This is a story about…hmmm. Well, I guess it’s about, a dare, a first and simple act of love; the kind that speaks true “Valentines”. Not the kind you buy in a store.
How to begin? Let’s see.
Well, my friend Julie suggested I come up to Allentown last weekend to cross country ski with her. I’ve never cross country skied so I’m intrigued of course. AHA! A cool first.
I don’t own skis. She says she happens to have an extra pair, size 7 1/2. That’s my size! Feels karmic. I’m going.
Saturday morning I wake up at 6 am to get dressed for my ski adventure. I’m grabbing ski pants and long underwear, gloves and I’m looking for socks. I can’t find my really warm socks. I decide to look in my husband’s sock drawer. (Yes, my husband has a very organized sock drawer.)
He’s sleeping while I’m rummaging through his sock drawer.
I don’t find my socks. But underneath his socks, I find something that surprises me. A Valentine’s card I gave him a few years ago. It’s a sweet card with a simple love note. I’m so touched he saved it. It’s not the kind of thing that’s there randomly. He clearly saved this card because it means something to him.
I set off toward Allentown from the burbs of Philly feeling loved and excited to go do the new.
When I get to Allentown, Julie is ready with skis that fit me perfectly. Yay!
We meet our friend Kelli and we are off to the golf course nearby that has now become a beautiful snow covered ski paradise. We’re not the only ones who are blazing fresh trails in perfect ski snow. It’s sunny. No wind. At 8:30 in the morning it’s absolutely spectacular!
As we put on skis we start talking about Valentine’s Day. Julie is laughing about a funny kind of “hey babe” Valentine card she picked up for her husband.
She tells us, “He doesn’t get into the Valentine card thing. Thinks it’s a Hallmark-created holiday”.
I tell them about discovering the card I gave Phil in his sock drawer. We’ve all been married a long time so I know they understand when I say I’m surprised and awed by the sentimentality.
Meanwhile, I fall on my ass as soon as we start skiing. That’s always a great way to start. My friends pick me up, put me back together and we’re off. Julie is our fearless leader; the most experienced skier. I’m mimicking her gliding left, right, left, right. Kelli is behind me. After awhile, the new motion kicks in. The three of us pause occasionally to look around feeling lucky we are in this beautiful, peaceful space.
We circle the back nine in about an hour and head back to the car. Julie opens the hatchback to load up our skis. And there in the back of the car is a thermos, 3 paper cups with a gold wrapped piece of chocolate in each.
“Oh my gosh. My husband must have done this.” Julie is clearly touched.
I chuckle. “Hahahaha. You mean the guy who doesn’t believe in Valentines? I think he just left you one.”
Inside the thermos was mint hot chocolate. While we were skiing, he came by and left this gift for all of us.
We sat pouring and drinking hot chocolate for a few minutes, enjoying the pure sweetness of this gesture.
“Well, I said. I think that beats an old Valentines card in a sock drawer”.
I love the card in the sock drawer. We’re laughing and I’m so happy I came to ski. We’re energized by our trek, the surprise treat, and talk. And I’m so jazzed because it was such a great first experience.
I drive home and tell Phil about the hot chocolate delivery.
“Oh man”, he says. “The pressure is on. Show off!”
But then I tell Phil, he’s already given me the sweetest gift. I found the card in his sock drawer.
“No card necessary. I already got one. Thank you for the Valentine.”
It really is the smallest acts of love that surprise us, melt our hearts and dare us that are the most powerful.
Loving someone is risky. It’s a dare, to reveal yourself. To open your heart makes you vulnerable and that is …well ladies and gentlemen, that’s just sexy.
Dare on and Happy Valentine’s Day!