Today is Valentine’s Day. It’s one of those holidays that people love to hate. People hate it because they’re single and it makes them sad, or they’re with someone and feel pressured to find the perfect gift. They hate it because they don’t know if they should buy roses, or chocolate, or something else and what if the present sends the wrong message? And if you’re married, well, then how do you commemorate the day and prove that you’re just as passionately in love as you were the day you swapped vows? Lots of people hate Valentine’s Day, but not me. I love it.
In high school I hated it because I never had a boyfriend. Perils of being a geek. I also went to an all girls school that was a bit of a drive from the all boys school. We mingled at dances and football games and the like, but during the school day we never crossed paths. But, on Valentine’s Day, one club or another always sponsored some sort of flower or chocolate fundraiser that would be delivered to the other school at lunch. I remember single roses being brought into the cafeteria, tied with little curly ribbons and notes for their recipients. I didn’t get one and it was rotten, but, like I said, perils of being a geek.
I met my husband my junior year in high school. It was pretty cool to have a boyfriend after what seemed like forever. I suppose in teen years it was forever. He was just as much of a geek as me and I have the pictures to prove it. I asked him out (remember, all girls school, you want a date then you do the asking) and had a wonderful time with my awkward-dancing geek. We discovered we both loved museums and the next day we went out again to the Boston Museum of Science. Finally, being a geek was paying off.
He made mix tapes for me of sappy love songs and I still have them, although now that I think of it, I don’t have a cassette player to listen to them anymore. He gave me my first roses and they were the best roses in the whole world. He introduced me to Dungeons and Dragons and ren faires and all sorts of wonderfully geeky stuff. Then one night he suggested we watch a movie called The Princess Bride.
I’d never heard of it. The title sounded like a sappy chick flick which wasn’t generally my thing, or his, but he insisted that if I hadn’t seen it I was missing out and that I had to watch it immediately. Despite my misgivings I agreed and we popped a bowl of popcorn and sat on the couch in my living room to watch. It turned out to be one of my all time favorite movies.
I had no idea just how popular it was, or would become over the years. I’m betting almost all of you can quote a few lines from this without even trying and that more than a few can practically recite the entire movie. It’s a wonderfully quirky and incredibly geeky film. From a mysterious, sword-wielding hero to an evil mastermind to a princess in peril, it’s a bit like a video game come to life. The princess is in another castle, but the hero will find her and save her in the end.
It’s been a long time since I first saw The Princess Bride, but it still holds a warm place in my heart and, yes, my husband does often say that one line and it still makes me melt. Tonight, we’ll be making heart-shaped pizzas with heart-shaped pepperoni and then, once the kids are in bed, we’re watching the most romantic geek movie ever. I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, and spend it with someone who often whispers those three little words…as you wish.