My father was a procrastinator, a last-minute guy. One year, he got home so late that he didn’t have time to stop and buy Valentines for my mother, sister and me. So he decorated the house in toilet paper with hearts applied in lipstick.
I’ve gotten flowers and candy and even earrings for Valentine’s Day, although I was never a femme fatale. In fact, I was so _not_ a femme fatale that it might be logical to assume that I would remember those lovely gifts with some clarity. Nope. What I remember is coming down the dark, wood-paneled staircase of my childhood home and seeing those hastily improvised white-and-red banners. I am midway down the steps when I realize what they are and I just laugh and laugh and laugh. Maybe 8, maybe 9.
For the best memoir about Valentine’s Day, track down Ruth McKenney’s piece in The McKenney’s Carry On. As for your best Valentine’s Day memory — hit that “reply” button.