Sunday, February 15, 2015

Hearts and Flowers

Valentine's day is usually such a non-holiday around here.  I laugh in the weeks leading up to it, with all the commercials for what to give your sweetheart... everything from diamonds to automobiles.  Like Mother's Day it has become such an incredible hype for advertisers! Walt and I give each other a card.  Period.

He always sends little four-piece Whitman samplers to the kids. He's been doing that all of their lives, it seems.  When they lived at home, every Valentine's day he would get one of those cards that grammar school kids give each other and the little box of samplers and give it to them.  When they moved away, he would mail the samplers and cards to them.  Now that they are married, he sends two samplers, one for the kid and one for the spouse.  This year was the first year that he sent four to Tom's home, including a box for each of the girls.

This year I didn't even make him a special dinner, since he was rushing off to the theater at 4 to take care of the show he has sort of been producing, I guess, and I was headed off to nearby Woodland to review a different show.  I had a bagel for dinner and he heated up something when he got home.
But I couldn't let Valentine's day go for my mother, so I was off early in the morning to buy flowers to take to atria.  

Nugget market was doing a big business in flowers, so big they had even set up a stand outside and I noticed that a girl kept bringing in carts of flowers, so I guess they were selling like hotcakes.

I always notice the price of flowers when I'm in the store and it seemed that these had definitely been jacked up for the holiday!  It was difficult to find a bouquet that was under $10, but I did.  Valentine's day is not cheap, even if you aren't buying diamonds or automobiles!

Then I decided to add some candy to the flowers, and the table with all the candy on it was a jumble and it was difficult to tell how much anything cost, but I chose a tiny bag with red chocolate hearts in it, ignoring the heart shaped boxes, which seemed to be much more expensive.  The little bag had no price on it and I was shocked when I looked at my grocery tag in the car afterwards -- I hadn't looked at it when they were ringing me up -- to find out that this little bag cost $13.  But owell.  It was for my mother and I wanted to make her smile on Valentine's day.

Next I looked for a card and was unable to find a card under $6.  They are clever now, some of these companies.  Instead of just selling you a card,  they package it in a cellophane pouch so it looks richer and, of course the price is higher.  I could have gone to a different store where I knew that there would be non-cellophaned cards, but what the heck, I was there.  I bought a "Mom" card.

I drove to Atria and she was thrilled with the flowers, and barely looked at the candy and the card.  I had to remind her they were there...and I had to remind her three times that I had brought a card, which she finally opened.  Her attitude was "ho hum...a card? candy? Whatever"  But she did love the flowers.

We went to lunch at the dining room, which was all tarted up with balloons.

Lunch was a delicious chicken pot pie, which was a far cry from the last time I ate there, when the "Captain's platter," consisting of "shrimp, fish, and clams" was inedible. Everything was barely warm, and so hard you could barely chew it.  But the pot pie was delicious.

While we were eating, a barbershop quartet circled the room and serenaded everyone.

I had to kind of smile because I remember them from last year, when it seemed they had more volume and were on tune more of the time.  They, like the residents, are getting older.

My mother seemed to have little interest in the music, but did tell me several times about how many balloons there were (sometimes she couldn't remember the word "balloon" and said either "balls" or "bubbles.") and what a lot of work it must have been for someone to blow them all up, and how much work it was going to be to untie them all and deflate them so they could use them again next year.

While we were eating, two little girls, Sophie and Bella, along with their father, came around to every table, carrying a paper bag and gave everybody in the dining room little Valentine's day cards.  That was very cute.

Jeri had sent a text video of the snow in Boston today.  Some guys were removing snow from the roof of their house, almost completely covering her truck in the process.  The video, taken from inside their flat, shows the snow falling off the roof past the window--and was pretty impressive.  I decided to send back a video right after I had shown it to my mother.  I turned on the video and asked her what she thought of all that snow and she seemed very flustered and then said it was "very cute" and what cute girls the granddaughters were.  It's probably just as well that for some reason the audio on my video didn't work.

The truck is just barely visible--that black wedge over on the right
 So that was our Valentine's day.  I came home and took a nap, as I usually try to do before going to review a show so I can stay awake.  Walt went off to the theater and when I got home from my own show we shared ice cream cones and he went off to bed.  I fell asleep watching television.

There was no new car in the driveway, or diamonds on my breakfast plate.

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