Sunday, February 14, 2010

Do You Want to Be My Friend - Valentine?

Happy Valentine's Everyone!

Sorry for neglecting all of you since my last post, but I have been busy preparing my house for a party.

Valentine’s Day has marked some significant moments in my life: the key to our very first house two years ago and shared chocolate and conversation with some fabulous girl friends.

Every year I throw a Valentine's party for my girlfriends - even though my husband and family do nothing to celebrate the day together. That’s right, we don't give each other chocolates, flowers, or fight the crowds for a dinner out - although this year I made them a special breakfast and they found special treat on their plates. It's my girlfriends who get the special attention for that celebration.

‘The sending of Valentines was a fashion in nineteenth-century Great Britain, and, in 1847, Esther Howland developed a successful business in her Worcester, Massachusetts home with hand-made Valentine cards based on British models. The popularity of Valentine cards in 19th century America, where many Valentine cards are now general greeting cards rather than declarations of love, was a harbinger of the future commercialization of holidays in the United States.”

Valentine’s Day was re-created by the card company to verbalize our love to our sweeties. I was married a month before my 30th birthday so I understand what it is like to wait for our honeys to come into our lives. Although I know many who had to wait a lot longer than I did, I still can relate and want to reach out to those who may be lonely are still waiting for that someone special to come into their lives.

I started throwing these parties ten years ago when I found a truffles recipe in the Real Simple magazine and I thought it would be fun to invite my friends over to eat them and then started throwing a party every year since (except for two years after we bought our fixer-upper home). I don't make the chocolate anymore (it really is not that easy), although my oldest child gave me a Ghiredelli book on how to make chocolate treats last year and I still need to try a recipe out.

At first it was easy to throw these parties and girlfriends were actually excited about it. As years went by, it was more difficult to attract the gals to come on over. This year I invited just about all the girls in my life and even sent a "Save the date" e-mail, yet there were just a few who could get away on their busy day.

So why do I throw these parties every year for my girlfriends? 1) because I love and value the females in my life and they have been such great examples to me over the years, 2) there really are not too many opportunities for women to get together 3) I wanted to create a place for women to meet other women and get to know others outside their bubble world and 4) I think women get locked into their husband's and children's schedules and don't make time to do things for themselves.

We live in a post-college area near the beach where parties happen spontaneously. I'm sure they don't send out "save the date" e-mails and give their friends three weeks to check their calendar to see if they are available.

I remember the days when my roommates and I would spontaneously get together with other friends at 10 pm. When we are young and had fewer responsibilities, we tended to leave our schedules open and not make any decisions until last minute. Once we are married, we check with our husband’s schedule. When we have kids we make sure they are taken care of and fed before we leave them to their dad or babysitter. And then, as our kids get older our schedule gets even more complex: Our children need to complete their 70+ minutes of homework and then make it to their sporting games, music lessons, and play practices on time. Our husband's schedule becomes more packed with work and extracurricular events - for some reason they get busier as we get older. It becomes more of a challenge for women to take two hours out of their day for themselves. Our kid's schedule and then our husband's schedule seem to come first.

So at least for just a day, let’s get together and celebrate our girlfriends. We might be single, married, divorced, have one child, or several children – we can all still have moments of loneliness wishing they had someone who could relate to them or just get a chance to talk. We learn so much from each other. We support one another. We can relate to each other. Let’s get out and let us gals just be gals and not have to worry about someone else's schedule.

Happy Valentine's Day to my girl friends. Thanks for being you!


  1. I love that you do this, Sharon! What a great idea. Nick and I don't usually do anything either, though I do generally get each kid a little something. I miss having close girlfriends! I haven't had that one 'best friend' that lives in the same town as I do for years and I really miss it. Girlfriends know how to fix the problems of the world. They are generally on your side and know just the right thing to say. I hope you had a special time with your girlfriends yesterday :-) ~Suzy

  2. Sharon, this was the sweetest blog! I love the purpose of your Vday party-- and most of all, your heart for your girlfriends. I'm so blessed to be friends with you!