It used to be the most sickening time of year, when stores turned from normal into red, heart-engulfed advertisements.
You couldn’t go anywhere without being punched in the face by Valentine’s Day. Restaurants hold specials, confectioners concoct tasty treats and boyfriends everywhere scramble to make it a day to remember.
It’s never been too high on my list of favorite days on the calender — it’s just behind the last day of summer and just before the first day of winter. It was always a day to publicly lambaste the shenanigans while inside I wondered what it would be like to have someone to spoil and make a special occasion for.
Boy how minds can change. A few years back I went out on a lunch date with a neighbor I had while living in Massachusetts. We had just met and there was nothing in the way of expectations on either side.
Fast forward to today, and I’m giddy with respect, adoration and admiration for the woman I am deeply in love with. Before meeting Holley Burfoot, who happens to be the director of Syracuse University’s Early Education and Child Care Center, I wasn’t sure true love existed for everyone.
I can firmly state that she is the greatest thing to happen to me on so many levels. She’s beautiful, confident and caring, inside and out. She’s helped me grow into my personal definition of a man, allowing me to see the big picture, that life is a marathon, not a group of sprints.
Beyond that, and definitely more important, in my time with Holley I have learned the difference between need and want. As a single male, I’d use my vacation time each summer to go see 10 Phish concerts in succession, only caring about how to get to the next show. I’d take off on weekends and travel as far as I could to see live music — I didn’t have anyone to worry about but myself.