About a year ago I received a card from a friend wishing me a Happy Hallmark Day.  For the first time ever, I realized that it was possible to both acknowledge Valentine’s Day as a silly occasion and as an excuse to touch someone’s heart.  In contrast, not only was it not celebrated during my marriage, it was a source of angst.  No greeting card company was going to tell ThatGuy when to show affection.  Being neither an abnormal psychology major, nor having an inclination to write a dissertation on the topic we’ll leave that alone. 

Anyway, on that same day, I received a very sweet, heartwarming, handmade gift from ShirtlessRoland.  I, on the other hand, had made arrangements a couple of weeks in advance to have cannoli shipped to him from “our” bakery in Baltimore.  However, a freakish 45 inch snow fall prevented shipments from being made.  With less than 24 hours to re-plan, I found a bakery closer to his home and had them deliver the cannoli to a local florist, who in turn delivered the cannoli and a mug full of daisies to ShirtlessRoland’s doorstep.  Whew.

But I think he was a little confused as to why I sent him flowers and cannoli.  Truth be told, I am too.  I was new to this and didn’t really know the protocol.  A year later I think I’m still kind of lost and found myself awkwardly planning for another gift exchange of foreign principle.  Taking ShirtlessRoland’s lead from the previous year, I made a gift.  He made another as well.

I love this idea.  Somebody thinks so much of somebody else that they take the time and use their own two hands to create something out of nothing for them, not unlike my philosophy on knitting.  If someone knits you a scarf, they didn’t just give you a scarf; they gave you their time.  They gave you the space in their thoughts while sitting in a doctor’s office, or on a bus, or in their favorite coffee house.  This concept has the added benefit of avoiding long lines to purchase clichéd chatchkas and bad chocolate made in a faraway land a romantically long time ago.

I have learned that any excuse is a good excuse to show somebody you love them in any way you can.  And conversely, there really isn’t ever a good excuse for withholding affection from the ones you love.  That lesson is what truly made this a hallmark day.

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