I remember most vividly the Valentine’s Day of winter, 1977. I was a sophomore in college, and New Jersey was covered in snow. A young woman who would remain my friend for life suggested that the two of us make valentines together, and distribute them secretly after midnight. So it was that two near-adults spent an evening glittering and cutting and pasting and folding pink paper into envelopes.

Then we put on our waterproof boots and slogged up and down hills, through various Gothic courtyards, dropping off cards. It was inspired. And dark. And riotously funny. Almost romantic, in that way early platonic friendships can be.

Last year I had another occasion to make valentines, this time for a blog swap devised by a group of blindingly intelligent and creative young women.

Absolutely in love with their brilliance, and my own giddy creativity. I sat by myself at the dining room table drank too many solitary glasses of wine, baked chocolate chip cookies with chile, and glued my glitter-covered fingers to each other. Laughed until I fell out of my chair. I was 53. I’m not sure I fit cultural expectations for the demographic.

Last year the FedEx man had to put on his boots and slog through a Manhattan blizzard to get the valentine delivered. Good thing too, for while I cook better than I did at 20, and cut and paste just fine, my capacity for the slog is diminished.

Today snow covers the ground in New Jersey, where my grown children now live. I’m in California, under a blue sky. Let me not mislead you. It may come as no surprise that my marriage of 20 years ended a while back. Because as we know, these things happen. You are women of my age.

But that same friend from college is visiting this month. We’ll be having dinner together tonight—February 15th, the day after Valentine’s Day. There have been chocolates, and boys, and roses, and men, and love letters, and I suppose tears, in the intervening decades. But of the Valentine’s Days I can recall, the things I glued persist. Along with a speck of glitter in the cuticle.

Photo, top, by Lisa Carnochan.

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  • Lisa February 17, 2011 at 12:19 am

    Thank you all very much, and to WVFC for the opportunity.

  • Mise February 15, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Beautifully put, Lisa, and ‘the things I glued persist’ resonates with elusive meaning. A marriage of 20 years – I wish I knew you well enough to ask you about that, but I don’t, so I bow instead to your wisdom and see you, as ever, on the path ahead of me, exploring the way with a thoughtful finesse.

  • Muffy Martini February 15, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    What a wonderful post (as one can always expect from LPC)! I can just imagine Lisa sitting at her desk having a good laugh making a Valentine cards. I hope you have a wonderful evening LPC, all the best to you!

  • the gardeners cottage February 15, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    i love this story because it speaks to the enduring love of friendship. talk about glue. there is nothing like it. so wonderful that all these years later you two are still friends and will have dinner tonight. i love it.

  • lauren February 15, 2011 at 10:59 am

    (the valentine, incidentally, was beautiful and very much appreciated.)

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