Say The Very Best
In February 2007, a long weekend on the coast culminated into one life changing moment. Little did I know that tucked away in his suitcase was a small burgundy leather box. We stood atop the cliffs to enjoy the last sunset of our time there, the Pacific crashing below us.
He had a question for me, and a ring in his hand. And I had an answer for him. Just like that I was a newly minted fiancée. And my date with destiny would be here that December.
Before throwing myself into the uncharted territory that was planning my big day, I went in with the idea that some things were more important than others. I could not have been more wrong.
Sure, some things are big. It doesn’t get much bigger than selecting your perfect venue. And let’s not forget the dress. But it is the other things that bring it all to life. It adds up to one sublime experience.
I wanted to burn it all into my memory. Enjoy every second. I knew I wouldn’t pass that way again. When we selected our picture perfect place in Carmel, my mom was there with us for her opinion and approval. Ditto for the florist, photographer, and cake bakery. And naturally she was by my side for that magic moment; in that dreamy bridal salon in San Francisco, helping me choose what would be the most important garment I would ever wear in my life. I would not have done any of it without her.
The initial stress melted away. Finally, my intended and I had found our footing. It was time to make the rest of the decisions, just the two of us. And I didn’t realize how special it would feel.
I will never forget that spring Sunday, side by side in the paper boutique. Running my hands over the heavy, pearlescent silver card stock and letterpress, my heart jumped. We found what would be our invitation, and its accoutrements. No discussion required. We were both in love with this perfect reflection of us and our day.
Like a favorite fragrance, classic handbag or perfect lipstick shade, the cards and personal paper style we choose are very much a signature accessory. They speak to our personalities. What we selected that Sunday five years ago, to this day, is very much an expression of who we are. And the same can be said for every card I purchase, and what stationery catches my eye.
Ever since my husband entered my life nearly seven years ago, we have been religious about keeping up the ritual. Not a birthday, holiday or anniversary goes by without exchanging beautiful, thoughtful cards that speak our every sentiment. Nothing else is required actually. Sure, any card he gives me is fantastic with a robin’s egg blue, white ribboned box to accompany it. But no material gift can compare to words lovingly written for only me to see.
I still go to the same paper boutique here in town. I can easily spend an hour selecting just the right card for my husband, my mom, my grandmother, or a friend. I read each one, and read it again. I study every picture. I run my fingertips across the paper, appreciating its texture and heaviness. Some are feathered. Some hand painted. Some elaborately beaded. I always have to find the perfect one. My husband is the same way. And he never fails to wow me.
It seems for all of us there are never enough hours in the day, and we are more disconnected than ever before. We are overworked and overstressed. Technology is wonderful, but along the way formality has been lost. We don’t take the time to express how we feel in meaningful ways. Sure, sometimes a quick email or ridiculously abbreviated text message will suffice. But the appeal of a beautifully handwritten note or thoughtfully chosen card will never go out of style.
I’m lucky. I know I will get to open a beautiful heartfelt card on Valentine’s Day. He never fails to make me feel like I’m the center of the universe, and he doesn’t wait for just one day a year to do it.
This Valentine’s Day and every day, think of your loved one. It’s not about being attached. It is about anyone who is lucky enough to love you and be loved by you. Your partner, your mom or dad, brother or sister, or your dearest friend. Whatever you give them does not have to be fancy or expensive.
Only a reflection of the person you are. And that is the sweetest gift of all.