Day?” Madelyn said to Luke.
“I do. Did you want to do something this year?” he asked.
“Nah. It’s on a Sunday this year. I’d rather just nap,” she answered.
“I like napping,” he said in return.
“Then it’s a date!” Madelyn said.
“God, you two are getting old,” their son said.
Yes, but they were growing old together, and that’s the best Valentine’s Day gift of all.