Catbird $500 Giveaway

DesignSponge Catbird Giveaway
One of my favorite parts about planning our D*S 10 Year Anniversary, was coming up with ways to give back. In addition to the charities we’ll be donating to and the downloadable wallpaper series, we thought long and hard about the 10 shops and businesses we trust and frequent the most as shoppers. These are companies we, as a team, spend time at the most and invest in on a regular basis. I was so thrilled to start our giveaway series with Schoolhouse Electric and was just as excited to follow up with a shop that Amy and I practically live in: Catbird.

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For those outside of NYC, Catbird may not be as familiar, but if you read fashion magazines, you’ve seen Catbird’s jewelry- namely their stacking rings- all over the place. In addition to incredible jewelry made by cutting-edge independent designers (I bought my wedding ring there), Catbird carries beautiful stationery, artwork, bath and apothecary goods and all sorts of small-scale home decor like trays, plates, glass shadow boxes and more. When I need a gift, I always start at Catbird. It is my go-to for anyone that needs something special and my favorite place to go when I want to reward myself with something nice. I am so thrilled to be announcing them as our February Giveaway Sponsor! Whether you’re looking for a beautiful art print, jewelry or something shiny for your home, you are bound to find the perfect piece here. Thanks so much to the Catbird team for donating this $500 gift certificate to a lucky D*S reader. xo, grace

TO ENTER: Leave a comment below by February 28th telling us about your most memorable Valentine’s Day. Did something wonderfully romantic happen? Or did you have a first date so bad it went down in the history books? Whatever the memory, share yours here and Catbird will pick their favorite for the $500 prize!

[UPDATE: CONGRATS TO LAURA GASKILL, OUR WINNER!]

Click through for contest details and an interview with Catbird founder Rony Vardi!

D*S: What inspired you to start Catbird?

I was antsy in my job and was living pretty cheaply in Williamsburg, and I had a vision for a store that sold the type of things I wanted to buy. Pretty soon after opening the store on Metropolitan Ave – which sold both clothes and jewelry – I realized how much I love selling jewelry. Generally speaking, no one is in a bad mood when they’re buying jewelry! (Can you say the same thing about anything else – clothes, food, furniture…??)

D*S: What was the hardest part of starting your business?

Throwing caution to the wind, without much of a safety net, was pretty scary. But the most difficult thing at the start ww surviving the very lean, early years – both financially, but even more so – emotionally. Those slow days, or weeks – can really wear on you at the start. My friend Anne said that watching your business struggle is like watching your child perform badly at a piano recital. You want to believe in them, but you’re really biting your nails – wondering whether they’ll make it.

D*S: What are you proudest of (or your biggest success) as a business so far?

I am fascinated and floored by how much I see knuckle rings everywhere. I started wearing one in the 90s (it was a toe ring from the East Village) – and after a lot of compliments I started making and selling them. And… now they are on so many hands. There’s a bit of a thrill there. But hands down, I am proudest of my team. No way would Catbird be where it was without them.


D*S: What are your next big goals or projects coming up?

We have a new, secret ring collection we will be launching very soon that is super exciting. No one has seen it yet except for us! It has been in the works for a long time and we can’t wait to share it!

CONTEST DETAILS:

PLEASE NOTE: Shipping within the continental US. Must be used within one month of issuing. Online only. Not redeemable for cash or other tender. Cannot be combined with any discounts or promotional offers.

Catbird from the back
About Catbird: Catbird has been the go-to jewelry boutique in Brooklyn since 2004. Both the store and the site are filled with a carefully curated selection of oddities and dainty jewelry from New York’s most exciting designers including their in-house line of jewelry as well as candles. Catbird aims to provide people with endless opportunities to mix and match their favorite styles of jewelry from different designers to create their own personalized way to wear it.

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About Catbird’s Jewelry Line:

Rony Vardi started the Catbird line with the hope to create something personal – that you would want to wear every day and that could have a deep meaning for the wearer – but would not necessarily be a once in a lifetime purchase. Each piece can be a glittery heirloom to layer over time to commemorate milestones – marriage, new child, graduation, a death of a loved one. We design, create and produce the line ourselves in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

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Cindy G

My best valentine’s day was with my husband – we were in college and we were NOT dating; we didn’t believe in dating. He made me a card with a poem about our friendship and I made one for him too. Apparently, even though we were NOT dating, we both knew that the other was THE ONE and were just to chicken to admit it to each other. It was sweet and lovely and wonderful. 10 years later we got married :)

Lou

My favorite valentines memories are from childhood. Every valentines day morning my dad would give me something before school – a teddy bear, maybe some candy, but he would always include a sweet note. <3

Rachael Bartzen

My beautiful engagement and wedding rings are from Catbird!

Mary

I’m not terribly romantic, so my favorite Valentine’s Memory is a boyfriend giving me a bouquet of corn dogs instead of flowers. It was really thoughtful and funny.

Allison

My most memorable Valentine’s was when my first serious boyfriend in college took me to dinner. We went to a steakhouse (just as I was contemplating becoming a vegetarian), I had to drive in the snow which I’m terrible at because he didn’t have a car, and we were seated approximately 1 foot away from another, older couple who were more interested in asking us awkward questions than talking to each other. Needless to say, that was the beginning of the end of that relationship!

Caitlin

Hello and Thank You!

My most memorable Valentines day occurred my junior year of college. I had just starting dating this really nice guy (Jeff) but was still a little annoyed at men in general because of a recent bad breakup. I made Valentines Day plans to see a movie with my girlfriend instead of with him. Jeff asked to come over before we left to give me my Valentines Day present. He completely shocked me with an amazing mix CD and a hilarious hand-illustrated story about the ridiculous way we met. He then treated both my girlfriend and I to a movie. We’ve been together for 12 years now (married for 3) and that handmade story is still one of the first things I’d grab in a fire.

Happy Valentines Day to everyone!

Katie

I LOVE Catbird! I have a few of their stacking rings and would love my engagement ring to come from there someday.

My Valentine’s Days have been pretty unmemorable so far, but the best one was 2 years ago with my first boyfriend who gave me pink roses. It was a simple and sweet gesture that he’s very good at giving.

Allie

On the first Valentine’s Day I spent with my current boyfriend, we had planned to go for a run around Zilker Park (in Austin, TX) and then have a picnic on the lawn overlooking the downtown skyline. We figured it would be a combination of active and low-key, since we love to exercise together but aren’t into big fancy dinners or elaborate plans. I guess we forgot about how dark it gets in February still, so not only did we get stuck in a ton of traffic on our way downtown to the park, we eventually ditched the run because it was too dark to see where we were going! We ended up still having the picnic (again, in the dark) and pretty much froze our bums off. Didn’t exactly go off as planned, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Kate Antoske @ Change of Scenery

My favorite Valentine’s Days have been the ones I’ve celebrated my best friend’s birthday instead of the actual holiday. Marquita’s birthday happens to be February 14th as well, so focusing more on the celebration of her life has led to us actually celebrating the true meaning of the holiday. To this day, even now when as I’m engaged and live 3,000 miles away, I ask my fiancé what we plan to do for Marquita’s birthday rather than the holiday. It gives us a chance to celebrate without waiting for the holiday to express our love for each other.

mollie

My fave valentine was my first with my now husband. He did the typical wait-until-the last minute thing and had nothing planned. After meeting at a crowded NYC restaurant with no reservation, we walked from place to place with no luck. Frustrated, we ended up at a chinese restaurant full of older couples. We spent the night eating greasy noodles and frozen fruity drinks and had a blast. It was so fun and memorable and now we do a Chinese Valentines every year!

Tess Prescott

Valentine’s day about 5 years ago was unforgettable. It was when my now fiancé and I went on our first date! He didn’t reserve anything, so we ended up finding a hole in the wall greek place that was fantastic! But, we had a TINY table for two in the middle of the restaurant–it kind of everyone was watching us because we were awkwardly in the middle. Also, whenever the door swung open, the freezing 10 degree weather hit us right in the face. After a lovely meal, my fiancé, Michael forgot to bring his wallet. So, I ended up paying for our first date!! It was hilarious and such a memorable moment. We still laugh about it today. We are getting married August 2015!! Would love to win this! Thanks so much for the opportunity!

Kendall

Last year my husband and I kept it small for valentines day but those are always my favorite. A box of (really good) chocolates to share, some amazing steaks we cook ourselves, and a favorite bottle of bubbly. Can’t go wrong!

Kat

I absolutely love Catbird’s jewelry. Many of the rings have been on my wishlist for quite some time. As silly as this sounds, my most memorable Valentine’s Day was during kindergarten! I originally wrote a Valentine for my grandma, but gave it to my crush instead while his mom watched us after school. He promptly crumpled it and threw it behind his dresser because “ew cooties.” His mom ended up keeping it and brought it out a few years later when he became my boyfriend. I haven’t talked to the family in years, but I still get a good laugh out of that memory.

Kate J.

Well, I haven’t been to NY in years but Catbird is one of my favorite places (mostly via pinterest) and my boyfriend bought me a beautiful pair of Catbird earrings for Christmas! On that note – I’ve never had a good Valentines Day. I’ll sum up the worst one for you! It involved a “B&B” (aka someone’s actually home), twin beds in a gingham and sunflower room, a lady bug invasion, a dumpy Italian restaurant, my (then) boyfriend laughing at my lingerie choices, arguing the whole way home ON Valentines Day which was the next day and breaking up at the end of it all. THIS year my current boyfriend and I will be in the snowy mountains of Telluride, CO and I. Can’t. Wait!

Cody

On February 10, 2000, I flew from JFK to Iceland to visit an ailing relative. I sat in the aisle and a very handsome gentleman was assigned the window. Since no one was in the seat in between, we eventually struck up a conversation; I learned that he was heading to Copenhagen to visit a friend. The flight flew by as we chatted up a storm, getting to know one another. When we got off the plane, we politely said our goodbyes and that was that—I honestly didn’t even remember his name at that point.

Four days later, on Valentine’s Day, I was returning to New York, and lo and behold, there he was, seated one row behind me. I had no idea how much I had longed to see him again until I laid my eyes on him and felt my heart skip a beat. Since no one was assigned the seat next to me, he moved up.

There was a heavy snowstorm, so we were stuck on the runway for hours as they de-iced the plane. We talked and laughed and shared stories for hours and hours and once we landed, we didn’t want to say goodbye. He asked for my number at the baggage terminal and squeezed my hand.

14 Valentine’s Days later, thanks to fate, Icelandair, and that Valentine’s Day snowstorm, we’re still madly in love and expecting our first child.

Elizabeth

I teach in a special needs preschool classroom, and a few years ago, I had a three year old who put me on a pedestal. When I got him off the bus the morning of Valentine’s Day, he was dressed in an adorable little suit carrying a single, red rose. On it was a tag filled with scribbles, but underneath, his mom decoded the message. “I love you.” He had a severe language delay, but he definitely found a way to let me know I was adored. An original Don Juan. Not much has topped it!

Sara

I was in college and my roommates and I ordered a pizza with the pepperonis shaped like a heart and a good friend killed his crush’s beta fish when he tried to take care of it. We ended Valentine’s Day in the fish aisle at Walmart. It was magical, haha.

Love Catbird!

Katie

My most memorable vday was the first I spent with my hubby. I knew he was a keeper when my roommates date fell thru at the last minute and instead of going out to dinner (at some overpriced NYC hotspot) he suggested we stay in and order sushi with her. Sushi has been our vday tradition ever since.

Lauren

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was hanging out and having a few beers and a homemade dinner with my fiance by candlelight. Simple and romantic.

Ann P.

My most memorable valentine’s day was last year because I was almost 3 months pregnant with my first child. My husband texted me that day while he was at work asking if I can be his velentine! We had a great dinner at Santa Monica and talked about baby names, adventures/trips with our child, and nursery design. Then we spotted R&H Baby and Child….it was the most beautiful store I have ever seen…and right there and then, without knowing the gender of our child, we bought the prettiest crib ever!

Sina

My boyfriend at the time (now fiancé!!!) has never been the type of person to do big grand gestures. We have been together for almost 6 years, and he still has to ask me where I want to go/what I want to do for Valentine’s day.

Well, the first year we lived together- we were both still poor after putting down a significant chunk of cash for first and last month’s rent on our apartment together- so he asked me if I minded if we didn’t do anything at all.

Now, I am not the biggest romantic ever to live, but I was excited to do something now that we were living together. No more roommates to ruin the romantic mood.

On my way home from work that day- I called to see if I should pick anything up for dinner, but he wasn’t answering- not totally unlike him, but I knew he was home. When I got home, there were candles EVERYWHERE, and he had made me the most wonderful dinner (complete with appetizers and everything!). He also had a potted plant waiting for me on the table (because in MN, February is that point in the year I get anxious about NEVER seeing green, and I always complain about no flowers and plants).

It was not anything HUGE. He didn’t have my name written in the sky or anything. But it was perfectly him, and PERFECTLY us!!! I will NEVER forget it

Caroline

My best Valentine’s Day was last year when I invited all my best friends over for a dumpling making party. It was a delicious way to celebrate the day of love with everyone I love the most.

Liz C

the BEST Valentine’s Day I’ve ever had involved my best (girl) friend. We decided to make the day Galentine’s Day, in honor of our solo statuses and in tribute to Ann Perkins and Leslie Knope, a la Parks and Recreation. We exchanged small, silly gifts, snuck pink champagne and plastic wine glasses into the movie theater and saw a great picture. Still one of my most cherished memories. Thanks!

Samantha

Valentine’s Day 2012 was special for two reasons — I went on my first date with my now husband and I helped my good friend Trevor ask his now fiance, my very best friend Meghan, out on their first date. I typically think of Valentine’s Day as being cheesy and very forgettable. But I now love that holiday as it was a catalyst for some of the best days of my life and the lives of those who are very important to me. My husband and I will act as Matron of Honor and Best Man to Meghan and Trevor this year and I couldn’t be more excited!

Kim Hart

It’s funny, but my most memorable Valentine’s Day is when I did something special for someone else. It was last year when I surprised my boyfriend with a garland of hearts that spelled “I LOVE YOU” in our kitchen. On pink and red post-its I wrote all of the reasons I loved him and taped them around the garland. It didn’t really cost me anything to make it and it meant so much to him.

Alison

My most memorable was when I was a feisty junior in high school (ah, far too many years back to admit). I was ‘dating two different boys, I know, feisty I told you! As a good teenager, I picked two boys that were gentlemanly enough to know that they needed to bring me flowers for Valentina’s day. Unfortunately there are two boys, two posies of flowers and only one school day for this Valentine’s day exchange. You can see where this is going. I got to first period and a dozen red roses were waiting at my desk for me. I was happy to get the flowers with a card, to be sure I knew who they were from of course. Second period was unfortunately with one of the boys, so I had to play a causal game of ‘forget the roses in my first class and hope no one remembers they were mine.’ In second period, I got a cute bouquet of daisies. Another bouquet of roses would have been too easy. Anyway, I made it through the whole school day seeing both of the boys in class or at break times and somehow no one was the wiser. My girlfriends and I still joke about that mastery of the high school dating scene. Ha. :)

lisa

My favorite Valentine’s day would have to be any of them as a child. My grandma was the most amazing lady ever. Each Valentine’s day she would give me and my two sisters our own little heart shaped box of chocolates. The chocolates were never good but I remember how special that silly little tradition made me feel. She has been gone for over 10 years and I still can’t help but smile every time I see a heart shaped box.

Amber

My favorite valentines day was my first one with my husband in our tiny starter apartment. I surprised him when he came home from work with a giant tent that filled our living room, made with sheets suspended from the ceiling. We had a camping date with tin foil dinners on the grill and gourmet s’mores.

Ashley Johnson

I have always loved Valentine’s Day. I remember being so excited to take cards in for all of my friends in Kindergarten, making the big heart construction paper envelope that would hold all of the cards I received. I always enjoy giving more than receiving, and still send Valentine’s cards to those I care for dearly to this day.

There’s no doubt in the process of growing up I have had some bad Valentine’s Days, as well as some good ones.

My most memorable, would be in more recent years.
One of the most enjoyable roles in my life is being an Aunt. I have two sisters, one has two boys, the other has two girls.

My nieces and nephews hold such a special place in my heart.

On this particular Valentine’s day it was only my eldest nephew who had be born yet (they are still all under 5 years old). I was disappointed, as my boyfriend was unable to make any time for us to see each other on Valentine’s Day. While Skyping my nephew, he could tell that I wasn’t as cheery as normal. He asked what was wrong. I explained that his Uncle couldn’t see me for Valentine’s Day. He just looked up to me with the hugest, most sincere grin, and said “I will be your Valentine Auntie Ashley. Can you come over right now so we can go on a date?” I cried just a little bit while accepting his invitation. He made me multiple special Valentine cards, we ate dinner at his mini table together, watched a movie and cuddled.

Unconditional love is such an amazing thing.

Happy Valentine’s day everyone!

xxx ooo

Hayley Bidez

Valentines Day! I swear I have always been cursed this time of year since dating started in my life when I was 15. It was always a break up season for me in some way! Now married, feel like the past 3 years are the first time I can breathe & enjoy it! I married such a romantic that it really makes up for all the broken hearts I have encountered over the years and crazy thankful to spend my life with him. He is a singer song writer so I get lots of songs written & sang about me now. My heart just soars for him.

Molly Oberstar

Though the holiday’s intent is to celebrate the couple, my boyfriend of 7 years reserved the day for complete celebration of…me. Molly Day 2013 was a surprise from the start (though he did send an invitation through the mail so I knew to take the day off) and I spent its entirety figuratively blindfolded as he lead me from activity to activity with thorough thoughtfulness: a cinnamon roll from the corner cafe we had been longing to try, a stroll around my favorite lake, brunch at a lovely neighborhood spot, a boutique hotel room downtown, happy hour (including tacos and blood orange margaritas…mmm mmm), a comedy show, a nightcap. I followed him willingly and without question, enjoying every sweet moment; it was the perfect gift. Even still, I am in awe of the effort he demonstrated to craft the wonderful day for me – and more importantly, us. He’s a gem of all gems, that one.

Lauren

I love Catbird, so here it goes: My boyfriend and I were doing the whole long distance thing for a while, so when it came to Valentine’s Day I knew we weren’t going to be spending it together. We indeed did not spend it together. However, I received a bouquet of flowers with a note that said “I promise that next Valentine’s Day, I will deliver these in person. Until then, these will have to do. I love you very much”. By the next Valentine’s Day he had made his way down to Southern California, found a job, and we had moved in. I didn’t think much of his promise until Valentine’s Day rolled around again and he showed up with the exact same bouquet and said “I told you I would deliver these in person this year. I can’t wait for the years to come!” For me, it was the best Valentine’s Day. So often gestures are taken for granted. It’s nice to be reminded of how special it is to have the person you love by your side on February 14th.

jillian

what a great giveaway! i think the worst valentines i ever had was in high school…my then boyfriend took me to the melting pot and we ate so much we both got sick. not. cute. xo jillian

Karen

My most memorable Valentines Day will be this year…my boyfriend and I are going to see Spiritualized at the newly opened Ace Hotel in LA play Ladies and Gentlemen we are Floating in Space in its entirety backed by a symphony orchestra then eating at Animal.

Carolyn

One year during grad school my boyfriend surprised me in between work and school with my favorite dish and some flowers. It was really special because I was feeling bummed and was all alone and had so much work to do and he went out of his way to see me!

Betsy

Several years ago when I was single, I went out with my girlfriends on Valentines Day, and met a guy that I ended up dating for 2 years. That was definitely a winner!

Sarah

I’m thinking back to valentines day TEN years ago, my first one with my now husband. At the time we were college sophomores, and I was a vegetarian. He made me the most awesome meal of Eggplant parmesan and pesto pasta. He is the cook on the family now, but back then I remember being so delighted and surprised my his kitchen skills, and all the trouble he’d gone to for me. We finished off the evening by attending a Ziggy Marley concert with a bunch of our friends. This year we’re going to a pottery wheel throwing class. I haven’t done it since high school and Sean never has. I’m looking forward to sharing an activity that I remember so fondly with my love.

Amanda gurney

My most favorite Valentine’s Day was just last year. My twins were three years old and had just learned to write their names. They gave me a card each signed with love, evelyn and love, addie – followed by little hand drawn love hearts. It was just magical and made me so proud. They bless me.

Michelle

First of all I love Catbird. Your instagram feed always leaves me wanting more jewelry.

My best Valentine’s Day was six years ago, with someone I’d only been seeing a couple of months. We had tickets to see Band of Horses in Brooklyn, and before heading to the show we grabbed a slice of pizza. We are still together, and now married, and every Valentine’s Day we have pizza. Nothing fancy, just our thing.

Laura Gaskill

I will never forget the Valentine’s Day of 1996…I was in high school, and my boyfriend invited me to go on a picnic in a state park near his house. I thought it was so romantic…until he proceeded to drink an entire bottle of tequila by himself and pass out. It began to get dark, and I realized I didn’t know the way out of the park. I kept trying to find the right trail, but didn’t want to stray too far and lose he-who-shall-not-be-named.

At some point in the night, as I was huddled by my good for nothing boyfriend for warmth (I hadn’t even brought a sweater…), he sat up and puked all over me, and passed out again! At first light, after much kicking and prodding on my part, he finally got up and we managed to find our way out of the park.

When I arrived home that morning, there was a police car waiting in front of my house — my mom had been worried sick, and had police out looking for my car all night long. Needless to say, that relationship didn’t last much longer.

Pick me, Catbird! I certainly didn’t get a prize then, but I’d say I deserved one, don’t you?

Sarah

My favorite Valentine’s Day memory was my first date with my now husband…back when we were sophomore’s in high school. We had a nice dinner at Applebee’s planned (this was high school!) and he showed up with flowers. When we went to leave my parent’s house, his car wouldn’t start and it was blocking my mom’s car in the driveway so we had to call his mom to get us – except that her car was a two-seater stick shift. She brought me over to the Applebee’s where I sat and waited while she went back to get my husband and tried to teach him stick on the way to the restaurant! He still hates to talk about it to this day!

Bonnie M .

Ohhhh I love Catbird!

I’d have to say, though there have been some memorable V-days in my life, the best one for me was in 2010. In the fall of the previous year, my six+ year relationship ended. It was the relationship that went through my late 20’s and into my early 30’s – the one that I thought was “it”, that I put so much effort into. And then it ended. I was, of course, crushed. I felt that I had wasted all this time, that I was old, that I should have already been married and had babies. So I spent that fall and winter drinking a lot and dancing with friends and having two week long flings. And honestly, it was A LOT of fun. And it helped me take my mind off the sad feelings I had. Then, the week before Valentines, I was feeling especially mopey. It was the eve of my ex’s 30th birthday, and I had spoken to him just the week before (he had moved across country so luckily we never ran into each other.) I was pretty burnt out on the partying scene and feeling lonely. So that night, I went online and posted on a local message board about being in a bad mood, etc etc etc. Shortly after I posted that, I got a private message from a fella who I didn’t know, though we had many many mutual friends. We wrote back and forth on the message board. We sent emails after emails, and chatted on gchat. That week, he came over to hang out, as A FRIEND. And he stayed for three days. So much for being alone on Valentine’s Day!

And now, almost four Valentine’s Days later, we are engaged and have an 8 month old baby girl. Just goes to show you, everything thing happens for a reason, and everything happens when it’s supposed to. ;)

M. Youngquist

One Valentine’s Day while I was still in college, this guy I’d had a huge crush on finally invited me out. On a real date! Oh my goodness! Then he told me what we were doing: Going to Sweeney Todd in the discount movie theater on Valentine’s Day… epitome of Romance, I know. I went along with it, because those dimples of his were just too gosh darn cute. About half way through the movie, the bolt in the back of my theater seat broke and my seat flew backward. If you’ve seen Sweeney Todd, you know he cuts throats in a barber chair, which then dumps them backward down to the basement. It was after one of those scenes that my chair broke, so understandably I accompanied it with a blood-curdling scream. I was mortified, terrified, and just wanted to go home. However, the guy insisted we go get coffee (coffee, at 11pm on a weeknight!). While drinking coffee, he confided in me that he had been “in love” with my best friend for the last two years. So, instead of getting to go home and fall asleep to blissful dreamland where there was no theater, no broken chair, and no cute boy who “loved” my friend, I had to hang out with him for another two hours and I couldn’t sleep all night because of the about 1,000mg of caffeine I ingested at midnight.

Needless to say, I didn’t go out with him again, and am now blissfully married to the man of my dreams (who is much MUCH cuter).

Alina Poniewaz-Bolton

Ohhh getting the moon and stars necklace from Carbird would definitely be my new favorite Valentine’s Day memory.

A funny one though was the year my boyfriend sent me a dozen beautiful roses at work. I was carrying them home to our loft and happened to run – literally run – into Ryan Gosling in the elevator. Ha ;)

Thanks for the giveaway!

Kat

Our wedding rings are from Catbird! (If we’d done an engagement ring, it would have come from there as well) We love them!

The first Valentine’s Day with my now-husband (then, very new-boyfriend) was lovely and unexpected, especially as I though we’d agreed not to do anything over the top. I knew he was cooking dinner at my place, but only because I had a late work day. I arrived home to a multi-course dinner he had prepared and a table laid out with a pile of presents, including beautiful vintage medicine cabinet that he had fixed up for me as a little book shelf.

Allison

The best Valentine’s Day memory I have was in college – my boyfriend at the time presented me with this beautiful white orchid in lieu of roses, a wonderful and thoughtful gift that at the time which I did not appreciate as much as I should have. I remember being completely embarrassed walking the giant potted flower back to my dorm room, as other girls passed me cradling their bouquets. In retrospect, I wish someone would send me an orchid to my office this year! <3

Lauren Elyse

My husband and I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day (b/c it follows so closely after our anniversary, Christmas, and my birthday – we need a break), so my most memorable Valentine’s Day is actually from when I was single, before he and I met. Two of my best friends were also single, so we decided to have a non-romantic romantic dinner out together. We went to a fancy restaurant, where all of the other diners were couples, and the three of us enjoyed the holiday specials without dates. It was so relaxed and fun (although one of us was unfortunately served spoiled meat and it caused quite a kerfuffle). Honestly, it was just such a good time to go out with friends, blatantly flaunt our singleness, and celebrate it rather than feel bad about being dateless… It’s just a greeting card company holiday anyway, so why should it bother anyone?! It was a great time with very dear friends. :)

jaime

i think my best Vday is to come..last year, my bf and I had just started dating and it was a little awkward. I think this year will be the best- we have dinner plans and i’m sure flowers are in my future :)

Jordan Troublefield

About four months ago I met someone who ruined my life for the ordinary. I met Ryan out of the blue and it wasn’t until I let down my stubborn front and welcomed him in, did I know how special our connection was. To have someone care and put in as much thought about you as you do for them is such a gratifying feeling. I have never experienced what authentic, passionate, deep rooted love is until I met Ryan. The kind of love that is tireless. The type of love that gets me giddy every time his name pops up on my phone. And the type of love that is carefree and playful, with a side of weird. Every girl is a hopeless romantic and longs for that sappy cinema perfect love that’s in all the best films. In light of Valentine ’s Day I was watching PS I love you last night during the Superbowl. I found myself thinking… “Yeah that’s great… but I have it better”. I have found a love that far exceeds the kind that everyone lusts for from the movies. This month will be our first Valentine ’s Day together. I don’t need lavish gifts or extravagant dinners; I simply want the company of my best friend, for a love that’s celebrated everyday instead of just February 14. I smile because what we have is real. I can feel it.

Vickie T

My favorite Valentines Day was the when my husband hid funny, sweet, romantic cards and notes all over the house where I would find them throughout the day, ending with one on my pillow. There were cards from him, cards from our pets, inside jokes… It was a wonderful day filled with reminders of his love for me.

Tawnee Madlen

I make a special trip to Catbird whenever I visit NYC. Love the feeling you get when you walk into the store.

Years ago, I broke up with my boyfriend about a week before Valentine’s day. It was for something small, like not texting me back or being late more times than not, but it seemed like a deal breaker at the time. I sulked around the house thinking that I made a stupid mistake. In rebellion to Valentine’s Day, I went to the movies alone. I decided to watch Friday the 13th, a movie choice that is so uncharacteristic of me. Since it was on Friday, the movie had assigned seating. I walk up to my seat, so distracted and just sad. I took out the treats I snuck in, tried to get all comfy, and well, my recently ex-boyfriend was sitting next to me all alone. We both stayed for the movie. I wanted to tell him that I was being an idiot, but we were in a no-talking zone. Instead I put my hand on the arm rest hoping that he could understand how I felt by my body language. He reached for my hand and held it. We walked out the theater together and haven’t been separated since. He is my husband of 4 years now and every Valentines Day Eve, we watch a scary movie together.

Alison

I can’t say that I’ve had that many memorable Valentine’s Days. I can remember one that I was feeling pretty down for and then I got a text from my mom. It was a photo of her dog who had a large red paper heart around her neck that my mother had written “I love you” on, which perked me right up.

Claire Olini

Oh my best valentine’s day was definitely last year (2013). My boyfriend and I had an easy dinner at home in mind but changed our plan slightly last minute. My dad was admitted to the hospital the day before so my mom was going to be alone for the holiday. We decided to invite her over (we had plenty of food!) and it was great. We shared a bottle of wine and told stories all night. It was so much fun – we saved the leftovers for my dad the next day!

Lak

During Valentine’s Day of my freshman year of college, my new long-distance boyfriend coordinated with my roommate (whom he’d never actually met in person) to plan a surprise visit. I was completely floored when I walked out into the dorm hallway to talk to him on the phone, only to see him standing there in person. (This was before the cell phone era, so it was pretty incredible that they managed to keep it a secret.)

Erica Izenberg

My favorite valentine’s day memory is cooking a special valentines day steak dinner for our beautiful chocolate lab named Georgia.

Ashley

I was in the 6th grade when the class president asked me to the Valentine’s Day dance **swooning big time** I was a pretty studious girl so the class president was my ultimate dream guy. I begged my mom to buy me a dress, get a manicure, you know, the works to look my very best! Then came the day of the big dance. My heart was pounding throughout the day, then that 5th period bell rang, the moment was here! I walked into the gym with a million thoughts running through my head. Do I look pretty enough? Will I step on his feet? Will I be lucky enough to get a kiss?! Then finally our eyes met, but he quickly turned bright red and looked away. Then I saw him walk as fast as he could in the opposite direction and he ended up spending the entire dance talking to a teacher! I was too shy and embarrassed to ever say anything to him and I ended up crying in the bathroom at the end of the dance. The whole thing is so funny to me now, but at the time during those teenaged, “this is going to be the end of everything” years, it was traumatic to say the least. It definitely went down in the history books as a memorable Valentine’s Day!

Ariel W.

I’ve definitely been coveting some of Catbird’s rings. What an exciting giveaway!

My most memorable Valentine’s Day: In late 2008, I found out that my cousin’s Bat Mitzvah was scheduled for that following Valentine’s Day, much to my horror. I had just begun a relationship after being single for quite a while and I was smitten! I still am. I didn’t want to spend our first Valentine’s Day apart and it was too early in the relationship to have him meet my entire extended family. To top it all off, we went to school in NY and this event was all the way down in NC. Either we had to spend the holiday without each other or both pay for plane tickets and miss school. I panicked! I scheduled my GMAT exam for Valentine’s Day just to not have a selfish excuse for not going. So, my most memorable Valentine’s Day involved me waking up really early to take a 3 hour standardized test. We went out to dinner that night and he said he was going to dress up. He arrived in corduroy pants with a corduroy button-down shirt. Hilarious! I didn’t even know that corduroy button-down shirts existed before that night.

Annie Bradley

My most memorable Valentine’s day was 4 years ago in 2010. I didn’t get flowers or chocolate or jewelry. No one surprised me with an elaborate, romantic evening. I was on a plane, finally flying home after being delayed in Reno, Nevada due to bad weather followed mechanical problems followed by more bad weather. But I was happy, completely happy and at peace. Eleven days earlier, I had married my husband overlooking Lake Tahoe. It was a 20 minute ceremony with 9 guests. Under any other circumstances, we would have been miserable to be delayed multiple times to get home and have to spend Valentine’s Day on a packed plane with other miserable passengers. But we didn’t care. We were together. We were newlyweds. And we shared airline pretzels like they were chocolate covered cherries.

Katie

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was my first one with my boyfriend, 4 years ago. We had just started dating less than a month before, so I really was not expecting anything! I let him know this too, so there were no awkward moments. But the morning of Valentine’s Day, he snuck into the kitchen early and told me to sit back and relax. He was in the kitchen for a while, but when he finally emerged, he had baked heart-shaped scones for breakfast! And they were really good! I must note, he is not a very domesticated guy, so this really was very special!

Danielle dubay-betters

My boyfriend, Chris, and I don’t like Valentines Day all that much. Honestly, we usually stay in, make burritos, and watch a sci-fi movie. On year in college though, as we prepared to do mostly nothing valentines evening, there was a terrible storm. We were living in apartments near campus, surrounded by other couples who had intended on romantic evenings on the town. But the storm brought a little snow as a lot of freezing rain, making driving to town hazardous and walking deeply unpleasant, to say the least. So, much to the disappointment if the friends and total strangers living around us, all plans were cancelled. Well, I can’t stand to see someone disappointed, I am prone to mild fits of madness, and my mama brought me up learning how to cook for an army, so what could I do but cook for all these people? We made paper hearts and strung them up on the walls as ceiling, put up twinkle lights, cleared off all our tables (even the nightstands) and tossed pillows down as seats. We braved the weather just enough to grab some drinks and snacks from the campus market, then got to work inviting all the friends and strangers over for heart shaped pizzas, baked from scratch. It was the funniest sight, watching word spread around the building and hearing timid knocks on the door as people showed up to see if it was really true, if a couple had really turned their apartment into a pop up restaurant. We tossed on a few Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armtrong albums for added romance, and a few brave, sweet couples even got up to dance amoung the pillows and makeshift dinner tables.

When the last people finally trickled out late that night, Chris and I looked around at the mess we had created in our living room and kitchen, laughed, plopped ourselves down in the middle of the pillow pile, and turned on a sci-fi movie.

Zoe

My most memorable Valentine’s Day happened last year but it has nothing to do with romance … and everything to do with finding my long lost brother after 20 years of seperation!

Elizabeth B

oh Catbird. OH! love that shop. So many things I want.
Every valentine’s day I’ve had with my husband has been awesome. We are super low key and usually end of cooking a nice dinner in and relaxing by watching a movie and giving each other a little something special but not elaborate. It’s our favorite way to spend an evening together. And then a few days after we like to go somewhere nice to eat! (we avoid the craziness and pre-fix menu). Clearly food is a shared love for us, it’s our favorite way to celebrate any occassion, any. One of our favorite spots is Andrea Reusing’s place Lantern in Chapel Hill. Everything you eat at this place is gold. And leaves you excited to come back for more.

Amanda C.

Last year my husband made us a romantic dinner, I came home to fresh cut roses and the dog dressed up as our maître d’ !!

Tawnee

Years ago I broke up with my boyfriend about a week before Valentine’s day. It was for something small, like not texting me back or being late more times than not but it seemed like a deal breaker at the time. I sulked around the house thinking that I made a stupid mistake. In rebellion to Valentine’s Day, I went to the movies alone. I decided to watch Friday the 13th, a movie choice that is so uncharacteristic of me. Since it was on Friday, the movie had assigned seating. I walk up to my seat, so distracted and just sad. I take out the treats I snuck in, try to get all comfy and well, my recently ex-boyfriend is sitting next to me all alone. We both stayed for the movie. I wanted to tell him that I was being an idiot, but we were in a no-talking zone. Instead I put my hand on the arm rest hoping that he could understand how I felt by my body language. He reached for my hand and held it. We walked out the theater together and haven’t been separated since. He is my husband of 4 years now and every Valentines Day Eve, we watch a scary movie together.

CindyJen

its so nice when my bf sends a simple gift of flowers even when hes half way across the world and we cant be together.

Tawnee

Shiz. I posted mine twice because I didn’t see it come up for a couple minutes. Sorry!

Elizabeth B

oh Catbird. OH! love that shop. So many things to want.
Every valentine’s day I’ve had with my husband has been awesome. We are super low key and usually end of cooking a nice dinner in and relaxing by watching a movie and giving each other a little something special but not elaborate. It’s our favorite way to spend an evening together. And then a few days after we like to go somewhere nice to eat! (we avoid the craziness and pre-fix menu!). Clearly food is a shared love for us, it’s our favorite way to celebrate any occassion, any. One of our favorite spots is Andrea Reusing’s place Lantern in Chapel Hill. Everything you eat at this place is gold. And leaves you excited to come back for more.

jaclyn

I think on the 2nd or 3rd Valentine’s day that my husband and I were still just dating, we went to our favorite restaurant for a Valentine’s dinner. At one point, the waiter brought over an embarrassingly huge bouquet of flowers and handed it to me. No one else had flowers given to them but we *were* regulars so I thought maybe they just really liked us.
I was sort of shocked and just looked at my boyfriend in disbelief of the crazy bouquet and said, “Look honey…….they got us flowers……aren’t they…..nice?”
Then my poor husband had to figure out how to tell me that the flowers were from HIM not the restaurant, all the while digesting the fact that he had clearly just mortified me in public. Oops on all accounts! LOL

Shelley

To put it nicely, I was a little unfortunate looking in high school. My sweet mom, who’s birthday quite appropriately landed on Valentine’s Day, did her best to show me I was loved, knowing that I had no romantic prospects in sight. I can remember her saying “you don’t need to have a lover on Valentine’s Day to be loved.” She meant it with all of her heart and I believed it and I still do. As a tradition, she gave me and my brother a book and small treat the morning of… I intend to do the same for son. xoxo

Kristin

I think my most memorable Valentine’s Day is..

My boyfriend (now fiancee) was under the impression that we were not exchanging gifts. To his surprise, I got him a gift and he got me nothing. So, that night he went out while I was sleeping and when I awoke there were tons of Valentine’s day gifts! All the cheesy, but best kinds- like heart shaped pillows and mylar balloons! It was pretty memorable.

Abby

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was the first one where I was single as an adult. I have a tendency to go from long term relationship to long term relationship, so when my ex and I broke up, I decided to spend a good while alone, figuring out how to be me without someone. I invited a group of my lady friends out for dinner and drinks and we walked around downtown Boston for most of the night, stumbling upon things we had never seen in the city before, including the coolest playground right on the Charles. It was the best night I could have asked for.

Alisa

My best Valentine’s day memory was when I was a kid and my Mom was working for a month in France – she sent me my first flower delivery ever. I remember the vase was a white ceramic heart with a red center and gold trim. I was beyond excited by the delivery and felt so special. Even though I’m in my thirties now and might not have a ‘special someone in my life’ but my Mom has always made me feel loved and special. I’m so grateful to have her in my life (I’m lucky my Dad is pretty great too ;) )

Kathleen

I would love to get our wedding rings from Catbird! My most memorable valentines day is ridiculous – I think I was in 6th grade and had a crush on the same boy for years. Another girl in my class also had a thing for him and he seemed to be somewhat interested in both of us. So both us girls bought him valentines gifts like fools. The funniest thing is he bought me a large box of chocolates with a small bear and her a large bear with a small box of chocolates! We shared a valentine and the kid clearly knew how to keep us both just happy enough to keep our interest!

Katie

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was supposed to be an anti-Valentine’s Day. My friend and I (who were both single) went to see “He’s Just Not Than Into You” in protest of couples everywhere. While grabbing dinner afterwards, she suggested we go to a party at her friend’s place. It was being thrown by a bunch of guys that didn’t even know it was Valentine’s Day, and were throwing the party because they’d all just gotten over having the flu. I agreed, since it clearly wouldn’t be romantic because they had no idea about the date. I ended up spending the rest of that night hanging out and dancing with a guy I had previously only considered a friend… and we’ve been together almost 5 years now :)

Holli

Years ago my [future, at the time,] husband was living out in the middle of the ocean, in the dry tortugas, repairing the brick walls of fort jefferson. He had no phone or computer, so we would go 3 weeks apart and have 1 week together… this went on for 2 years. On valentines day I hitched a ride on a boat, about 3 hours each way, just to have a couple hours walking with him in circles on the moat wall before I had to turn around and boat back home. It was simple but so memorable, and our last valentines day before we were married.

Emily P

My favorite Valentine’s memory was when my husband and I realized we could either go out to dinner by ourselves or invite a group of our best friends over for a dinner party for about the same cost. We love cooking, baking, and entertaining, and the night was filled with so much laughter as we ate, drank, and then roped our friends into helping us wash dishes well past midnight. So much fun, and so much better to share the holiday with our well-loved friends.

Liz

My valentine’s days have generally been forgettable, aside from the one when I was 14 and my “boyfriend” (of a whopping 3 weeks) gave me a box of conversation hearts with a note telling me I was smarter than my math teacher thought I was. Even though I don’t remember wha I did last year besides hanging indoors and smooching, I’d say last year was my most memorable because I was finally with someone who believed in me and didn’t need to buy me garbage to prove it. xo :)

Meghan

My best was just last year–my husband and I had settled into unexciting but wonderful married life, and we stayed home to enjoy lobster tails, duck fat-roasted potatoes, a lovely bottle of wine, and each other’s company. Here’s hoping this year tops it!

Angela Z.

My now-husband and I were living in a remote northern community where grocery store options are very limited. On Valentine’s Day he managed to to some culinary wizardry and made lasagna and a chocolate cake with raspberry topping. I love that guy :)

dana gault

Our first child was born on February 12th and as I dressed her–all in white— two days later for the drive home, I placed a pin-back button bearing the words “I’m Yours” to her blanket and handed her to my husband. BEST Valentine’s Day ever!

Kara

My best valentines, even though it hasn’t happened yet: my husband surprised me with a fun weekend trip to San Diego this year! It is our first valentines day as newlyweds:) we plan on going to a museum, hiking around la jolla, having valentines day dinner at a restaraunt right by the ocean, and visiting an old friend in culver city. We live in the Midwest and he planned a getaway trip from the cold that were currently experiencing as well as a romantic first valentines day together:) love my hubs!

My worst valentines: I went to an all-girls high school and had a major crush on this guy from the all-guys high school. (Don’t all good stories start off this way?) :) He asked me to their “sweetheart” dance and I was beyond excited! Then about a week later he un-asked me and ended up going with another girl from my school. I stayed home with my parents while every single friend of mine went to valentines day dances (even girlfriends of mine who went to different schools). I will say that it wasn’t too terrible because I love my parents and they were great to me and my broken heart:) still the worst valentines though.

Savannah

Valentine’s Day, first date with co-worker who also worked the 3-11 shift, so we decided on brunch. He told me he wanted to make brunch for me. I arrive and no brunch has been made, he opens the fridge to discover that he bacon has gone rancid, but that temporary defeat is soon redeemed by his ability to make scrambled eggs. He makes them first, and then decides to make the sweet rice, which will take another 20 minutes. While the eggs helplessly grow cold, he tells me that just that morning he had disposed of his ex-girlfriends cat in anticipation of my arrival. The no-kill shelter required a $20.00 fee, so naturally he just dropped the cat into a nearby park. He continues to explain that this was his decision after multiple attempts to have the ex-girlfriend come pick up the cat. He continues to stir the rice, tell his story, and ignore what have become a significant amount of text messages on his phone. The white rice that would join the cold eggs was almost done, so he poured what I estimate was two cups of white refined sugar into the pot, I have to estimate, because he was pouring straight from the bag. I was starving, and nauseated at the same time. We sit down on his couch, plates of his labor sitting in our laps and as I stare at what I am about to eat with despair, a loud, angry knock comes at his apartment door. He looks honestly shocked and immediately gives his phone the attention it should have had previously in an attempt to discover who is continuing to bang on his door. I didn’t have to guess, I knew it was a rage-filled ex-girlfriend who had just come to understand that her cat had been dropped off at a local park to die. I also knew, that there was no piece of furniture large enough for me to dive under in the next 30 seconds as he approached the door to open it. A tall beautiful woman burst through the door and I knew my hair was about to be snatched. She stopped like a statue when she saw me, and I imagine I looked like every google image of a lemur you’ve ever seen. She broke her silence and announced that she was my date’s aunt, who was so sure that her nephew didn’t have a date that she had decided to drop in and visit with him. After several minutes of her sharing embarrassing childhood stories, the aunt and I left the apt. together, new friends, both feeling so glad we had visited the man we were sure did not have a date on Valentine’s Day.

Ashley

My favorite Valentine’s memory was created by my Mother. Throughout my childhood, she would set up a valentine’s day scavenger hunt throughout our home. She provided us with clues like, “the most (heart) warming place in the house”. Which meant the next clue and a little gift would be near the wood burning stove. I look forward to passing this along someday. Also, my adopted best friend’s birthday, Zavien, my pit bull mastiff mix, was declared to be on February 14th <3

Jane L

The first Valentine’s Day that my (now) husband and I spent together entailed me cooking macaroni and cheese for him in my college dorm room junior year. He always says that that tray of macaroni and cheese sealed the deal for him :) 12 years later it still makes him swoon.

Emma Andersson

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was with my roommate. I’d just moved in and he asked if I wanted to grab some food (since we all have to eat, right?). He took me to a tiny pizza place in the West Village. After dinner we had drinks at a cocktail bar nearby where a guy was taking Polaroid pictures. We were sitting next to each other smiling when he took ours – looking as if we already knew each other, although we met just two days earlier. My roommate put the picture on our fridge when we got home. A couple of months later, we fell in love. Two years later, the picture is still hanging on our fridge.

Kimberly M

My favorite Valentine’s Day will be in 2015, when I am on my first Valentine’s date with my new husband (we are getting married this May), & I look down at the beautiful wedding band that I was able to afford with help from the Catbird/Design Sponge giveaway!

Katie Schnittjer

My favorite valentines day was last year. I was hoping for flowers sent to my work or maybe a surprise lunch date but alas none of that happened. I was bummed because I was starting to think my husband just forgot what day it was. But boy was I wrong. When I came home I went upstairs to change and realized what he had been doing all day…he had built me a headboard out of reclaimed flooring. It has a heart in the center made up of a million little triangles and is surrounded by a herringbone/chevron pattern. It is now one of my most prized possessions and something I look forward to passing down to our future family someday. Best. Gift. Ever.

Kim

I’m not big on following traditional holidays that feel a little forced so we generally just try to make it a point to spend time together and say nice things to each other. Knowing that, my boyfriend decided one year to send a huge bouquet of roses to my office- mostly to embarrass me. Because it wasn’t expected or even encouraged I have to say that traditional gesture became really exciting and sweet.

Makenzie

On my best valentine’s day, my then boyfriend and I jumped on trampolines all afternoon. He let me pick whatever I wanted to do so we went to one of those “jump zone” kid places, a whole warehouse filled with wall-to-wall trampolines. The kids were looking at us like we were crazy. Afterwards, we went straight to dinner at a nice restaurant for pasta and champagne!

Mia

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was both my best and my worst. I was in college and my single girlfriends and I made plans to have dinner together but then they all stood me up! I felt awful and depressed but then I wound up renting All About Eve and having a great time all by myself…I even scored a box of chocolates when a random guy showed up in my room while trying to surprise his girlfriend who lived above me and left the box behind! So the night was salvaged and I was just fine on my own! I wrote about the whole experience years later, including the real reason my friends ditched me! http://winksonline.blogspot.com/2012/02/valentines-day-story.html

Sarah

I have a friend who HATES Valentine’s Day so much that she only refers to it as VD. Every VD, even if one of us is dating someone, we will go to a restaurant that does not serve food on actual plates (styrofoam, paper, or plastic only) and eat at least one fried item (a HUGE departure from our usual healthy eating) and then go to her house and watch an extra violent slasher movie. It’s soooo much fun and a great way to bond with my awesome friends! It would be awesome to get to add jewelry trolling on Catbird for friendship bracelets to the list of VD activities! Thanks!

Jess

Last year, my then-girlfriend/now-fiancee and I gave each other the exact same hand-painted card from this tiny shop in Brooklyn. Then we exchanged the gifts we weren’t supposed to be getting each other: I got her skinny sweatpants with pockets and she got me the NYT’s 36 Hours in the US (we do the weekend trip thing a lot). Then we ordered prosecco and thai food. It was chill and sweet and quiet and perfect.

We’re planning on getting our wedding bands from catbird and can’t wait to pick them out!

Mallory Muddiman

My husband and I started dating in 2008. For our very first Valentine’s day as a couple he hand made a little book with “the story of how a boy met a girl” for me with blank pages at the end to keep filling in. This year will be our 6th Valentine’s Day together, and our first one married. The story is continuing beautifully.

Valerie H

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was 2/14/2000. I arrived home to my then boyfriend acting kinda odd. I began to talk down the hall to our bedroom and found pink (my fav color) rose petals and tea lights lining the hallway. As I turned the corner on the bed Will you Marry Me? Was spelled out in tealights and rose petals. Other candles adorned the room. IT was absolutely beautiful and breathtaking. My husband was knelt down on 1 knee and our dog and cat had little bowties with signs that read “Mommy will you marry Daddy?” The next day I went to dr to also confirm we were pregnant with our first son, so I will never forgot this day!!

stacy warner

my favorite valentines day was while I was in college and all of my friends and I decided to skip work that day and go to the park instead. We spent hours walking around, enjoying the rare day off from work/school and even had an impromptu picnic.

SANDRA

My most memorable Valentines Day was the first one after having my daughter (now 2 1/2). My husband and I have been together for 14 years and have had many great Valentines Day celebrations but this one was absolutely the most special. We made dinner and sat and stared at our 7 month old baby girl and fell in love all over again.

Abbey

In college, I spent Galentines Day with two of my sisters getting hammered at a Mongolian BBQ restaurant. None of us were attached and we had a blast celebrating our friendship and sisterhood over noodles and fancy drinks. Not being a traditionally romantic spot, we had the place to ourselves and ended up singing kareoke with our server and bartender. Low pressure, great memories, much love!

Moly

My favourite Valentine’s day memory started when I gave my family and my boyfriend handmade cards shaped like elephants (I worked at a zoo) a couple of years ago. My dad loved his so much that he put it on his car dashboard. When he passed away late last year I took it from his car as a memento. It’s bleached white and I can only see a shadow of some of the words I wrote on it and I’ll cherish it forever.

Angie

my husband and i always do a low-key valentine’s, i’m a chef so i like to make a fancy dinner and a homemade treat for him since hes a diabetic and can’t have the really indulgent stuff. we always do homemade valentines and the year before last was my favorite: they were rereleasing my favorite disney movie lady and the tramp on DVD so he bought that along with made me a card with the dogs from the movie with our faces photoshopped into them. it was amazing and hilarious and so perfect.

Renee C

My favorite valentines day was when my boyfriend gave me the gift of skiing! Being from Hong Kong I had never done any snow sports so my bf thought an experience/skill gift would be fun and everlasting. It was really special and we actually just spent last weekend skiing in Vermont :)

Laura R

My most memorable Valentines day was the first I had with my first boyfriend who is now my husband! We were at Uni and he had gone away which I wasn’t that happy about as I’d always been alone on V day…. But he had hidden a little hand stitched (by him!) photo album of our last few months together under my mattress and on the 14th of Feb, he text me to tell me :o)

Georgeanne M.

I go engaged on valentine’s day, but that isn’t my most memorable (even though it was very important). I started dating my husband when we were 16 and we ended up going to college together. Our freshmen year we were poor college kids. Not much money to go out. We went to the independent movie store behind the dorms and rented old favorite movies from the dollar rack, ordered pizza (heart shaped pizza promotion for the win) and stayed up all night watching movies and playing cards. It’s memorable because I knew we could be happy together even with very little effort. 7 years later we got engaged and ate a much fancier meal, on a more expensive date. We still enjoy pizza and card nights.

Arielle F.

My favorite valentine’s day was spent a few years ago with a dear friend of mine. We swapped gifts and I got him a fish, he painted me a picture :) We had so much fun together… it was a super snow v-day and we had a long, lazy dinner – eating great food, chatting, laughing, and indulging! Definitely a celebration of love, indeed!

BTW I LOVE CATBIRD! It’s my happy-place… a spot I visit just about every weekend that I don’t have to work, but also a location I rarely have the pleasure of spending any kind of dough in! This would be a crazy-awesssssome treat!!!!

Erin

My most memorable Valentine’s day was the first one spent with my husband, when we had only been dating a few weeks. I didn’t want to pressure him to go on a big romantic date, so I took him to a grungy strip club and we had a great time. I think that sealed the deal.

Nikki Kelly

I love Catbird!!
Never really been a fan of Valentine’s Day… So much so that I tell husband he should not get me anything(and really mean it!) My most memorable Valentine’s was 2 years ago when our daughter was only 3 months old. He gifted two identical mugs with a picture of our daughter on it. The picture is one of the goofiest & awkward newborn pictures that exists of our daughter. She honestly looks like a wrinkled little old man. He knew I would laugh every time I use it. Having my love give me such a thoughtful present with our most cherished treasure printed on it made me actually like Valentine’s Day!

Kayoung Lee

Out of all days, my boyfriend’s twin brother had come to NYC to visit someone and wanted to grab dinner with us on Valentine’s Day in 2012. I was really glad that my boyfriend and I didn’t make any fancy reservations or plans because that would have made things complicated. His brother needed to take the bus back to DC on the west side, so we decided to stop by Shorty’s in Hells Kitchen for dinner. If there was anything that was going to make us all happy, it was going to be a cheesesteak. We had a blast eating their famed Yuengling Rings and cheesesteaks watching the Knicks game on TV. We had so much fun that my boyfriend and I decided to make Shorty’s an annual Valentine’s Day tradition. Although we moved locations to the one on Madison, this year will be our third time at Shorty’s. What’s better than getting cheesesteaks at a place with no other couples, cheesy roses (pun-intended), and expensive items on a menu?

Katie

Valentine’s Day my senior year in high school was particularly memorable – I was hit in the eye with a softball during softball practice and had to go to the ER for stitches and such. Always think of that incident on Valentine’s Day!

Tracey

When I was 9 years old, I found a very old stray dog in our neighborhood on Valentines Day. I coaxed her all the way to my house and then told my mom she “followed” me home. She stunk to high heaven, but it was freezing outside, so my parents agreed to take her in for the night. One night turned into two, then a week, then a month, and eventually she just became a member of our family. We hung fliers all over the neighborhood but nobody ever claimed her (we could tell she had been on her own for quite some time). No matter how many baths we gave her, we could never fully get the stink out of her, but we loved her so much. To this day, she’s the best Valentine’s Day gift I’ve ever received. I’ll always remember Ginger as my original Valentine.

Kristin F.

My “most memorable” valentine’s day was in 2004 when I called off my engagement to my college sweetheart/fiance. I was actually on my way to a wedding dress fitting and we got in (another) fight on the way. I’m so thankful for that V-day decision, because it allowed me to find my true soul mate and marry him in 2010. We’ve since enjoyed many low key valentine’s days just the two of us. This year we will not be alone. We will be spending V-day with our new baby boy!

nora

I loved last year’s Valentine’s Day. My husband and I usually spend the weekend at the family home on Long Beach, NY, but last year it was out of the question, as the home had been destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. I knew he was really upset by it, so on the night of the 14th I cooked a bourbon-themed dinner (he LOVES bourbon), including corn bread encrusted bourbon bbq chicken and bourbon balls (recipe found right here on D*S!). Little did I know he was planning a surprise also. The great night was followed by a surprise weekend getaway in Greenport, NY, where we spent the weekend eating seafood and hanging out in bars. As the LB house is still in limbo and we had such a swell time last year, we’ll heading back the North Fork in a couple of weeks (minus the bars portion – we have a little one on the way!).

Magen

my favorite valentine’s day will be my upcoming one. I am in a new relationship and head over heels. I am excited to surprise him with Broadway tickets, he has never been. I am also intrigued to see what he has in store for me. He is a great planner and attentive to detail. I am stocked !

Christine Cornell

My first and only Valentine’s Day was a decade ago, when I was in High School. My adorable-sweetie had really gone leaps and bounds to show me a very text book Valentine’s celebration. It was complete with a cubic zirconia pendant, a next to withering bouquet of red roses, and him very heroically borrowing his fathers pre-owned Lexus to drive me to a gorgeous and intimate Italian Restaurant (which was an hour away from our respective neighborhoods). I cannot possibly describe to you how excited and romantic I felt that February Fourteenth. It should be mentioned now that my High School Sweetheart had a problem with jealousy, so when we showed up to the restaurant and recognized a boy from our school Back Waiting on the tables (bread, olive oil, tap water, sparkling water, still water…) my fella could not control his imagination and called me a slut at the dinner table. Apparently I was spending time with the Back Waiter on the side and was unfit to remain his girlfriend. I burst into tears over my pappardelle, and then remembered we had an hours drive home…

I have not received any jewelry since.

Xin

I started dating my husband 8 years ago, in high school. There was a huge blizzard on our first Valentine’s Day together and school was cancelled. Ever the sweet-talker, he convinced me to beg my mom to drive me across town through the snow to his house for what I hoped was an incredible Valentine’s surprise — the cliche kind 17-year-old girls “in love” desperately want, with flowers and chocolates and other artifacts of Hallmark romance.

However, it turned out that he just wanted me to go snow-shoveling with him. He reasoned that, as a charming little girl, I would have better luck harassing the neighbors and he wanted me to wade through snowdrifts to knock on doors and ask if they need shoveling while he waited at the foot of their driveways, which I did. And that was our Valentine’s Day.

Years later, in his vows, he thanked me for sharing “Valentine’s business ventures” with him. He’s planned many wonderful and romantic dates since, but that first Valentine’s Day lives on as a classic and I’ve never had to shovel snow again.

Lindsay

I’ve never had a great/memorable Valentine’s Day as an adult, but I remember having some awesome ones as a child. At my elementary school, making a stellar Valentine’s box for the class party was absolutely crucial for future success and popularity. One year, my mom spent probably a week’s worth of hours helping me make a very elaborate ‘frog on a lilypad’ box. I’m sure I hardly appreciated it at the time, but looking back it just makes me think about what a good mom she’s always been and how much she cares about me.

Nicole N.

My best Valentine’s Day will happen in 9 years, when my true love retires from the United States Marine Corp . He is currently stationed in US borders (but hours away from home) with deployment always lurking around the corner. I wait. Every day I pray for his safety and our family’s happiness of having him home all the time. Every year we celebrate Valentine’s Day with a card,a gift, and if possible, a date. Every day we celebrate with a lot of “I love you”s via phone, text, Skype, and my personal favorite, hand-written notes to each other. Nothing compares to that of actually being held tightly in his arms and feeling the eternity of us. We have our fair share of battles and obstacles but our love is worth it. No matter how many mountains are between us (we both have a passion for mountains and use them metaphorically to let each other know how close we are to being physically together) or the distance that is between us, we are always One with each other. We know what is best for our future and keep our Faith strong to see us through the everyday things, keeping the small things in life of greatest importance. For now though, I wait. He will be able to retire in 9 years while still young enough to take me dancing for Valentine’s Day. “K” and I highly value each other every day, more so than others or like they do on just that one day of the year. We understand each other. We love one another and both red-faced admit that we are still “in love with one another”. As I wait, every day is the best Valentine’s Day for me, with the best Valentine’s Day being the day that we can hold each other in arms every day on that same mountaintop.

Christie C.

This year will be my favorite Valentine’s Day, as it’s my son’s first and it will give me an excuse to give him even more hugs and kisses!

Vanessa

Love! Thanks so much. A few years ago I was feeling weirdly festive and wore pink pants and a red sweater on Valentine’s Day. Pretty positive I made my boyfriend wear something pink as well. Nothing spectacular about the day, but it was sunny and we were having so much fun. We were furniture shopping (so romantic) and the shop gave us an ad hoc Valentine’s Day discount on a(n awesome repainted) dresser for our enthusiasm. Not our usual modus operandi. This memory sticks out for me; I use the dresser every day and always think about that day!

Kristin

Most memorable Valentines day was in 2008. The one that made every Valentines day since a gloriously happy day in comparison. I went into the day bringing candy and a little bracelet to my 2 single gal-pals at work (because every girl deserves candy and jewelry!) I had limited expectations due to having NOT heard from the guy I was dating re: plans. After work, I finally got a text that he wanted to have dinner with me. Oh joy! Well kittens, this dinner was far beyond memorable, and not because of the half eaten yet delicious Salmon I left on my plate; about 1 minute before the entry arrived, I was dumped. Unceremoniously and interrupted by the waitress gently placing down the Salmon in front of me. Only explanation being that I ‘was not the one.” Moments after this dude hiroshima-ed my V-day, I was crying poet tears in the bathroom, resolving that this was quite possibly the worst day of my life. Turns out, in the hard light of hindsight, this was actually THE BEST day of my life, and this classless mope had done me the biggest favor of all time. To this day I wish I had had the foresight to invest less than the month we had dated on him and to finish that damn Salmon, happy as ever. Moral of the story: Always buy yourself the candy and jewelry you deserve.

erin davis smithson

My husband and I had just started dating a couple weeks before, so we were trying to keep Valentine’s Day light hearted and not serious (not to mention he was also dating a couple other girls) So we went dutch to see Factory Girl (which if you have seen is NOT a romantic movie), beautiful none the less but it started a dialogue of art and music and photography that we both love. He stopped dating the other girls a few weeks later and we have been together since! Every time I see Edie Sedgwick or anything mod related now, I think of him. we should totally do a viewing of that movie this year for V-Day.

Laura

My favorite pieces of jewelry are from Catbird. Two Valentines ago I received a Herkimer diamond ring from Catbird while enjoying mussels at Sweetwater.

Emily

My most memorable valentine’s day was in college, 2004. My on again/off again boyfriend took me out for pizza, then said he had to split to go see a “friend” sing in a concert. Needless to say, he was going to see another girl he was interested in and I spent the rest of the night alternating between being angry and bawling in my friend’s dorm room sitting on her giant Elvis portrait rug. Oh college. Luckily (and perhaps unsurprisingly) I’ve had much better Valentine’s Days ever since things ended with that guy.

KM

Well, there are some doozies above and probably more to come, but here’s my story. I was studying abroad in Glasgow my junior year of college and miserably lonely. The days were so short, it was freezing (even compared to Minnesota where I went to college), and my flatmates were all drunk sluts. Seriously, one was a stripper, and leaving the flat without stepping over puke was rare. Valentine’s day came and went with lots of flowers coming to the door for the other girls, but none for me. It’s hard not to feel bad each time the buzzer rings, you rush down, see gorgeous flowers, and have the delivery guy ask for Fiona (the stripper).

The next morning the buzzer rang and I went down stairs without any expectation. There were flowers, for me! Turns out they’d gotten stuck at the shop the day before. I didn’t care that it was a bundle of filler (wax flowers, ferns, baby’s breath), they were for me and made me feel beautiful.

Mint

The best valentines day memory is from this year. My boyfriend has had a really tough time with his job. He’s been so grateful for me supporting him emotionally, cooking thai food for him, and sending him surprise pizzas with sweet notes to him. He wants so much to send me a grand gesture this Valentines, with flowers and balloons and chocolates, but he’s been saving so hard to just survive. I want him to save for himself. So he tells me every time i see how much he loves me, and how much I make his life better by cheering him on at all times. Sometimes it’s the sweet little things that count. :)

But i also love CATBIRD!!! Stacking rings and cute little earrings are absolutely adorable here! I love the jewelry because it’s very unique! I’d choose catbird over tiffany’s ANY DAY!

Kaija K

I have never had very romantic Valentines Day’s, but a couple of years ago after a recent breakup, I decided that I would treat myself to the best Valentines Day ever since no one else had! I was house/dog sitting for a friend and spend the day with two giant dogs, made myself decadent meals and dessert, danced around the house with the dogs to loud music, played in the snow (those dogs LOVE the snow), had a candle lit bath and cuddled up to a movie. It was then that I found we truly are responsible for our own happiness.
…So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul,
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers….”
I have since met the love of my life and we are getting married next summer! (But I will always remember that day I found such self empowerment and happiness within)

megan

I ran around all day picking up fancy filet mignon and seafood and champagne and ice cream. I got home started making the clams, we drank all of the champagne, sat down on the couch to watch Bullitt and fell asleep, didn’t even make it to the main dish. Guess that’s what happens when Valentine’s day falls on a weekday. Not the most momentous Valentine’s Day, but it was relaxed and with the one I love. No frills, just love.

Sara

My favorite valentine’s day was when I was a child and I remember making cards for soldiers to send over seas. We had all the coolest stickers and scissors and it felt good to be spreading love to people I didn’t even know and to think that it may be the only sweet valentine they would receive. I totally forgot about it until now and this year I will do the same thing! Giving always feels better than receiving (:

Kathryn

My most memorable Valentine’s day was 2012 – my (now) husband and I had our first date on Feb 15 the year before – so we celebrated our first anniversary and V-day by going back to the restaurant (Revel in Seattle) that started it all. A month and a half later our daughter was born.

Sabrina // sweetfrenchtoast

My most memorable Valentine’s Day involved a fondue feast at home with my hubby. We had a delicious cheese course, followed by meats and veggies in a white wine broth, and dessert was a dark chocolate fondue with various fruits and homemade pound cake. It was amazing! We never go out on Valentine’s Day and instead try to make a special evening at home.

Lydia

I don’t have any really memorable Valentine’s Day memories yet, but heading to warm and sunny PR with a guy and friends (from very snowy NYC) in a couple of weeks – hoping this is a great one!!

Amanda

Catbird! That would be a swell Valentine’s treat. My favorite Valentine memory is the Snoopy cards my father gave me every year, with a packet of sweetheart candies. When he died, I found a box of the cards in his dresser– I guess he was worried he would run out, and had kept a secret stash.

Sarah S.

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was in 2009. Two weeks prior, my now-husband, Charles, and I had just moved in together and adopted a 3-month-old puppy, Gretel. We were so exhausted from her lack of sleep and potty training that we couldn’t bear to go out. Charles made a simple dinner, I made chocolate mini-souffles and we played with Gretel until we were all ready for an early bedtime. But Charles and I both knew that it was a special way to celebrate love with our darling new girl.

Jennifer

a favorite memory was last valentine’s day – in which we simply spent the evening at home — with cooking, laughing and libations. there is nothing quite like a gold soul-ed husband, a belly full of food, a soft couch, and two warm and furry doggies to culminate a gorgeous night…in!

nic

My most memorable Valentine’s Days have been the past 10 spent with my husband. he always brings me white flowers – which I adore – and we avoid over priced restaurants to cook dinner at home and dance in the kitchen. For the last 7 years, the day also includes a run together. We leave our ipods behind and talk about the last year’s running accomplishments, how running has changed our lives and how proud we are that we run together. It’s a happy winter ritual full of our brand of romance!

Kerry

When I first started dating my husband, I mentioned offhand that when I was a little girl I remember driving by this pizza place with a huge mural on the side of the building. The mural advertised heart shaped pizzas, and every time my family drove by I thought to myself, “When I get old enough to order myself a pizza, I’m gonna get me one of those heart shaped pizzas!” The place closed down, but the mural remained for a long time. I never got the chance to order one before they closed! I told him the story because the pizza place was called Hogan’s Heroes, and his last name happened to be Hogan. Months later, we had just moved in to our first apartment together, and we had next to nothing. We could barely afford spaghetti! We had agreed not to get each other anything, and I made him a card with some paper and crayons. Imagine my surprise when he came home with a heart shaped pizza for me! He had remembered my story and said, “I wanted to make that wish come true!” It was, hands down, the absolute best Valentine’s Day present I have ever received. And now, almost nine years later, we’re married! We can definitely afford spaghetti now and our apartment is quite a bit nicer, but he’s still as sweet as ever. I think I’ll pick up a heart shaped pizza again this year.

patricia

A few years ago I had a big studio and decided to throw a valentine’s making party. everyone showed up with food, dogs and kids in tow.
some people stayed an hour, made one or two cards and left. others stayed all day, printing, sewing, gluing, swapping and sharing materials.
people came with photos and stories. who they were making the cards for: grammas and neighbors, lovers and friends.
It was a day filled with love and friends. and some really beautiful cards.

Jenny Bilenker

It was 2002 and I had just met a really sweet guy through an online dating site. I was skeptical of him from the beginning, because I’d had a few typically bad dating experiences with NYC guys, but he seemed smart, funny, and creative. After emailing for a month, he drove 5 hours to NYC to meet me (he lived in upstate NY at the time). That was February 2nd (Groundhog’s Day). By Valentine’s Day, things were serious! We agreed we’d make each other a Valentine’s Day gift. I made him a couple dozen Shrinky Dink conversation hearts – each one with a word taken from our dozens of email exchanges (this was pre-texting!). He made me one dozen origami long stem roses and packaged them in a flower box that he picked up from a florist! Yesterday, we celebrated the 12th anniversary of our first meeting. We’ve now been married for 8 years and have 2 kids!!

Kristen E.

My most memorable Valentine’s Days are from my childhood. The day before Valentine’s Day my mom and I would bake dozens of heart shaped cupcakes with pink frosting and sprinkles for the entire class. On Valentine’s Day morning, my siblings an I would race down to the kitchen where my mom allowed us to have a cupcake for breakfast. I look forward to the days when I have children and am able to share this memory with them and continue the tradition for generations to come.

Faith

Several years ago, when my best friend and I were two single girls in NYC, we decided to take ourselves out for V Day.We went to Joe’s Shanghai for soup dumplings for a grand total of $14.00, attended a free 826NYC reading downtown about love, got a bit tipsy from the event’s free booze, and got free books from Jonathan Ames. We walked back to the subway in the snow, watching dogs and humans alike sliding around the sidewalks. It was a great friend-Valentine’s Day-NYC night.

Jessica D.

Valentine’s Day was my grandfather’s birthday. He passed away a couple of years ago, but I will forever remember the day in honor of him and all of the love he had for my family and the people that came into his life. He was a barber up until he was 93 years of age, and I always look up to him for his work ethic and passion for what he loves to do. While it may not be a “romantic” Valentine’s memory, I will always cherish this day as a day to love and honor the people in your life and the ones that reflected and inspired me in some way, shape or form.

Chelsea T

So, this is terribly embarrassing. In 4th grade, I made a special valentine for the boy I had a crush on. This was a long-running crush, back to the 1st grade (what what?), and the boy knew I had it in for him. It was this terrible leather woven craft project from a book, where it was essentially a watch band, but with my face on it. Cute, right? The whole time I was working on it, I knew this was probably a bad idea, but I was going to follow thru, dammit! So, fast-forward to the morning where everyone is delivering Valentines to the hand-made mailboxes, and everyone had received the cookies I made for the rest of the class. My Crush asks me where his is, and I had to explain, in front of all his friends, that this terrible crafty thing with my face on it was his present. Can you say AWKWARD? Needless to say, I went on to marry another man (who appreciates my craftiness). But, if I win, I’m keeping these for myself to avoid another traumatic wrist-decoration gift-giving debacle.

Jennifer

my favorite memory was last valentine’s day. we simply spent the night at home – with loads of laughing, cooking, and of course libations. there is nothing quite like a gold soul-ed husband, a full belly, soft couch, and the warm and fuzzy company of 2 little doggies to perfectly culminate a night….in!

Lily Cameron

I’ve never really celebrated Valentines Day before, so I didn’t even realize it was valentines day when I met the love of my life, my dog Hunter. After spending a few months searching for a dog to adopt, I found one online that I just had to meet and it just happened to be valentines day when my now husband and I drove out to meet him. The moment I laid eyes on him, I was hopelessly and irreversibly in love….With all 110 pounds of him! Hunter is an American Bulldog, Mastiff cross and he was horribly abused for the first two years of his life. He was timid and scared, but his beautiful golden eyes were full of love and I could tell he knew I was his human. We did all the paperwork and paid the adoption fee and joked that he was my valentines gift. This Valentines Day will be our one year anniversary with Hunter and it has truly been the best year of my life. (I did also happen to get married this year which helped and Hunter even walked me down the aisle!) I am sure that Hunter is by far the best Valentines “gift” that I have ever or will ever receive and can’t wait to spend this Valentines day snuggled up with him and my wonderful husband on the couch!

Marni

My favorite valentine’s memory was a weekend spent up in Vermont, cozy by the fire, drinking wine, snacking and exchanging hand made cards. We didn’t do gifts or anything fancy, but it was so lovely to be able to spend two days doing a lot of nothing together.

Lana

Most Memorable Valentines Day: Despite having a gut-wrenchingly-romantic “how we met” story—we went to theatre camp together as kids in LA—my relationship with my recent ex-boyfriend in NYC was far from amorous. After forgetting my birthday the first year we dated, I decided to take the reigns the following year and plan my own fiesta. I shared my party ideas with him, to which he responded, “It’s kind of sad you’re planning your own birthday party… Let me plan it for you!” I was relieved by the thought of kicking up my planning feet, but when my birthday rolled around I spent the day wide-eyed, searching for clues to a party that didn’t exist.

He said he was planning a joint birthday/new job party since I was starting a new position a week after my birthday. A week went by… Then another… And then he said he was planning a birthday/new job/valentines day event. Then more days passed and I realized his promises were as dependable as the relationship itself.

Jessica

I was a Sophomore in high school and I had a crush on a Senior. His name was Jesse and he was so handsome. A surfer/skater type with a chiseled jaw bone, dark hair and eyes. Every year on Valentine’s Day at our school, we had “Carnation Grams” where for $1.00 you could send a flower (or multiple if you were REALLY admired) to anyone else in the school with a To: and From: card with a message attached. Obviously the more popular you were, the more your name was called out during class, and the more you got to walk to the front of the room to receive your adoring flower. I received a few from my closest friends as I had suspected I would, and I casually and confidently walked up to claim my pink and red floral prizes. I couldn’t believe my eyes nor was I able to hide my blushed cheeks and my pulsing heart when I read the note on the card the last time my name was called. “To: Jesse, From: Jesse. Message: You’re cute”. (My name is Jessica and the fact that he took the liberty to call me Jesse – a nickname only used by my family – was enough to make me swoon for eternity.)
After school all the students who had their own cars hung out in the parking lot for a good hour past the last bell of the day. My older sister, also a Senior, had a car and gave me a ride everyday. I went to the parking lot as usual, only to find “my Jesse” waiting to give me a ride home. That day, he drove me the three quarters of a mile to my house in his super-cool 1992 Volvo Station Wagon with skater stickers all over the dash. When he dropped me off, he gave me a sweet, short kiss and said “See ya tomorrow.” Damn, that day felt good.

Kayla

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was the first one with my boyfriend. We were going to do the traditional going-out-to-eat date, but my boyfriend caught a bad cold that was going around. We stayed in, and he took care of dinner even though he was sick. So thoughtful and so much better than going out.

Margaret

When I was a hormonally angst filled freshman in high school, I was sitting on the couch Valentine’s Day night, and my mother was cleaning something in the kitchen (the den and kitchen were connected.) From the kitchen, I heard her voice turn all sappy (which, my mother is NOT an emotive gushy kind of woman) and saw her face light up as she almost cooed the words: Awwww, he took out the trash. I made a snotty little chuckle intentionally so she’d hear my contempt. She then stiffened, stood straight up and without missing a beat she calmly yet aggressively stated: Love isn’t about flowers or fireworks, Margaret. It’s not a fairytale. Love is having your partner take out the trash on a cold winter’s night because he knows you didn’t want to. That’s love.
At 31 years old, it remains one of the best lessons of my life; who knew that trash could carry so much love. They have been married now for over 41 years.

Margaret

When I was a hormonally angst filled freshman in high school, I was sitting on the couch Valentine’s Day night, and my mother was cleaning something in the kitchen (the den and kitchen were connected.) From the kitchen, I heard her voice turn all sappy (which, my mother is NOT an emotive gushy kind of woman) as she almost cooed the words: Awwww, he took out the trash. I made a snotty little chuckle intentionally so she’d hear my contempt. She then stiffened, stood straight up and without missing a beat she calmly yet aggressively stated: Love isn’t about flowers or fireworks, Margaret. It’s not a fairytale. Love is having your partner take out the trash on a cold winter’s night because he knows you didn’t want to. That’s love.
At 31 years old, it remains one of the best lessons of my life; who knew that trash could carry so much love. They have been married now for over 41 years.

Jessica Fowler

I was a Sophomore in high school and I had a crush on a Senior. His name was Jesse and he was so handsome. A surfer/skater type with a chiseled jaw bone, dark hair and eyes. Every year on Valentine’s Day at our school, we had “Carnation Grams” where for $1.00 you could send a flower (or multiple if you were REALLY admired) to anyone else in the school with a To: and From: card with a message attached. Obviously the more popular you were, the more your name was called out during class, and the more you got to walk to the front of the room to receive your adoring flower. I received a few from my closest friends as I had suspected I would, and I casually and confidently walked up to claim my pink and red floral prizes. I couldn’t believe my eyes nor was I able to hide my blushed cheeks and my pulsing heart when I read the note on the card the last time my name was called. “To: Jesse, From: Jesse. Message: You’re cute”. (My name is Jessica and the fact that he took the liberty to call me Jesse – a nickname only used by my family – was enough to make me swoon for eternity.)
After school all the students who had their own cars hung out in the parking lot for a good hour past the last bell of the day. My older sister, also a Senior, had her own car and gave me a ride everyday. I went to the parking lot as usual, only to find “my Jesse” waiting to give me a ride home. That day, he drove me the three quarters of a mile to my house in his super-cool 1992 Volvo Station Wagon with skater stickers all over the dash. When he dropped me off, he gave me a sweet, short kiss and said “See ya tomorrow.” Damn, that day felt good.

Jenny Bilenker

It was 2002 and I had just met a guy named Josh through an online dating site. I was skeptical from the start because I’d recently had a few typically bad dating experiences with NYC guys. But he seemed sweet, funny, and smart. He drove 5 hours to meet me (he lived in Upstate NY at the time) and we totally hit it off. Our first date was on Groundhog’s Day (Feb. 2) and by Valentine’s Day, things were serious! We agreed to make each other’s gifts. I made him a couple dozen Shrinky Dink conversation hearts with words taken from our dozens of email exchanges (this was pre-texting!) and he made me a dozen long-stemmed origami roses that he packaged in a box he picked up from a florist. We just celebrated the 12th anniversary of our first date and have now been married over 8 years and have 2 kids!! We still make our Valentine’s gifts for each other every year.

Liesl Ayers

The “most memorable” Valentine’s day I had was when I was about 12 years old. An old memory I know, but still a good one. My Mom was hired to travel down to Los Angeles to do some work for another couple. They asked her to bring me along too so I could see LA in all its glory. Well, we got to the hotel they arranged for us right on Valentine’s Day…… and it was soooooo awful!! It was probably one of the worst hotels, in the absolutely worst part of town. My Mom could tell that I was a little bummed to be spending Valentine’s Day cooped up in a scary seedy hotel in Los Angeles, so she ran down to the corner gas station and put together a bouquet of those cheep plastic roses they sell in the clear plastic tubes. She arranged them all pretty, and came back and surprised me with them. Im sure to some people, a bouquet of plastic gas station roses is as bad as it gets, but over the yeas it has been one of my fondest memories and a testament to how much my mother loved me. Now that my Mom is gone, I keep one of those roses in a small container in my bathroom, and every day it reminds me of her and that one crazy Valentine’s Day we spent together. My Mom has always been and always will be my favorite Valentine.

Lindsey Tharpe

After 11 Valentine’s Days together, I think that this one will mean the most to my boyfriend and me. I spent most of the years not appreciating his small gifts, meals and flowers but this year I’ll be happy without any of it.
After a couple of years of turmoil, we’ve opened our own small cafe and will be spending this year handing out pastries to others for their loves. We cannot afford anything, but spending a year free of chemo and surgery, with visions of a long life together is plenty for me.

Sonya

My most special Valentine’s Day was February 14, 2004, the day I moved to Brooklyn. I’d been living cozily and comfortably in my college town in western Massachusetts but recognized that I needed a major change and took the leap to move to New York City as a way to welcome personal and professional growth. I will never forget getting onto the BQE that day and seeing the sign that read “Welcome to Brooklyn: How Sweet it Is!” and I thought to myself, Happy Valentine’s Day indeed, and so my love affair with New York began, and every Valentine’s Day I am reminded about this huge leap of faith I took that ended up being the best decision of my life. Brooklyn and me – we’re about to celebrate our 10 year anniversary this coming Valentine’s Day! How Sweet it is!

Ginger

My favorite Valentine’s memory is from 2005. My husband and I didn’t have a lot of money, so he made a compilation of short videos of our baby boy and set it to our favorite songs – Shins (new slang) and Nick Drake (blue eyes). I got home from a long day at work and this beautiful video was waiting for me. On a day where others were receiving flowers, chocolates and jewelry, I felt I had won the Valentine lotto. ;)

Sarah C.

My boyfriend (at the time) and I scheduled and early Valentine’s weekend away the weekend before the real deal b/c we were going to be at my cousin’s wedding with my whole family that weekend. Long (wonderful story short), he proposed and we got to show off/tell everyone the following weekend. So our true Valentines is actually about a week before!

Kara

My favorite Valentine’s Day memory is the first one shared with my now wife, Cherry, when we had just begun dating. We were living in Brooklyn at the time, and a couple of weeks earlier we had brunch at Harefield Road. During our meal, Cherry kept fiddling with a large gold ring on her hand. We talked about the ring––it was her mother’s and was purchased in St. Croix on a family vacation when Cherry was really young. The ring was super heavy and featured the classic St. Croix hook made by Sonya Ltd. since the early 1960s. As we were talking, Cherry kept fiddling, and all of a sudden the ring fell from her hand and disappeared between one of the restaurant’s wide-plank floorboards. I felt terrible! But Cherry tried not to make a big deal of it, and since we were just starting to date and didn’t know each other that well, I didn’t make a big deal of it either.

The more I thought about it, though, the more I felt it was a pretty tragic way to let go of such a beautiful ring and sentimental object. So with Valentine’s Day coming up, I decided to go out on a limb––probably also because I knew I was in love with her already!––and buy her a replacement. Of course, I couldn’t afford the large, 5 mm ring that her mother had. Instead, I purchased the much daintier 2 mm St. Croix Hook Ring in 14K gold. This was our very first Valentine’s Day, so you can imagine she was pretty shocked to get a ring! Our plans that night were just to stay in, and her gift to me was to prepare some delicious Mexican hot chocolate and cozy up. We still laugh about how I basically proposed to her and she made me a hot chocolate!

Anyway, she wears that ring every day alongside her engagement ring and wedding band, so we’re always reminded of our early days as well as the many more Valentines Days to come!

Alli

I love Valentine’s Day, but last year, my best friend and I were dateless and we decided to have a Skype date together since we don’t live in the same area. We both got Chinese take-out and booze and wore fancy clothes and makeup. I think there even may have been some candles burning… It was so silly, but so much fun to make an event out of our Skype sessions and it was definitely a celebration of how much we love each other as friends.

Katrina

My favorite Valentine’s Day happened back in high school. A bunch of girlfriends and I got together for dinner (at Perkins, because we were teenagers with almost no money), and then we went to see probably the least-valentiney musical-turned-movie ever made, Chicago. We were all very anti-Valentine at the time, so we thought a movie about women murdering men was hilariously appropriate.

jody

My favorite valentines was my freshman year of college. All my girlfriends dressed up in red and primped and primped and then went out for what might have been the wildest night of our year, we did anything and everything that crossed our path that felt fun. And it was. Totally solidified the group!

Stephanie

Last Valentine’s was one for the books. I was fresh out of the worst break up of my life and feeling pretty miserable. To lighten my mood I took a trip to Brooklyn to visit my best friends (i had lived here previously and was transitioning back to NY). We were all down in the dumps about boys and it just wasn’t getting any better. We picked one of our friends up from work in Times Square and were stopped by a crew filming for the older Jonas brother’s reality TV show. They asked us to watch a romantic video on the jumbotron of him professing his love for her…really cheesy stuff. We obliged and laughed about it. We went out to dinner, surrounded by loving couples and I spilled my beer all over myself. We decided to go to one friends house to drop off our bags before we made our way to the nearest bar and then the key broke off into the door. I tried to fix it by removing the entire lock and door handles but failed miserably and $400 and 2 hours later, the locksmith came to our rescue. We didn’t end up going out, but instead put on our pajamas, had a good cry and decided maybe next year would be better!

Kate

My most memorable Valentines day occurred actually over 2. My friend turned boyfriend was obsessed with Krispy Kreme donuts and living in MA we don’t have any close by. I worked with a local store in CT and had a dozen shipped to his office for Valetines day. He was so incredibly touched, it turned our friendship into a relationship The following year we weren’t together, due to travel, and he coordinated with the same store and same manager who remembered us and has another dozen shipped only to my office . We found love over donuts.

Alli

I love Valentine’s Day (and Catbird), but last year, my best friend and I were both dateless. We decided to have a Skype date instead since we didn’t live by each other and now live even farther away from each other. We both got Chinese take-out and booze and wore fancy clothing and makeup. It was so silly, but so great to make an event out of our Skype sessions. It was truly a celebration of how much we love each other as best friends.

Faith M.

I was in college and was hanging out with a guy I had met the week before. I had just gotten back from a study abroad in Beijing, and we had planned to make homemade Chinese dumplings and keep the day casual. The dumplings were a grand disaster, so we went out for dim sum instead and challenged each other to try the most unusual dishes off the menu. As we were gnawing a pair of chicken feet, I thought that he was the most adventurous and wonderful person I’d ever met. Four years later, after a brunch of dim sum at our favorite place in the city, he proposed!

Bailey

My favorite Valentines day memories is how my mom always got my sisters and I a special gift like candy, flowers, heart socks etc. She said don’t sweat it if you’re unattached, be happy for those who’ve found love and just celebrate the ones you love around you. To this day when Feb 14 rolls around, single or not I am I try to exude positivity and love!

Kelli

My favorite Valentine’s day was when I was a kid. I’ve had a complicated relationship with my mother for most of my life, but I’ll always look back fondly on those nights before Valentine’s day when she helped me make handmade cards and my “mailbox” made out of an old shoebox.

JennyAnn Wheeler

I don’t think I have a great anecdote about Valentine’s day, good or bad, but I can tell you that this Valentine’s day (exactly one month before my 42nd birthday) I’ll be focusing on loving what is: my amazing husband of 15 years, my two beautiful children, and a life filled with beauty and grace and hardship and struggle and everything in between. Full catastrophe living! ♥

Emily

This was not my favorite valentines day, but I my most memorable was when my boyfriend in 9th grade showed up in my school parking lot (we didn’t go to the same school) with red roses. I was pretty embarrassed and then felt guilty for not being more excited, haha.

Haley Petersen

My best V-Day wasn’t actually on Feb 14th, I was surprised. My fiancé is one of those guys who forgets holidays and one year he forgot and it made me quite disappointed. However he made up for it by taking me on a surprise”Valentine’s” trip to Scotland. We spent 4 days on the Isle of Skye surrounded by sheep and whiskey. It was the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for me!

Allison

Six years ago I went out on a first date. I remember thinking how confident this guy was to have asked me out on a first date and to plan it for Valentines Day! Best first date of my life & as of Valentines Day this year we’ll have been today for six amazing years! We’ve made it through college graduations, two years long distance, & a move to NYC to start a life together!

Julia G.

My favorite memories of Valentine’s Day is as a child in elementary school. I always very carefully picked out each valentine for each of my classmates. And what fun it was to see how many I received! That is a special time filled with first crushes and secret admirers. I remember receiving a pair of blue flower earrings from a boy that had a crush on me, but my ears weren’t even pierced, yet. Still a very nice gesture.

Katie

My most memorable Valentine’s was the worst day that led to the best February 15th imaginable. My now husband and I had been wrestling with whether or not we should date and the question spear-headed us on Valentine’s Day. We went back and forth between a romantic dinner to ending up sitting in his car until 3am discussing if we should take the dive and jump or sit back down (the whole decision had been an analogue to skydiving). We ended the day, and now night, by deciding to jump. He drove off and I tried to fall asleep only to be woken up by a phone call. He took it back. Oh my heart! the next day after hours of pouting I finally returned home to a trail of flowers strewn down my walk, through the front door and all the way up my stairs where a handsome and humbled future husband met me with a gigantic bouquet and request for my heart. Needless to say I accepted and the rest is history!

Sasha

My best Valentine’s Day was actually one my boyfriend was gone for. He had to travel for about a week or so and was leaving the day before Valentine’s, so when I came home on the 13th to find homemade chocolate covered strawberries, I was thrilled and considered that it. The next morning I woke up to a text message that told me to look behind my favorite book, where I found a silly cocoa-puff (I love kid’s cereal, it’s embarrassing) treat bar with a sweet message (“I miss you already!”) written on it. Every day that he was gone he texted me a new “location” where I would find another one with a different sweet note. And then even after he had been home for a month, when I left for a week to visit some friends, he slipped a few into my luggage!

Molly Gwen

The most important Valentine’s Day of my life so far was February 2008. I was casually seeing a boy who lived on the floor below me in my dorm, and I was pretty sure that the only thing I liked was the attention he was giving me. He made an effort to hang out with me almost every single day for over a month, and we had only kissed once! That Valentine’s Day this boy told me had long-standing plans with the girl he dated in high school, but that we could hang out when he got back. Since I “didn’t like” him, I didn’t think I cared… until he texted telling me that the high school girlfriend had decided to come back to campus. My heart instantly sunk and I realized not only did I like this guy, I really, really liked this guy. Within the month I had basically begged him to be my boyfriend, and almost 6 years later we are still together! So every Valentine’s Day is a simple reminder of where everything started. A beautiful right hand ring from Catbird was the first thing Tom (the boy from the floor below me) bought for me after we graduated and had jobs and he could afford a “real” gift.

Aimee

My mom always made valentines day a special day for my siblings and I growing up. She’s make heart shaped waffles topped with strawberries and whipped cream for breakfast, served with a glass of strawberry milk! Before we left for school we were given the reminder that no matter what we did or didn’t receive that day (valentines from other kids/teddy bears from the cute boy in class) we were loved and would always be. I can’t wait to do the same for my kids someday.

Lee

On a lovely Valentine’s Day long ago my loving husband and I made the decision to ditch television altogether in favor of spending more intentional time together. This simple commitment has paid huge dividends. Instead of staring mindlessly at the tube we read to each other, we have real conversations, we go to bed early and enjoy it. Our love and our life is richer for having given this up. It inspired us to do more. Each year we commit to giving up something we see as taking “our time” from us. So, in essence we give each other the gift of one another’s time each Valentine’s Day anew. What more magical gift could there be from the person you could never have ENOUGH time with?

Amanda

Funny story! I told my husband to go to Catbird for my Christmas present, that I’d be guaranteed to like anything he chose (so well curated it’s impossible to go wrong). So, I open the present and the packaging is not the usual Catbird packaging and the bracelet is this super manly bracelet that I did NOT like. Long story short, he went to Bird!! And the funny thing too is that my other presents were from Whisk (half a block away) and Spoonbill (across the street)! Silly man….

Anyway, my favorite Valentine’s was our first together. We’d only been dating a month and I was adamantly NO WAY to Valentine’s Day. But he was so bummed that I surprised him with a roommate out of town, an awesome candle lit dinner and an amazing brunch the next day. He was so stoked that I’d planned an entire weekend in (wink wink) when I’d been refusing to acknowledge that holiday. Very sweet, very romantic.

Julie O.

The best valentines day was the one year I won the $500 CatBird gift certificate and bought myself something special. (Which will hopefully be this year!)Because every year when I bring up the impending holiday my husband tells me that it isn’t a legitimate “holiday” and as a result I end up buying myself break-and-bakes to make up for the lack of card, flowers, or any sort of romantic sentiment from the man that I love ;)

Karli

Years ago Corey, my high school sweetheart, surprised me with my family’s backyard being aflame with little twinkling Christmas lights on a Texas February night. Sitting on our patio table was a glass container filled to the brim with folded colorful index cards. He had written down 365 (yes that’s right) reasons why he loved me, to be opened everyday for a year.

The relationship lasted many years, but eventually we broke up and found other people. Recently, however, I returned home for the holidays and found that glass container sitting in my closet on the highest shelf. I read a few of those notes and remembered that young love, that night, and the smell of wisteria floating in the air.

AMR

Out of my string of V-Day experiences—from clumsily breaking up with my first junior high boyfriend on Valentine’s Day to nervously going in for my first kiss on a V-Day a couple years later—I’m pretty sure this year will bring my most memorable Valentine’s Day yet. My boyfriend, who recently lost his job, and I agreed to keep things low key for a simple evening of beer, bowling and enjoying each others company (or some friendly competition). Nothing forced, nothing extravagant— just two people getting a little bit closer after a rough winter. Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

Alyssa

My favorite Valentine’s day was in 2007. I was a little irked that my boyfriend hadn’t made reservations so we set up a late dinner at a random Italian restaurant we had never heard of before. The food now forever haunts my dreams as being one of the best meals I’ve had to date. The best part, our check had been paid for by a bar patron. He was reminded of his young love back the day. Chance, nostalgia, and the kindness of strangers created one of the best nights of my life.

Kristin

Valentines day has always been really scary for me. I’m school I was never popular so my valentines day “mailbox” was always quite empty. In high school young loves all around me were very affectionate and carrying around over-sized teddy bears or bouquets of roses. Even now, happily married, valentines day carries too much expectation. My husband always makes me happy and I would never want him to feel how I did as a young person.

Marsha M.

It was a snowy Valentine’s day, many a year ago. My college boyfriend asked me to come to his dorm room. He had me cover my eyes and open them after a count to three. Lo and behold was small and precious (real) hedgehog curled up in a ball. I named him Pumpkin. He was the cutest, most high-maintenance Valentine’s gift a girl could ever ask for.

stephieZ

My most memorable valentine’s was actually what my first ever boyfriend got me as a gift. I think we were both about 15 and his family didn’t have much money so it’s not like he could have gone out and bought me something pricey or even 15 yo pricey. Instead he showed up with the largest box of Fruit Loops I have ever seen before or since. The reason he had gotten me that was because sometime in the past I had told him how much I loved fruit loops and that my parents never allowed me to have sugary cereal. He remembered that about me and used what little money he had to get me a big box.It has been over 15 years, but that was probably the sweetest thing any boyfriend has ever given me. It’s the thought that counts right?

Courtney

Thank you for the wonderful giveaway! My most memorable Valentine’s Day was in 2012 – my husband’s and my first one together (we had just started dating a couple months before). I surprised him with scones, coffee, and chocolate covered strawberries for breakfast before I went to work. Then, he surprised ME at work with a gorgeous arrangement of red tulips (one of my favorite flowers) and lunch that we shared together. In the evening, we went to dinner and a movie.

Heather E

My favorite Valentine’s Day memory, is the sweet tradition my dad started for my sister and I when we were little girls!

Every year, he’d get a huge bouquet for my mom, and noticed my sister and I were always in awe of it. Eventually, in addition to the bouquet for my mom, he’d give us each a single rose in a vase with a tiny teddy bear. We would get so excited and demand that our flowers be kept in our rooms. I remember feeling so sophisticated!

Even after growing up, moving out, and getting married, I still receive the same gift from my dad every Valentine’s day!

Stef

Wow, Catbird’s Marquise Twig Ring is beautiful. I always spent Valentine’s Day on a date with a female friend, because it’s inevitably more fun than a hyped up conventional date with my love interest or partner. One VDay I was leaving a girl-date when I saw the last man I went on a date with, arm in arm with someone else. He caught my eye, reddened with embarrassment and I said hello. It was an odd, queasy moment. This past VDay, after enjoying a girl-date, I called up a guy who had gently pursued me for a month or so. We have been together ever since. xo

Windsor

My first V-Day with my now-husband was in 2002 after a few months of dating. He did not want to participate in the usual prix-fixe restaurant hustle, so he said he would cook me dinner at his apartment. I decided on a whim to write him a poem… which turned into an epic poem with a pirate theme. I don’t even remember how that happened. But I even included a small glossary of pirate terms, in case he had trouble understanding any of it. I also included an eye patch (for reading, natch). It was upon reading that poem that he realized my true genius and told me so. He cooked me the best spaghetti and meatballs I’ve ever had. Now every year for valentine’s day, we trade off cooking and poetry writing. The 12 poems we’ve collectively written each other are so fun and special and will someday be read by our 2 daughters. We had the chef of our rehearsal dinner cook his spaghetti and meatball recipe and it is still my favorite meal in the world. Looks like its my year to write a poem!

Marilisa

My favorite Valentine’s Day memory is actually an on-going tradition! My husband (then boyfriend) and I went to Athens’ Folk Music & Dance Society’s Hoot event where musical couples perform sweet love songs together. We have been going for the past 3 years and it’s fun to think about each of the dates – once as boyfriend and girlfriend, then engaged, and now married. We are certainly looking forward to our 4th year going next week :)

Stefanie

My husband and I are not gift-givers. We haven’t celebrated Valentines before or since this one time — our first Valentine’s living together I came home from work to find that he’d cleaned the ENTIRE house, something entirely out of character for him. I was blown away. Best gift ever.

Kate Bredimus

Well let’s see … my boyfriend at the time gave me a framed photo of himself and a membership to the gym. Another year he gave me a car antennae which he called “the gift of music.” He’s not my boyfriend anymore. I am now married to a sweet man who gave me the best present of all eight months ago … triplet boys! I will raise them to never buy their significant others a gym membership.

Lindsey

Probably the most fun I’ve had on Valentine’s Day didn’t involve romance at all. My best friend – the Will to my Grace – and I rented Ryan Gosling movies, got takeout and fell asleep on the couch. Honestly, my dream date wouldn’t stray too far from that night. Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day!

Corrin

This 14th will be my most memorable as this is the first I am able to spend with my love after three years of dating long distance. We are doing a handmade/local theme and he has been busy in the workshop so I anticipate something awesome is in the works. I have opted for making a beautiful hand lettered note and purchasing a large jug of Maple Syrup from a couple who owns a small independent shop near his family’s cabin in VT. Despite the fact that we are based in MD. I feel I am supporting local by reaching out to our friends in our home away from home. Giving is so much more enjoyable, especially when I know how great this syrup will taste atop the many breakfasts we love whipping up together.

Zoe

My most memorable Valentine’s Day had to be three years ago, when two dear friends of mine decided we should go out and have a crazy night together to celebrate our friendship, since we all three were single at the time. We spent the evening at a punk tiki bar on 14th Street. The TVs were playing “Zombie Honeymoon”, the drinks came in mugs shaped like skulls and hula dancers, and an old man came in, gave each of us a white rose, and wandered out again. It was a night full of laughs, a real Valentine’s Day to remember!

Mary

OMG Catbird, love! In re: v-day date, my man’s birthday is 2 days after valentines, and that’s usually right around president’s day weekend, which, as a teacher, means I get 4 days off for love and birthday parties. It’s so much fun! One year we spent it in Santa Barbara, and saw that terrible Benicio del Toro “Wolfman” film, in a beautiful old theater, and then went out for a dinner neither of us could afford, but wanted so bad.

Rachel

Valentine’s Day 2007 was a Wednesday, and my 3 best girlfriends and I were all in long-distance relationships or single. Rather than wallow in our loneliness we decided to spend a rare weeknight out on the town. We found out that one of our favorite spots–a dueling piano bar–was hosting a special singles night with free cover if you brought a picture of your ex and shredded it. So we all pulled horribly embarrassing pictures of our exes out from high school and college scrap books, headed to the bar, and pretended that we were all hot and available. We all made bad decisions together. Don’t worry, there was no cheating! But we did wear tacky Valentines-themed outfits, had too many drinks, danced with flirtatious old men, and made the cab driver stop at McDonald’s on our way home. Having a partner to dote over is wonderful, but having a ridiculous night with your best girlfriends can be just as fun and much more memorable.

Mia Hall

My favorite Valentines was years back when I first started talking to my “high school sweetheart” We weren’t official yet, so I wasn’t sure what was to be expected. Cheesy, but cute, I made him an envelope full of reasons why I liked him. The whole day at school passed, and I was discouraged that maybe he hadn’t thought of me, but still planned to get pizza with him and another couple after school. After we ate, he pulled out a ‘Jones Soda Bottle’ (symbolizing how we had met at a local bakery that sold the stuff) and inside was a letter- all the reasons he liked me- some coinciding with the ones I listed for him in the envelope. It was perfect and cute and romantic. We shared our first kiss outside of that pizzeria, and were together for 7 valentines days to follow. Last year he surprised me on my birthday with my first catbird ring. :)

Leah

My now husband, for our first valentines boiled fresh lobster and created an amazing seated dinner in the living room, complete with flowers and a beautifully plated dinner with a stack of records lined up to execute the perfect date. The man could cook and had excellent taste in music—he stuck.

Pearl

My boyfriend learned how to make ceviche for our Valentine’s Day last year. It took the whole day, but we had his lovely ceviche for V-Day dinner and didn’t get sick! The year before he bought a small deep fryer and learned to make me fried chicken (my fave comfort food). The way to my heart is obvs through my tummy.

Kim W

My most memorable Valentine’s Day coincided with a first date (no pressure, right?). The guy, normally a sweat pants and tee shirt kind of guy, got all dressed up to take me to the best sushi place in town. He brought me a dozen exquisite roses, which I fawned over. Dinner went well–there was flirtatious arm touching, sweet sentiments whispered, and stories exchanged. Imagine my surprise when he asked if we could go Dutch when the bill came our way. As an independent woman, I didn’t bat an eye and promptly handed over my debit card. But I couldn’t shake that, somehow, I’d done or said something during dinner that revoked my “dateability” card and replaced it with a “just friends” card. I left feeling deflated and the butterflies that were in my stomach throughout the night had migrated up to my throat. He later confessed that he hadn’t anticipated how expensive the roses would be and he didn’t have enough money to buy both the flowers and the dinner. I sighed with relief and told him that, although the flowers were beautiful and the dinner was wonderful, my favorite part of the evening had just been walking to dinner, hand in hand, in the Boston snow. The butterflies promptly returned to my stomach as we shared a first kiss on the brownstone stoop.

Joanna Wright

This may not be your typical St.Valentines day tale, but it is certainly my most memorable and one I will hold close to my heart until the very end. I grew up with my father being very ill my entire life, and not being aware of it until I was in my early teens when his health visibly began to deteriorate. One thing I was always aware of and always will be is how much he cherished and loved my mother, brother, and myself.

It was February 2010 and my dad had called me (now living out of town) and asked if I could come home for Valentines day to help him plan something for my mother- I was there without a doubt not only was he my father but best friend. I drove down February 14th bright and early and picked up everything he had requested on the way- on that list was 30 “American Beauty” roses which were my mothers favourite as they lined our property year round, meticulously cared for by my father who had the greatest affinity for roses. Secondly, he had the top of their wedding cake recreated at a local bakery- I remember it well, white royal icing topped with red and white roses formed out of the most lovely traditional icing. When I got home I helped him down stairs and began setting everything up for her arrival home- lit candles, placed the “American beauty” roses out on the table along side their wedding cake, and helped my dad set up his guitar for a “surprise performance” my brother got home first and him and I sat atop the stairs waiting for my mom to arrive home- when she did, he played and sang their wedding song Peaches and Herb “I pledge my love”. Tears and applause were soon followed. My mom was floored- you see my dad was a musician in his healthy and youthful days, fronting a few soul bands- its how they met, at one of his shows back in ’78. Seeing him play the guitar for her brought back so many memories for them. He did all this for her, and us because he knew that he wouldn’t make it to their big 30th anniversary in the fall. A few weeks later my father was hospitalized, he passed away on March 8th 2010 due to complications from Hepatitis C, which he contracted through a tainted blood transfusion in 1984- not a day goes by that I don’t think of him.

I felt so lucky to be apart of one of his final big showcases of love and it remains my favourite St.Valentines memory of the two most special people I’ve had the privilege call my Mom and Dad. Here’s to them, and most importantly him- their strength and love for one another was something so rare and its an honor to be a product of that. Thank you for taking the time to read my little story.

-J

Erin

Wonderful giveaway. I love their rings!!!! I have been wanting a first knuckle ring for a while and the rose gold ones are just amazingly beautiful.

My husband is NOT romantic. At all. But, every now and then, he pulls off something really special (maybe that’s his plan–if he waits a while, then the gestures are that much more romantic). A few years ago, I came home for Valentine’s day and wasn’t expecting much. Usually we order take out and watch a movie. Or go to a movie. But, he had set a beautiful table using our wedding china, bought lovely flowers, lit candles and made dinner. It was such a nice gesture and so unexpected. It was perfect.

Carly

Aboslutely love Catbird!

My best and most memorable Valentine’s day had to be the first with my partner. We were undergrads at the time and he had an exam on Valentine’s day. I was all huffy and puffy that he had forgotten when I dropped him off at his exam. I went home and was completely humbled, there was a necklace and a teddy bear waiting for me. Completely cheesey and lovely. 7 Valentine’s days later and we are happily in love and planning a move back to our college town where we met.

Nicole

My favorite Valentine’s Day memory was the first spent with my then-boyfriend (now my husband). It was the morning of the 14th and he had no idea how things were supposed to work, so he enlisted the help of his college friends. That night he showed up at my apartment with bodega daises that he walked 20 blocks to find, and a take-out box of BBQ ribs and mac-n-cheese. It was perfect.

adair

my most memorable valentine’s was in high school when my boyfriend gave me a teeny tiny turtle. not necessarily romantic, but one for the books.

Ashley

For a holiday that stresses a lot of people out, I can only remember two, both are perfect in their own way. One was spent with my gal pals, eating tacos and getting tipsy off $5 margaritas, celebrating our good luck in having the best looking dates in the joint. The other was spent with my still-boyfriend, eating stuffed pasta shells that he had spent days searching for and reading comic books to each other (which were my gift). Simple memories, but great ones.

Renee Harvey

For some reason, out of all the Valentines Days full of romance and sweet dates, this childhood memory is the one that comes to mind:
When I was in Kindergarten I had my first crush on a boy, he was super cute and in my class (score!). So for Valentines Day, we made “mail boxes” where classmates could leave us valentines. Well this boy gave me a valentine, and yes, you had to give one to everyone in the class, but I was still so excited! For that same Valentines Day, my mom had given me a little heart shaped plastic change purse and in my Kindergarten mind the perfect way to show my love for the boy was to kiss him through the plastic change purse. As in, my lips on one side of the purse, his on the other. A me and him sandwich or sorts. Well, when I decided the time was right to pounce, he freaked out, told everyone I had given him cooties and I was sent to time out. Needless to say it was a while before I decided to “kiss” anyone again. Ha!

Lauren

My boyfriend made me dinner for our first Valentine’s Day five years ago. It was the bloodiest steak I’ve ever eaten and I felt sick all night, but I adored him for trying to make something special. I’m a vegetarian now, but I’ve still got the same guy!

marie

Well, I’m not a romantic at all… And Valentine’s day is not as popular in France as it is in the US. But I love it when my husband randomely comes home with a bouquet of flowers. Or a cake to share between us two.
And I love what Catbird offers. I discovered them through Garance Doré’s blog and I know exactly what I would do with this gift certificate ;-)

Greta

When I was in 9th grade, my boyfriend at the time, decided to give me what he figured would be the ultimate gift, his North Face down vest along with some gel pens. He bestowed these upon me in the middle of lunch at our tiny high school in front of everyone, and I was mortified. Why could he not have just picked the gel pens or candy or a card or one of the school ballon-grams? He was such an arrogant jerk that he thought giving me his vest was the greatest thing imaginable. I thought it was awful. Your boyfriend might let you wear his varsity jacket or his sweatshirt and might even let you borrow it, but to give an article of his clothing to you as a gift…ridiculous. Needless to say, we soon broke up, and he asked for his vest back. But, I kept it. I wore that darn vest all the way into my 20’s, through both undergrad and grad school, and it kept me warm on many an awesome backpacking or outdoor adventure. Every time I pulled it out, it reminded me to keep looking for the right guy who could think of a gift that didn’t have to be all about him. Now, I celebrate Valentine’s each year with my sweet husband, but once in a while, I still think about that down vest.

Robin Schmitt

What a great giveaway! February 13th 1998 my then boyfriend was working in Tahoe. He wouldn’t be home for Valentines day. When I got home from work my roommate walked in my room and handed me an envelope. Inside was a queen of hearts card with an airline ticket attached to the back. The instructions said that I was to dress up and be ready within the hour. Another friend showed up to take me to the airport. I arrived in Reno and there was a driver waiting for me with a sign. The driver took me to The Chapel of the Bells and my now husband was waiting for me at the chapel. He asked me to marry him and I went for it. We were married at 12:01 am on Valentines day. Early the next morning we got on an Amtrak train and made our way back to Portland. We are still married and have two middle school aged kids. What a Fairytale. He still continues to surprise me.

KediH

Awesome giveaway! My most memorable Valentine’s Day is from elementary school. I’m not that big on it as an adult, but I remember making cards for my classmates and leaving them in the cubby holes in the classroom. It was always so fun to leave cards for everyone and read the words I received.

Alyssa

Best Valentine’s Day was in college with my now Hubs. He had a late class and then practice so he left me a scrapbook of random jokes we had and a new chapstick. He knew I wasn’t big into candy and teddy bears. But a girl can always use a new lipbalm.

Katie

Back in 2007, a good friend and I made stumbling moves toward a relationship…a week before I was to move 8,000 miles away. Then circumstances brought me back, just for a month and a half, with Valentine’s day smack in the middle. My mom made heart-shaped pancakes, but I had never been a big celebrator of Valentine’s day in adulthood. Even so, we agreed it was an excuse to spend some time focusing on just us.

We made our first joint home goods purchase of ramekins for individual molted chocolate cakes, whipped up rack of lamb, roasted potatoes, and sauteed greens, and kept the cold and dark out with some candles a lot of love.

Today that good friend is my husband of four years, and we still celebrate Valentine’s day with a home-cooked meal and something made in the ramekins.

Erin

I had an unfortunate habit of dating musicians in my twenties. . . My favorite was a singer in a band that was playing on Valentine’s Day. He was going to take me out for brunch before load-in. Except in never occurred to him that people have to make reservations on Valentine’s Day, so I spent my morning extremely hungry, as he drove around the city trying to find a place that wasn’t packed. We wound up at Denny’s. Which wound have been fine, except that I found out later that night that he was cheating on me. Grand Slam Special + Infidelity = Best Valentine’s of my twenties : )

Sarah

My best Valentine’s Day was seven years ago when my first son was born. It was very ironic since he was unplanned, although very welcome. A “love child” so to speak. :) No one will ever top the gift of him!

Sarah

I used to think there was nothing worse than Valentine’s Day. Every year I’d boycott the holiday, wear black and stay in with girlfriends. A few years ago however, as I was boycotting as usual, eating dinner with some great friends, eating an excess of chocolate, and exchanging flowers around the table, I realized that that is EXACTLY what Valentine’s Day is all about; sharing love with the people you adore and reminding each other how much you care. The past 5 years hence I have considered Valentine’s Day to be one of my favorite holidays and look forward to spending the evening with my fiancee and as many of our friends and loved ones we can squeeze into our apartment for dinner.

Mary

LOVE Catbird.

After having been disappointed on Valentine’s Day year after year (my birthday is very nearby and boyfriends tended to skip Valentine’s Day in favor of the birthday), I decided to take things into my own hands my junior year of college. We went out for wings at a cozy restaurant known for said wings and having 100 beers on tap. We then went and saw Brokeback Mountain. There were no other people celebrating Valentine’s at the restaurant – it was a good crowd and it was perfect. And then the movie… I knew he was a special guy when he bawled during the entire last 15 minutes. That boyfriend and I broke up, and he actually passed away from a brain tumor a few years later. I’m married to someone else who is absolutely perfect for me. But that was the best Valentine’s Day I will ever have.

LRG

I love Catbird!

Okay, so the first year my husband and I started dating, I ruined Valentine’s Day. I panicked and told him to skip it, in fact, let’s not even see each other. It was a dud. The next Valentine’s Day, I was determined not to repeat my rookie mistake. So we planned to get out of town, to run away from a holiday with so many lofty expectations.

We live in Michigan, and we drove. He didn’t know where we were going, I had all but kidnapped him, but the grandest place within driving distance was Niagara Falls. Because of our jobs, we left on Saturday afternoon and drove all day, through ice and snow. We crossed the border and I lied to the border patrol to keep our secret–I was shaking in my boots at that.

That night, we rolled into Niagara Falls, Canada, and found our hostel. I’d had good experiences with them before, but this one was a nightmare. Unfinished walls, bad plumbing, and a clerk who kept saying, “It’s a hostel! Some people don’t understand that and give us bad reviews, but…it’s a hostel!” I apologized profusely to my then-boyfriend, although we were about as far from romance as you could get. The view out our window was a winter hellscape in a dingy, run-down part of town.

In the morning, we walked out to the falls. It was freezing cold, being February, and even in my down coat, I was shivering the whole way. We were both sniffling, with runny noses and cold cheeks as we stood in the mist of the Falls. And we knew after we walked back, it was an eight hour drive back home, all for this one, frigid, ridiculous moment. I couldn’t feel my toes. We were miserable, and hungry, and half afraid we’d caught bed bugs.

But it was the first big adventure we had together. And sometimes the worst travels can make the best memories. And when we got married, we vowed to keep having adventures with a passage from Walt Whitman’s Song of the Open Road, “Will you give me yourself? Will you come travel with me? Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?”

(In the end, maybe we’re a little romantic after all.)

Melissa Thagard

Hello Design Sponge,

i never liked Valentines day, because ive never been “romanced” on this day. So, a gift certificate for some gold rings would do my fingers good. The worst Valentines gift i got? A pack of 5 condoms thrown on the table ;-) Yeah, now if thats not love….? Greetings from Georgia ! Not bitter, and always open for some lovin on the 14th, xoxo Melissa

Katie

My favorite Valentine’s Day was when I got an email from Grace Bonney that I won the Catbird giveaway! (Oh wait!…I shouldn’t have revealed my fortune-teller status!…but while I’m at it…) Receiving the email from my design inspiration herself sent me into a euphoria only matched when I added goods to my Catbird shopping cart and clicked “redeem gift card.” Choruses of angels began signing while rainbows simultaneously shot out of my computer screen. And to this day, Valentine’s Day 2014 remains at the top of my list.

:)

Christa

I think it took me until my 30’s to really get into Valentines Day. When I was younger I always was a little embarrassed by the pressure of it. In high school I even hid a flower bouquet in my closet because I did not want my parents to see it. Now days I celebrate love in all the cheesy ways. Friends check your mailboxes – I love sending valentines.

Scarlet

I have never been very lucky in love…somehow, my Valentine’s Day always turns out to be a disappointment…so much so, that I’ve stopped even hoping for a good one (it’s a self defense mechanism). I actually started dreading the day at one point. That changed for me in 2007, however…when my daughter was born on February 14. So now I always have a day of celebration to look forward to, regardless of the man in my life (although my current man is pretty wonderful!!) To top it off, my name is Scarlet and my daughter’s name is Crimson (both shades of red…aren’t we cute? :))

Emily

I have fond memories of Valentines Day my freshman year in college with my then boyfriend. He made me a sweet dinner in the nasty dorm kitchen and made a dining area on the floor with lots of pillows. Grimy and sweet all wrapped up into one.

Katie

My second date with my now-fiancé was on February 15 — specifically planned to NOT fall on V-Day, which obviously would have been way too awkward… Except when we got to the restaurant, there were cheesy paper hearts hanging everywhere, a special Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu… My poor date was horrified and so embarrassed, as he had chosen the restaurant. It turned out fine though — we both laughed it off, had a great time, and the next year spent Valentine’s Day together on purpose.

Emily

My most memorable valentine’s day is a simple one. Several years ago in a February I had just started a new relationship. It was the new-fun-exciting-sweet-romantic-everything’s wonderful time. I probably had a big cheesy grin constantly plastered on my face. So of course valentine’s felt extra special too, but instead of doing something over the top – we just spent the whole night together talking, watching movies, and cuddling. What could be better? Just the simple act of spending time with the one you love. <3

Callie

I guess I’m unconventional because I don’t like Valentine’s Day. My birthday is 2/10, and I’d usually celebrate that instead. My husband shows me every day how much he loves me. I feel like we’ve been on a 24/7 honeymoon since we got married last April! I knew he was the one for me when he listened to me when I told him I didn’t want to celebrate Valentine’s Day. He usually still gets me flowers, of course, which make me happy… My engagement & wedding ring are both from Catbird & I LOVE them! :)

Lindsay

I’ve never had a great/memorable Valentine’s Day as an adult, but I remember some awesome ones from childhood. At my elementary school, making a good Valentine’s box for the class party was absolutely crucial for future success and popularity. One year, my mom probably clocked in a week’s worth of hours helping me make an elaborate ‘frog on a lilypad’ box that was the hit of the class. She did nice things like this for me pretty frequently and although I’m sure I hardly appreciate them at the time, I often look back now and think about what a good mom she’s always been.

Sarah

A fun Valentines for me was a guy I was dating remembered my ramblings of wanting to dance in a room of 99 red balloons to the song 99 red balloons. He made it happen! Super fun time!

Sonia

In primary school I was forced to put a valentine on the seat of my best friend’s chair… by the guy i was head-over-heels in love with. Sadness.

Betty Lertdarapong

My most memorable Valentines day took place in 2012.

My boyfriend and I were living together in a quaint rowhouse in South Philadelphia. In January of 2012 he broke the news to me that he would be relocating to Portland, Oregon for work. We mutually agreed to split up because it was unrealistic to us at the time to be in a long distance relationship. He drove out west in late January. He took his time driving his VW bus across the country, making many stops to visit friends. I, on the other hand, was stuck in the house that we used to share together. It was the strangest feeling to come back to the house, but not have it feel like home anymore.

That is when I knew I had to do something drastic. I wanted to show him that I was willing to give a long distance relationship a chance. On Valentines Day I flew from Philadelphia to San Diego to meet up with him on his road trip. He picked me up at the airport and we drove north from there. We took Highway 1 the entire way so we could see the sun set over the ocean everynight. We spent four days on the road together, sleeping in the back of the VW Bus on side streets and taking “bum showers” in gas station bathrooms. I flew out of San Francisco on the last day after unforgettable adventures in the bay.

Since that Valentines Day, we spent 9 months in a long distance relationship.. We finally moved back in together in none other than San Francisco. We live happily in the Mission and are getting married on July 5th of this year.

Carolyn

My senior year of high school, I baked a mountain of small heart-shaped cookies. I handed them out to everybody I came across that Valentine’s day, including people I didn’t really know. It was my first foray into random acts of kindness.

Sam

Since we met 11 years ago in college, my husband has handwritten a note to accompany every birthday gift, Christmas present, and random thinking of you moment. Some are short, some longer, some are accompanied with a few bars of music he wrote, and a special few are poems. This mathematics guy is surprisingly eloquent, and I’ve always loved that he’s not afraid to lay his heart bare, though he would be loathe to admit it to anyone. I’ve saved them all, but one of the most special was a poem that he wrote not long after we met, and sent to me on Valentines Day. I carry a beat-up copy in my wallet, and though I hardly ever look at it, I know it’s there. It’s the loveliest of reminders of all that early romance and desire and magic, and just thinking of it takes me back to that time.

Maddy

My most memorable valentine’s days are from when I was a little kid and I would decorate heart shaped cookies with my mom and watch corny love movies on TV.

Paige

Last year was my most memorable Valentine’s Day. I was in my second semester of law school and was sort of still finding my way in a new town, with new people. Despite all the parties and revelry that goes along with law school (and there’s a lot), I hadn’t been asked on a date by anyone that I wanted to date, and so was mostly happy and content being single. I spent the evening having dinner with two single male friends, at their apartment, and we watched some tv. I left to go home around 11pm and decided to stop on the way at the grocery store. It was raining, so I walked quickly up to Safeway’s entrance. Sitting right outside the entrance was a young man – he couldn’t have been much younger than me – and he was just crouched on the stoop. I almost thought he was waiting for someone. But as I approached him, he said, “Could you give me some money to go buy some food?” I didn’t know if he was homeless, or just broke, but I responded, “Well, I don’t have any cash but I was about to go in a pick up a few things. I’ll buy you some food?” And he didn’t say anything. “Would you like a sandwich?” I asked him. “Yes, please,” he said. “What kind of sandwich do you want?” “Oh, anything is fine.” “Okay,” I told him. “Just wait here, I’ll be right back.” So, I went inside and bought him a sandwich, a banana, a bag of chips and a coke. For some reason, I didn’t expect him to still be there when I emerged but he was. Before I handed him the bag, I asked, “What’s your name?” “Kevin.” “I’m Paige. Do you have somewhere to go tonight?” I’m not sure what I would have offered him but I felt so compelled to offer anything. He assured me he did, said thank you for the food, and then walked away from the store and down the road. It was by far my best Valentine’s day. This stranger reminded me how blessed I was, how loved I was, and how important it is to treat each other with love. This year, I’m no longer single (and actually, am dating one of the guys I spent last Valentine’s with!) and likely won’t ever again have my Valentine be someone who maybe needs to be loved more than in a romantic way.

Lindsey

My favorite V-Day thus far was with my boyfriend 3 years ago. At the time we had only been dating for 2 weeks and both of us agreed that we don’t care about celebrating Valentine’s day. With this agreement, he surprised me with a blue-ink injected orchid and I surprised him with salty/sweet trail mix (bc he says I act salty but he knows that I’m sweet). Every year since then, we’ve “not-celebrated” with orchids and trail mix.

Michelle

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was the first year my husband and I were married. He had left to go on a ski trip the week prior was scheduled to return home Valentine’s Day evening. When we were dating, I put on a good “Oh I hate Valentine’s Day let’s forget that day exists” front but then would be secretly sad when he took my words at face value and we never celebrated the 4+ years we were dating. I blame youth and general insecurity. However, since it was our first year being married, I had planned a beautiful Valentine’s Day dinner to surprise him with. My husband is the cook in the family so a meal that he had absolutely nothing to do with is a BIG surprise. I got a card. I poured my newlywed heart out. I commenced destroying our kitchen/cooking. Unfortunately, he missed his flight home and I found out mid-reduction that it would be a dinner for one as he could not get on a flight until the following morning. I did my best not to sound disappointed because obviously I had nothing planned as Valentine’s Day did not exist in this relationship. I ate my lamb chop with balsamic reduction like a champion and downed a good 2 or 3 glasses of equally satisfying wine. A buzzed viewing of When Harry Met Sally was my dessert. Before the credits started rolling. I heard keys in the door and in came my husband with a bouquet of flowers. He had waited around at the airport for a standby flight because he wanted to be with me on our first married Valentine’s Day. I let him eat the leftovers

Joanna

I actually met my now husband on Valentines Day 2009. I had plans to meet a bunch of friends with no significant others (read: SINGLE) for afternoon drinks since it fell on a Saturday. One of my friends brought along a friend of his and we hit it off over tispy games of Taboo and Catch Phrase at D.B.A. in the East Village. Cut to him offering to walk me to the subway but mistakenly walking me into the heart of China Town. A week or so later he invited me out Salsa Dancing (a very ballsy first date) and the rest is history. I had never really been into the “hallmark” holiday, but there is something very special (and easy to remember) about the anniversary of our first meeting being on Valentines day, it makes me appreciate the sentiments of the day in a way I don’t think I would ever otherwise.

Jackie

Opting to avoid all the cheesy/expensive dinners, last year my boyfriend and I had a picnic on the living room floor with candlelight and takeout. Simple, cozy, and romantic.

Gen

My fiance’s best friend passed away suddenly a few years ago, and his funeral was on Valentine’s Day. My fiance (boyfriend at the time) flew to the funeral, and I was so sad I couldn’t be there with him. The weekend after, my fiance surprised me with a road trip along the coast, including a custom playlist, wine tastings, and a cliffside hotel room. He said he was making it up to me that he missed Valentine’s Day (which, of course, was ridiculous) but later admitted that planning the road trip was what got him through one of the toughest days of his life. All those hours in the car gave us time to talk about his friend and process his death. Not the most lighthearted memory, I realize, but it was meaningful and a great reminder that romance can come in many forms.

Ali

My mom has always been my valentine. It’s been another way for us to connect and feels more like Mother-Daughter Day than Valentine’s Day. Now that I live in another state, I miss those days!

Stacy

One Valentines Day that stands out for me is that took place when I thought I was finally in an “adult” romantic relationship. I was a young artist and an emerging audio producer and I lived in a small apartment that I loved but struggled to pay for. My boyfriend was about nine years older than I, and a lawyer with a great sense of humor and a fancy car that I was embarrassed to be seen in but secretly enjoyed to comfort of.

It was so nice not to have to worry about all the things I usually struggled with as someone underemployed! But at the same time, I found him a tad boring.

Anyway, it felt so unexpectedly when on Valentine’s Day he actually sent me a lush and beautifully wild flower arrangement with a little bird in it, a HUGE box of expensive chocolates, and a bottle of Frangelico, my favorite addition to coffee at the time. I wasn’t used to fancy presents at all, and it was so different from my normal lifestyle to be showered with gifts.

The following weekend we had dinner at his mother’s house, and she had the EXACT same three gifts sitting on her counter. Even the Frangelico! I asked him about it and he said he’d told his secretary to get me, his mom and herselfwhatever she thought we’d like but to be sure and suit her own tastes. So my gift was nothing special, after all, and my interests were acknowledged by mere coincidence.

Needless to say, that was our last Valentines day together. I love second-hand trinkets and thrifting, and a princessy v-day just isn’t really my style.

I’m now married to an awesome, fellow creative who buys me candy the day after the holiday each year when it’s marked down to half price. But he truly loves me and we have fun and are happy. :)

Brittney G.

How I loved my childhood Valentine’s Days. Singing telegrams, gifts from my parents and decorated shoeboxes full of awesome 80s/90s cards! I remember being in second grade and getting not one but TWO heart-shaped boxes of chocolate from two different little boys in my class. Naturally, I was mortified because I now had to choose! And I had completely forgotten about one boy when I was adding up classmates to give 90s Barbie valentines to that day in our little decorated shoeboxes. I’d even signed my name to all the cards I passed out, and he’d for sure know that a card from me was not in the box! I started to cry, and he said it was okay…he really didn’t care for Barbie cards anyway.

alyssa

I spent my most memorable Valentine’s Day yelling at my partner for screwing up…

Last year, he decided we should get random matching tattoos, but didn’t make an appointment anywhere or have a plan of any sort for WHAT we’d get. We spent 20 minutes or so trying to come up with the perfect idea (swans maybe?) before he admitted it just wasn’t going to work out. Realizing this was his whole gift/date idea/plan for the evening, I proceeded to get a little, well, angry… but we smoothed it over with veggie dogs and milkshakes and ended up singing karaoke all night.

We got matching pineapple tattoos in Venice Beach a few months later to make up for it, and they’re perfect <3

Bronwyn

My most memorable Valentine’s Day I spent in the hospital with pneumonia – I was maybe twelve? At any rate, it was shaping up to be less-than-perfect but my family came to see me with homemade chocolate lava cakes, a ton of flowers, and a card with Chopin on it from my little brother that said “we can be consumptive together”. Not the most romantic thing, but I felt incredibly loved.
(last year, on the 13th, I got sick again but my friends all came over and we made cards for each other while watching “It Happened One Night”)

Summer

My favorite valentine’s day memory was a completely platonic one. Two of my girlfriends and I were treated to dinner by three good male friends of ours who were like big brothers to us. After a fun & fancy dinner at a jazz bar, a car pulled up and each of our male friend’s presented us with a rose and a blindfold. We were so confused! They proceeded to tell us that they thought we deserved to be shown how special we are, and that though there was no romance involved it meant a lot to them to be able to give us a valentine’s day to remember–“We think highly of you ladies and we think you deserve to feel special on Valentine’s Day.” After putting on our blindfolds we found ourselves whisked away to the Opryland Hotel where we were sent on a fantastic scavenger hunt. So fun! At the end of the scavenger hunt we found crazy delicious desserts waiting on us. It was just a really special night with some dear friends who truly put a lot of effort into simply affirming us as friends and women … with zero expectations. I haven’t had a single boyfriend put the kind of effort into valentines that these dear friends did. A treasured memory!

Also … I adore Catbird. Simply the best boutique for gifts and beautiful things … always a feast for the eyes!

Kate

Last Valentine’s Day my fiancee and I both wrote cards for each other that we were going to exchange at dinner. We had such a lovely time eating savory crepes in the candlelight after long days at work, that we forgot we’d left our (private!) letters on the table at the restaurant. Lucky for us, they tucked the cards away safely for us, and we picked them up (unopened, thankfully!) the next day.

Anna

My favorite and most memorable valentine’s day was when I was 9 and I in my 4th grade class and I got a call from my Dad telling me that my baby sister was born! I remember being so excited to finally see her. So, my mimi drove me to the hospital and I told her all about how I knew that when I would see her I’d decide whether she looked more like a Marykate or an Ashley. My parents thought it was so cute that I picked out names but they had already decided on caroline (which i’m glad they did). I just remember everyone being so happy and full of love. It’s been like that every valentine’s day thanks to Caroline and I’m just thankful for it.
ps. Totally love Catbirdnyc. If I could be a kitten who owns even one of your things I would be in love with it forever.

Miss Clark

My favorite Valentine’s Day was when one of my first grade students gave me a poem that he wrote: “Roses are red, Violets are blue, I like Noah’s Ark, I love Miss Clark”. So adorable.

Galen

For our first Valentine’s Day together my boyfriend (now my husband) and I spent the weekend in New Hampshire, where I took him to Funspot, aka the largest arcade in the world. We spent the day playing skee ball and classic arcade games and eating junk food. It was so much fun!

Jane

Background: I had a boyfriend in college who worked as a building manager for one of our campus buildings that was built to look like an old English tudor house – wood paneling everywhere, cozy fireplaces, rich silk curtains, etc., it’s often rented out for weddings and major events.

Valentine’s Day: It turned out on our first Valentine’s Day together, he had to work until late. I was a bit glum about it, but agreed to meet him at the building at 10:30 pm when he was ending his shift so we could grab a late bite.

At the end of each shift, he had to do a room check, going to each room, making sure things were locked and in good order. He often had me tag along, and I did so, room by room, locking windows, turning off lights, etc. When we made it to the East wing, he had a glint in his eye, and for good reason. We walked into the ballroom and in it he had set up the ultimate romantic dinner for two! He had pulled some strings with the catering company that usually does events for the building and got them to make us a dinner for two, served on a table and linens he had snagged from the storage closet, not to mention one of the event sound systems to set the mood with a mix he made of my favorite tunes – Frank Sinatra and Miles David, of course. Then there were candles, lots of candles, set in the fireplace, along the window benches. Flowers, too! It was the nicest, most thought out thing anyone had ever done for me. I’ll never forget it!

Molly

My most memorable Valentine’s day was when I realized I didn’t have to make a big showy deal out of it or feel bad if I didn’t have a boyfriend. It’s just a day to spend time with and think about people that you love, anyone.

j.b

ages ago, my college boyfriend (now husband) took me to an over the top cheesy italian restaurant. it was so not our typical kind of dinner date but we loved it and had a night as romantic as it was funny.

E H

In college, my friend and I were boyfriend-less, so we decided to send to each other a dozen roses, from different florists, signed ” XO Your Secret Admirer.” We giggled as we drove together to each florist and arranged the deliveries. It was our secret and to this day we have told none of our closest friends. However, for me, the kicker was the confession from two male friends that they sent me the flowers.

Katie Fukushima

My boyfriend and I are in a L.D.R. And a few years ago, I visited him in Baltimore for Valentine’s Day. At the time, he was a grad student at Hopkins and I’m from California. Well, we were about to head to DC for Valentine’s Day, and I flooded the toilet! His roommate had to go to the front desk to get a mop–it was so embarrassing. Occasionally, I’ll remind my boyfriend: “Remember the Valentine’s Day that I spent cleaning up the bathroom.” We always giggle about that day, it’s a Valentine’s Day that we’ll never forget!

Amy W.

My favorite Valentine’s Day was made perfect by my boyfriend (now husband). We were seniors in college and I had been sick for the entire week leading up to V-day. I was still sick on v-day and knew we were going out to dinner together. I was feeling ill and just the thought of having to shower and get dressed up wore me out. I also had an early morning class that I couldn’t miss. So me and my roommate were waiting for class to start and he shows up with Starbucks coffee for not only me, but also for my roommate (who was single and didn’t have a date). I thought that was incredibly thoughtful of him. He knows that I would rather treat someone else than me enjoy a gift. Later that evening I show up to his apartment (he didn’t have a car in school so I did all the driving) and he had made me my favorite food: tacos, chips and guac!!! I was SOOOO thrilled and I Laughed and said, “so I didn’t have to shower afterall??” haha, at least he had a sense of humor and took care of me while I was sick. I still bring this day up randomly when I’m asked what the best thing he’s ever suprised me with… It puts a smile on my face everytime I think about it.
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Jennie

Growing up my dad always bought my sister and I chocolate or conversation hearts. He was my first (and favorite to date) valentine.

I’m an adult now, but my parents still send a valentine’s day card each year just to remind me they love me.

Melissa

My favorite Valentines Day, was actually spent by myself. The Christo gate’s exhibit had just opened in New York, and I was dying to see it. On a whim, I booked a plane ticket with miles and flew out to NYC. It was snowing and the orange cloth against the white was breath taking. I took my time roaming about and in the evening settled in at the bar of Etats-Unis for chocolate cake. Even though I am engaged to an incredible man, and we have had blissful Valentine’s Days together, the one where I remembered to honor and love myself was the best!

Jessica

Tom was just a friend, but we had been hanging out with increasing intensity. It was that part of a relationship when you’re over-the-moon excited about someone, but you’ve had no romantic contact besides a hug goodbye. He came over the evening of Feb. 13th and we baked an early birthday cake for me — a simple, yellow Betty Crocker cake with chocolate frosting. My 21st birthday was going to be on the 21st, which he was going to miss since he was leaving on a trip the next day: Valentine’s Day. We ate some cake, took a bunch of photos and made each other laugh like best friends hanging out after elementary school. Time slipped away from us, but he ended up leaving a few hours before the sun came up. In my doorway, we hugged goodbye, but he lingered closer and gave me a small, hesitant kiss on the side of my mouth. That, to me, marked us passing the threshold from being good friends to being together. What I did for the rest of my Valentine’s Day paled in comparison to that Valentine’s morning. This year will be the 10 year anniversary of that sweet side-kiss. We’ve been married for 7.5 of those years, and we still laugh like best friends.

Rebecca M.

My husband and I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day much any more, but he does tell me he loves me every. single. day. And to me, that’s even better!

Megan

The SO and I don’t normally celibrate Valintines day. But one year I came home from work to find a small heart shaped cake on the table waiting for me. There was also a bowl of cake shavings on the counter. He had cut the cake into the heart shape by hand. And it took him a little bit (lot) of work to get it into just the right shape. It always makes me smile when I think of it.

Laura

Don’t tell my husband, but my favorite Valentine’s memory is with an old boyfriend about ten years ago. We were in graduate school and super broke, so there weren’t too many celebration options within our price range. Instead of splurging on dinner at a too-expensive restaurant, we decided to do up the holiday in true Hallmark fashion and embrace every cheap Valentine’s cliche we could think of. He bought me pink carnations with baby’s breath and a heart-shaped box of chocolates from the drugstore; I bought him a cheesy greeting card with a kitten on it that said “I wuv you” and made him a home cooked dinner of steak and baked potatoes with chocolate covered strawberries and cheap champagne for dessert. We didn’t spend much, and nothing we indulged in that day was of memorably high quality, but we had so much fun planning and celebrating with humor that none of that mattered. While the relationship didn’t last, that memory always will, and it will always be one I treasure.

Fay

Well, not my favorite Valentine’s Day, but my favorite gift, and one that I always request, is a letter from each of my two sons. They usually write pretty predictable stuff ( “You’re the best Mom ever….”) but I just eat it up!

Denly

My favorite Valentine’s Day is the one we’re about to experience. It will have been nearly two months since I saw my husband. He’s training to be an RCMP officer and is away from me in Saskatchewan for six months. I’m so proud of him, but really miss him. Hopefully, if all works out, I’ll get to give him a much-deserved bear hug this Valentine’s weekend when we meet for a mini-holiday in Vancouver.

Pam

For as long as I can remember my Dad always gave me a little heart shaped box of assorted chocolates, picked up I’m sure from some random grocery or drug store on his way home from work. I was none the wiser though and thought they were the finest chocolates in the world. He was a single father for many years, and I was the youngest of 4 kids and happy to be his “sweet pea” on Valentine’s Day. He’s been gone for over 15 years now, I still smile when I see those little heart boxes pop up this time of year. I’d rather have a box of those cheesy chocolates from him than any other chocolates in the word.

peggy

is it odd that I’m in my 40’s and haven’t had any wildly romantic valentine’s day? it’s not that I mind, I’m pretty low key and my husband & I will give each other small gifts but even with boyfriends, there has never been any huge outpouring of gifts, tokens or gestures on V-day. but when I think about favorite memories, I think about my dad bringing us girls (4 daughters) each a small box of chocolate candy on V-day or candy hearts. one year (I must’ve been 8 or 9) he gave me a heart necklace. the heart is made of hard plastic, but made to look like glass crystal. I still have it … in a safe spot …

Davia

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was a few years back – my two best friends and I told our boyfriends to make their own plans, and the two of them came to NYC. We spent the weekend enjoying the city and snuggling together! I made us matching hot pink sweatshirts that we all still wear today, even though they both hate pink! Whenever I need to go to my happy place, I imagine the three of us that weekend, laughing so hard we cried, snuggled together in my bed in our matching sweatshirts!

Ariane Owens

I remember jem and my little pony valentines, candy hearts and doilies. My partner of six years and I work in the restaurant industry together and have served many romantic meals to thousands of couples. Last year I specifically remember two women; one in a red dress and the other in a sexy tux laughing and beaming at each other. We try to be romantic on the off days. Today we planted a pear tree.

Dawn

One of my 1st grade students made me the sweetest valentine a few years ago, just a paper collage. It’s a treasure, and it always reminds me of how she used to wear bonnets to school and play a fake accordion.

ginny branch

I apologize in advance for the sappy, sticky sweet nature of this comment… but I love me some Catbird and want a shot at winning :)

My favorite and most memorable Valentine’s Day was when my husband proposed to me in 2008. He came to visit me and showed up to my work with flowers. I was wearing big goofy heart shaped sunglasses and I sat on his lap (something I never do). There is photographic evidence of this and he most definitely looks nervous. And a little sweaty for a cold February day. Apparently I was sitting dangerously close to the ring box causing him to panic but I had no idea. Instead of taking a cab to dinner he suggested we walk, which I thought was strange because it was a decent hike to Soho from the West Village…

**An important note in this story is that my husband and I had been together the better part of 11 years, since we were 13. I have always been super swoony and he has always been decidedly the opposite, shunning all kinds of grand romantic gestures. We started dating at the time the 1996 Romeo and Juliet came out, and I like most preteen girls did, became instantly obsessed. Like see it 11 times in theater and quote every line obnoxiously obsessed. Like, beg your boyfriend to quote the love scene with you (even though neither of you is a thespian) and pout when he flat out refuses… every single time. That kind of obsessed. **

So fast-forward back to walking to Soho and we walk through Washington Square Park and he puts headphones in my ear that is playing Des’ree’s “Kissing You” and then he launches into “If I profane with my unworthiest hand…” into my favorite scene of Romeo and Juliet. All of these years I had begged him to humor me and I can still quote it to this day, but I totally went tunnel vision, complete shock, and BLANKED ON THE LINES. I think I just blinked a bunch and said, “What?” like he was speaking a foreign language. He made a few more attempts at reciting the scene before he saw this train was going nowhere so he went rogue and closed the deal by saying some really sweet, meaningful which none of it I remember because I was totally in shock. Needless to say I still can’t believe my good fortune that I ended up marrying my best friend and literally the man I’ve wanted to marry the better part of my entire life. And that’s the best Valentine’s Day I’ve ever had.

JB

First Valentine’s Day with now-fiance: Persian food– rich fesenjen and tadig, heaps of pita and saffron rice, and then going to ANY MUSEUM IN PHILLY! So we went to see dinosaurs at the Academy of Natural Sciences. Because every kiss begins with…velociraptors? A+++, would totally do again.

Rachel

Valentines Day is always pretty special to me. I don’t really know why. I always kind of feel bad knowing that I don’t express my love in the same way year-round, but at least we do have this one day to let it out! My most memorable Valentines Day isn’t remarkable in any spectacular way. I just recall that my father was never really one for giving gifts on V-day. Then, one year, he bought my mom a beautiful bouquet of roses and flowers. Perhaps it’s because I wasn’t used to his demonstrative display of love that this has made such a lasting impression on me. It was simple, but so sweet.

Jackie

A few years ago my boyfriend took me to a park, it was freezing but we still had a picnic on this little wooden table we found and watched the sun go down. It’s my favorite one because I like to remember it and how little we knew about each other back then and how awkward and shy we were.

Maureen

Hi-
I’m a high school teacher and it’s pretty rare to see kids wandering the school very early in the morning. A few years ago on Valentine’s Day, I saw one of my seniors walking down the hall with a bouquet of flowers and a card. He’d arrived nearly an hour early to sneak in and put the flowers in his girlfriend’s locker. The best part of the whole thing was the look on his face, both confident and insecure at the same time. Later that day I saw his girlfriend carrying around the flowers. All the way down the hall, she never stopped smiling…

Emily M. Harris

good valentine’s day memory for me – one of a disappointing nature: an ex of mine, two years into our relationship, took me to a store on valentine’s day and had me wandering for what seemed like forever. finally we ended up in the tools, and at a fire extinguisher. I was a bit befuddled, but was prepared for a corny, “the fire between us burns so bright…” something mushy, but no, he literally just gave me a fire extinguisher. I mean, I can say I still have the fire extinguisher, so it was a practical gift, though completely unromantic and not even really usable except in the case of a horrible accident. fun times.

liz

Valentine’s Day had been fraught for such a major part of my life, first because my parents never acknowledged these things, I wasn’t a popular kid, and t didn’t have that special someone and then, because there was something not quite right in my relationships. The most fantastic and best Valentine’s Day, and then truthfully, all that have followed, was the first one after I started a new home, one which my daughters come to half of every week and in which there is peace and love and kindness. I started a tradition I wish that I had had the emotional ability to establish long before, of having a little token for each of my girls on Valentine’s morning so that they always feel extra special and that little bit of extra love. It’s that whole thing about loving from the inside allowing the love to come in from the outside. It’s not just because of our Valentine’s Day tradition, but there are a whole lot more smiles all around these days.

Abby

Well, I admit V Day isn’t a very big deal to me, since my birthday is two days before. But my most memorable Valentine’s Day might be when my husband suggested we watch a movie together, and then put on Schindler’s List. It really didn’t even occur to him that it’s not a very appropriate Valentine’s Day movie! I still love him though.

Megan

I love Catbird!! When I was 15 I had my first boyfriend, and my best friend was dating his cousin. We stayed up late the night before Valentines Day making cutesy cards with embossed stamps, all crafty-like. My boyfriend (of only a few months) came over the next day and I gave him the card excitedly, and he handed over a dozen roses, an Elmo doll that said “Elmo Loves You,” and an incredibly sappy card into which he had inscribed all of the lyrics to that Elton John song “The One.” It was waaay too intense for how long we’d dated, and I was thoroughly freaked out slash mortified that all I had gotten him was this crappy card. He was clearly not impressed by the work I’d put into the embossing, haha.

Sabrina

My best friend and I watched rom-coms together and celebrated being single! (There may have been a lot of chocolate involved.)

Sarah Carlyle

My very favorite was our first valentines day. My now husband made a little video of the events that led us to that day, it started with a shot of the bar where we first met (from inside the car )with a CD playing “Strangers in the Night”, then to a gas station where we stopped to use the washroom because I couldn’t make it any further, then to our first real date, then to other things that were memorable. It was a little cheesy but I wouldn’t want anything more.

Liz B.

I’m not big on traditional romance, but I have quite a sweet tooth and my partner always raids the post-holiday candy sales and surprises me with a candy bonanza during the weeks after Valentine’s Day. It’s perfect.

Shannon Hiczewski

My most memorable Valentine’s Day to-date was one which should have been ruined. I had been working a long, cold day (as a barn manager of a horse stable) and ran out of gas on the way home. I called my boyfriend Justin, and told him that I was going to be late. Not an issue, just an inconvenience. A familiar SUV pulled up behind me as I was waiting for AAA, and I was thankful when I saw my friend step out. What I was not happy to see, however, were the tears streaming down her face. She and her long time boyfriend had JUST split. We sat in her car with the heat on and talked until the fuel arrived, and when I went to get back in my truck, I couldn’t help but say “Oh my gosh, we would love to have you for dinner!” So we went on down the road to my house, and I got on the phone with J. He understood. We all split wine, steaks, and chocolates, and laughed and chatted the night away.

Seeing my boyfriend being so welcoming, understanding, and compassionate to one of my best friends had made me fall even more in love with him.

That Valentine’s Day will forever remind me that there is, in fact, a silver lining to every cloud.

Happy Valentine’s Day!
-Shannon

Nicole

My most memorable valentine’s day was the only valentine’s day I’ve been single since I started my dating career. My girl friend and I went on pretend dates with two guy friends where we all jokingly made grand gestures all through dinner, imitating what we thought all sappy couples were actually doing. We ended the night drinking pink lemonade and vodka, listening to Peaches Fuck the Pain Away on repeat and dancing wildly in the dark.

Colleen

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was when my Mom cooked dinner for our family and made lobster tails with warmed butter for dipping. At the time, this was very exotic and special because we usually ate Hamburger Helper or chicken & rice dishes with a side of frozen or canned veggies. I remember saying, “this is yummy, but something’s going on.” That year, my Mom was pregnant, and we soon learned that this was her way of sharing and celebrating her news: she was going to have twin boys. How wonderful! Wasn’t that exciting?! Twin brothers!? No! I did not think it was exciting. At my young age of 12, I never wanted a brother and I certainly didn’t ask for two! But that announcement on Valentine’s Day was the day that my life changed forever, because now I’m 30 and my brothers are 18 and they mean the world to me. Both intellectually and physically disabled, they have taught me to value uniqueness. And reminded me that I am so glad I have brothers. ESPECIALLY twins :)

Julia

My best was getting stood up on Valentines Day two years ago. I was so eager to meet someone after that I had the courage to talk to my now love (my boyfriend) in a random dive bar on the Upper West Side on February 18th. Turns out my parents also met at a random dive bar on the Upper West Side…on February 18th.

Some things are just meant to be!

Jocelyn

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was when I was 7 years old. My neighbor (and first kiss) brought over a box of greeting cards to my house as a gift to me. The box had belonged to his mother–she had collected cards she had received throughout the years. I was thrilled to receive so many cards–oblivious to the fact that my gift belonged to someone else. When my mother came home later that day, she saw the box and sadly made me return it to its rightful owner. The next day, my neighbor (and first kiss, and still one of my closest friends) came to my door with a valentine just for me.

Debra Harreld

The man I was dating was living in an attic apartment, filled with cast-off furniture from his relatives. His kitchen was not well appointed, so for a Valentines’ Day gift I bought him a cookie sheet. The next morning, he decided to bake the kind of cinnamon rolls that come in a tube that pops. I woke to the smell of burning sugar because he had iced the rolls before he put them in the oven to bake. He never did learn to read the directions on the package.

Cara

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was the first one I spent with my husband. It was our very first date, and it was sweet and a bit awkward, in part because I am SOOO not a Valentine’s Day kind of person, and I was sort of embarrassed to have everyone at the restaurant (where we had to wait forever for a because our original plans fell through and, hey, most people are smart enough to make reservations for Valentine’s Day) treat us like we were an established couple having a cliched romantic dinner. But we had a lovely time, and we’ve spent every Valentine’s Day together since that one (15 years ago).

Tina

I came of age in the 70s, in a crowded house with four brothers and one sister. Since I was the oldest girl in a fairly traditional family, I was the principle kid wrangler, chore wench, and all around mother’s helper. I loved and hated this very gendered role, and have been pushing back ever since. But Valentine’s Day–as heteronormative as it is–was always special. Before my dad left for work on Valentine’s Day, he would place three little red heart shaped boxes of chocolates on the kitchen counter; one for each of his three “girls” (my mom, my sister, and me). He’s long passed and I have many wonderful memories of him, including this sweet gesture which I shared with my own daughter (who is now all grown up and a confectioner!). Thanks for the opportunity to remember this story. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Erica D.

I was never much for Valentine’s day (single or not) until I met my husband. We love just staying in, whipping up a home-made gourmet meal and fancy cocktails and snuggling up on the couch to watch our favourite movies!

clara

Hello Catbird and Grace,

I’ve had a lot of love in my life, but never a valentine. I feel grateful to have experienced so much love but the boyfriends I have had have never believed in this “fake holiday” and I agreed with them at that time. Now I am single once again and honestly, I think that if I had the chance with that special someone, I would celebrate every single cheesy holiday together with them. I adore holidays and I have no idea why I’ve been embarrassed to admit it until recently. Perhaps I was just “too cool”.

I’ve had a series of life woes recently: being laid off from work from the company I’ve worked for the last 5 years, having to suddenly move in the middle of a deep freeze Chicago winter, and breaking up with my terribly romantic love story of falling in love with a man in Montreal after meeting him once and trying to make it work despite the 850 miles between us. Between navigating the deep depression you gain when you lose your sense of worth along with the job, sad hours spent in the waiting room of the unemployment office, confusion when you are assured after waiting 5 hours that the mistake you made in answering the forms is one that “college graduates” always make, and the strange consideration of getting on food stamps as that college graduate, you start to find out what you’re really made of.

I’ve found out that I am made of some pretty tough stuff! Also, if this is the worst that happens to me in my life, I’ve got it. I don’t have a full time job yet, but I do have back my self worth and the feeling that I can do anything, especially now that I have this free time to pursue it. In this time where I’ve tightened my belt and stayed in so I can continue to pay my student loans and rent, I’ve been more productive than I ever have in my life.

The point of all this wordiness and explanation leads to this, Catbird, I know you’ve got a lot of prospects but despite the fact I don’t have a lot on paper right now, you could be my first valentine and the first on the next wave of good things that are to come in my life. I believe in me, and I believe in us ;]

Elle

It was a rainy day and we just gotten into a huge fight. I was sobbing my eyes out until I heard someone playing guitar and singing outside my window. There he was! Apology accepted and happily ever after :)

Lilia

One year in high school, a friend and I decided that we weren’t going to let not having a boyfriend stop us from enjoying valentine’s day. We were each other’s valentines, and we went the whole nine yards; she even left a present on my desk every bell of the day :)

Kayte

I was working on a film in Los Angeles, while my husband was in the Bay Area. Wrapping up the film we all expected to be done with work early and everyone could go to their respective sweethearts. Little did we know our married owners decided we all needed to stay late, turning a 10 hour day into a 12 hour day. By the time we got out, everyone’s dinner plans had been ruined and it almost seemed like poetic justice since I was having to spend the night alone anyway. I got home exhausted and depressed when my doorbell rang- my husband had ordered my favorite Thai food delivered to my door. I ended up drinking, eating delicious food, and my husband and I video chatted as we both watched the futuristic sci fi film Runaway where Tom Selleck has to stop out of control robotic spiders sent by Gene Simmons. Best night ever :)

Jen

A few years ago on Valentine’s Day I had a typical busy day with 3 little kids..I made a delicious dinner. .( Although it was simple because I was busy chasing kids!) The evening got later and still no hubbie home. (He runs his own service plumbing business.) I had a lump in my throat and a bit of bitterness that hubbie made no effort to be home to spend Valentine’s Day with us. He was working late as usual. He got home about 9 PM and brought home his worker as well and they ate the Valentine meal I was hoping my husband and I could eat together amid the chaos of our kids. Then my sweet hubbie went to his truck and brought in a huge beautiful bouquet and chocolates. He had not forgotten! He gave me a kiss and apologized that his work ran late. I realized what a hard worker he is and the long hours he works to support our growing family. Now we look back and can laugh over our Valentine’s Dinner that he shared with his worker :)

Stephanie

I was on an exchange program in London, England for a semester. I was newly single, and all alone for Valentine’s Day, so I decided to go and visit my aunt, who lives in France.
On the morning of the 14th she and I were sitting together over foamy lattes, talking about life and love and the future, when there was a ring at her door. She opened it up to receive a huge bouquet… of my favorite flowers.
My best friend (of over seven years!) always asks me to send him my address when I’m travelling so that he can make sure I’ve made my flights.
He knows me from my favorite songs, to favorite flowers, to the silly movies that get me every time. He knew that my favorite flowers were anemones, and light purple roses that had yet to open.
“They are addressed to ‘A little mermaid’,” my aunt said, and as soon as I saw his handwriting I knew they were from him, and I realized how much I missed him, and, in that moment, how much I loved him.
As soon as I got back from France, we bought a ticket so that I could fly out to see him. We’ve been officially together since that day, and live together now, but I always count from that Valentine’s day, when a big bouquet of anemones and roses arrived from a charming prince to his mermaid girl, and changed her whole world forever. Someday, I hope that he puts a catbird engagement ring on my finger!

Jessica

I love, love. I hate Valentine’s Day. No “best” Valentine’s Day memory here…maybe that is why I hate it:)

Lysanne

Valentine’s Day 2009… I had a crush on my brother’s friend, even though I knew he wasn’t right for me, and was desperate for a date on this particular day. We ended up going to the cinema for what is for me, to this date, the longest movie ever (Avatar), sitting in the worst chairs with dirty 3D glasses (hello headache!) – of course I paid for my ticket, he never offered to anyway. He then took me to the only Chinese buffet in town for dumplings & noodles and asked if we could split the check. I felt like a princess… He broke up with me a week later during his birthday party, in front of my brother and his friends…

I still go to the cinema on Valentine’s Day, it’s like a tradition now, but for the past 3 years, it’s with the same person – and he always gets popcorn for me…

Bethany W `

One of the most memorable Valentines days happened when I was dating my husband in high school. He had me meet him at his house, where I found a series of notes giving me directions “walk 20 steps south, turn right and walk 15 more” ect. Eventually it led to the antenna at the side of the house, and the last note said “can you climb?”. When I reached the top he had laid out a blanket and brought ice cream on top of the roof! We sat up there and watched the sunset and the stars come out. I’m sure his parents would’ve killed us had they known we hung out on the roof all night, but that made it an adventure ;)

Arlene

I think my most memorable Valentine’s Day is coming up since I’m getting married the day after.

Maren

For me, Valentine’s Day has always been about celebrating everyone you love, not just your significant other (if you have one). My boyfriend and I don’t do anything big for Valentine’s Day (our anniversary and his birthday are just a few days later), but when I was little my parents would make a special dinner, and I distinctly remember getting one of those giant Hershey’s Kisses one year — I’m pretty sure my sister and I each ate the whole thing that night!

Lauren

I don’t put a whole lot of weight on Valentine’s Day. My boyfriend and I make it a point to do something small that we love doing together and exchange small gifts. What I love most is that we, as a couple, try to show our love and appreciate on random days throughout the year by going out to dinner or taking weekend get-a-ways… Boy, oh, boy do I love him.

Paige

Since my parents were married on the holiday (32 years ago this month), we’ve always celebrated as a family…I didn’t realize that it is a day for lovers until I was much older. The most memorable Valentine’s Day was their 25th when my father surprised my mother with a beautiful, antique necklace (a pendant of Napoleon) he had bought in Paris with my mother maybe 10 years prior. Last year, my husband and I tried to follow in my parents’ footsteps by getting married on Feb. 9th. We’re celebrating our first anniversary this weekend.

D

I am somewhat embarrassed to say that I lost my virginity on Feb. 15 (my boyfriend lived semi-long-distance and we couldn’t see each other on the actual Valentine’s Day).

Carla Faith

Last Valentine’s Day I was let go from my first big girl job as an Editorial Assistant for one of the Big Six publishing houses. I knew the layoff was coming (budget cuts), but when I came in that Thursday, I kept telling myself, “There is NO WAY IN HELL they are going to fire me on Valentine’s Day.” Well … they did.

When I stumbled onto a chaotic Madison Avenue thirty minutes later – my eyes teary and face hot with embarrassment – I instinctively called my mom to deliver the bad news and find out if, y’know, she was upset that my college degree was going to waste (I just got fired OK! I was allowed to be a bit hyperbolic ;).

Then I called my boyfriend of two years.

Thankfully he had had the day off from work and, without hesitating, he told me to come over. Admittedly, I was more enticed by my bed, a giant glass of wine, and a mind-numbing six-hour Netflix session, but I knew I needed emotional support. I couldn’t be alone.

So, on Valentine’s Day 2013, my boyfriend wiped tears from my eyes, he cursed my former bosses, he made me green tea and rubbed my back, he reminded me that I wanted to be a writer and to take my firing as a sign that I was destined to pursue that.

He bought me my comfort food (chicken lo mein), he bought me a six-pack of my favorite beer, he let me rant and rave about how dumb offices jobs are.

He put me in his comfiest pajamas, he massaged my feet, he kissed my forehead, and he strummed his guitar until I fell asleep.

Fatimah

It’s funny, my most memorable Valentine’s Day was when I was 16 and my first boyfriend surprised me with 3 things:

1) A teddy bear – there is only one stuffed animal that I ever loved and that was “Uni” my white and gold stuffed unicorn from when I was eight years old. I smiled and pretended it was the sweetest thing in the world, not wanting to hurt anyone’s feelings, I didn’t mention Uni.

2) A silk neglige’ nightie – I think he thought it was gonna be a big night and he had two suave older brothers coaching him. I had no idea what to do or say about this, I mean, a freakin neglige? But again, I played on and thought maybe I could cut it up later and use the soft silk for a craft project later.

3) Last, but not least, a teeny, tiny diamond and gold ring. What?! I thought I might get a box of chocolates, but this was too much. I think I got him some boxer shorts with hearts on them that were tastefully formed into the shape of a rose and served on a stem. The ring wasn’t spectacular, given I was use to the sort of jewelry that I had inherited from my Middle Eastern mom’s 1960’s adventures and her travels abroad, but what did this all mean?

By all accounts, the guy did exactly what he was suppose to do and although each gift proved he knew little about me, I wasn’t at all ungrateful, especially when I pawned the ring a few years later to gas-up the car for a weekend road-trip (obviously we had moved on from one another by then). After, either I didn’t have a significant other on Valentine’s Day, or the day just blew all together! I am married now, and maybe as karmic retribution (for not understanding that the effort put into that day long ago by my sweet first boyfriend was the most that would be in possibly a lifetime), my husband is a horrible gift giver, but he makes up for it in other ways. I try to find ways to make Valentine’s Day a time to treat myself and look forward to little hand made gifts that my sweet 9 & 5 year old daughters give. If I happen to win, I can possibly treat myself to the kind of teeny, tiny diamond ring from Catbird that I would treasure for a long time and give to a daughter one day when one of their Valentine’s turns out blue.

Jocelyn

I grew up working in my grandmother’s flower shop and of course, Valentine’s Day was a huge thing. It was very sweet and romantic to see all those orders stacked up and ready to be delivered – love literally filled the room! However all those years, I never had a valentine. My first valentine finally came along in the form of my best guy friend-turned boyfriend…who then became my husband. We were each other’s first valentine and we aim to be each other’s last.

Rebecca

My most memorable V-Day was actually more memorable for the folks I shared it with. My best friend’s birthday is the 14th, so we had a big party in a hotel room when she turned 18. That night I crashed on the sofa, while she and the guy she liked cuddled up on a chair right next to me and made out all night. That was 15 years ago, and they celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary last year.

dana gault

Our first child was born on the 12th of February. Preparing to leave the hospital two days later, I placed her, swaddled in white and adorned with a tiny heart pin that said “I’m Yours”, in my husband’s arms and said, “Happy Valentine’s Day!”
Anna will turn 21 (!) this year, and I would love her to have grown-up Valentine jewelry from Catbird. She’s refused to wear the original pin even once since that first, magical Valentine’s Day (I’ve begged, I’ve bribed) but I still give it to my hubby each year <3
BEST VALENTINE'S DAY EVER!

LD Crowe

My birthday is the day after Valentine’s Day, so the 14th is usually pretty lackluster for me. A couple of years ago, when I was turning 30, I had the best Valentine’s Day/Birthday ever and had a personal fortune/tarot reading followed by a big celebration.

Jessica G.

When my sister and I were little my dad would always surpass us with a small Valentine’s treat at the breakfast table before we went to school. Sometimes it was just a little box of heart candy each other years it might be a little doll or a rose. Those little gifts were the best because they came from dad :)

Mel

My favorite Valentines Day, was actually spent by myself. The Christo gate’s exhibit had just opened in New York, and I was dying to see it. On a whim, I booked a plane ticket with miles and flew out to NYC. It was snowing and the orange cloth against the white was breath taking. I took my time roaming about and in the evening settled in at the bar of Etats-Unis for chocolate cake. Even though I am engaged to an incredible man, and we have had blissful Valentine’s Days together, the one where I remembered to honor and love myself was the best!

emily marie

my favorite valentines day had to be the first one i had spent with my boyfriend. he was stuck having to work until late in the evening that day. so we decided to have a late-night romantic dinner. initially i had planned to have it at my apartment (which i shared with three roommates). obviously that idea was shot down in favor of his place. however, i had been in his kitchen before and it was rather sparse in terms of equipment (and cleanliness for that matter). but, he insisted. secretly though, i did all the prep work, short of putting the meal in the oven, at my apartment. i packed everything up in a wheely-cart, along with dishes and any other supplies i would need and pushed it through the snow to his place. when i got there however (now wet, sweaty and tired!), i found in his freshly cleaned kitchen a brand new dutch oven and various other kitchen supplies all decorated with construction paper hearts, a set table with candles waiting to be lit and a cheeky little note saying “happy valentines day! xoxo! now make me dinner!” every holiday, and non-holiday, since has been full of similar surprises and sprinkled with that same mix of love, humor and the unexpected!

Danika

I somehow got myself into doing something really silly and unique for Valentine’s Day every year for my boyfriend of 6 years. It started with the world’s tiniest letter that came with a magnifying glass. Last year, I put together a treasure hunt, beginning with a weathered map in a bottle bobbing in the bathtub, continuing with (rhyming!) clues leading around the house, ending with jam heart cookies hiding in the ottoman. It’s getting hard to outdo myself, but I love spending time on thinking and executing something creative for my love!

Meg

My most memorable Valentine’s day was the first Valentine’s I spent with my partner– 6 years ago. Our first date had only been the week before, so we hardly knew each other. But he came over to my place to pick me up after work– we planned on just going to a local dive and getting drinks and a bite– and he brought me a box of owl shaped chocolates from a local chocolatier. Nothing extra special or out of the ordinary, except that I had made him a special Valentine, a felt owl with a card that said “Owl be your Valentine, if you’ll be mine!” (I KNOW SO CORNY, but forgive me!) Anyway, it was just cute that we both gave each other owl stuff. And we’ve been on the same wavelength ever since :)

Hanna K

my favourite valentine’s day is the first one shared with my (now) husband. we had only been dating a few months, and he wanted to make dinner for me at his apartment where he lived with his brother and his brother’s girlfriend (now my in-laws). he put in so much effort and it was really adorable: crostinis to start, and then home-made beet ravioli in the shape of hearts, followed with a pear poached in red wine. it was all very delicious. but the whole thing was such an endeavour for him, and he ended up falling asleep pretty much right after we were finished. his roommates came home from their dinner out on the town, and i played video games with them for a few hours with the hope that my guy would eventually wake up. he didn’t, so i ended up going home — he called the next day and felt so terrible, and i felt terrible that the night didn’t quite go his way. but i was honestly so tickled that he had made such a big effort to impress me, so much so that it physically exhausted him! i married a good, good man.

Rachel S.

Well, i guess my most memorable doesn’t seem all that special from the outside. But the first Valentine’s day we were married, we knew we didn’t want to do anything too big, but wanted to recognize the day. So we stayed home, bought cheap champagne and made heart shaped calzones together. It is still one of my favorite memories!

Annie Brady

My most memorable Valentine’s has to be eating pizza with my old college boyfriend. He was completely cynical about this ‘commercialized day’ so I was absolutely shocked when he came out of the kitchen with two perfect heart shaped pizzas. He had gone to the effort of making the pizza dough from scratch and spelled out ‘I ♥ U’ in pepperoni. It was such a cute and unexpected gesture that I have to say it has stayed with me longer than all the beautiful flowers I have since received from my now (less romantically challenged) fiance!

Katie

My wonderful parents made Valentine’s Day such a fun and loving celebration for me and my sister while we were growing up. It is still my favorite holiday. I am such a fan of the idea that it’s a day for being extra kind and making sure those you love know how much you care. And wearing copious amounts of red, pink, and hearts… Basically, I’m still a third grader.

Emily

My most memorable Valentine’s Day is my first Valentine’s Day with my now husband. We were in a long distance relationship, and he sent me flowers, chocolates, and a vintage cookbook. I’ve been collecting vintage cookbooks since I was 12, but he was the first boyfriend to notice or care. I knew he was “the one” before this, but it made me feel wonderful.

Jordana

I’ve never had a very memorable Valentine’s day but that’s the way I like it! When I first started dating my now husband, we both kept things very low key on that day and often forget it’s Valentine’s day until the day of! Despite that, he’ll always get me flowers and make me feel special. I really can’t ask for anything better!

Jamie

These are all great stories! I love Catbird so I’ll throw my most memorable Vday out there.
Supportive friend that I was, I agreed to go with on a ski-dating adventure in New York for Valentine’s day (ski dating = speed dating, but on skis; your “date” is on the lift). I was single and not looking; I just wanted to encourage my friend, who was making her first forays back into the dating scene. I had never skiied before. Ever.
On February 13, I lost my job. Regardless, I got up early Saturday morning to ski. One long bus ride later, I was being taught to snowboard. I was not good. I went down the bunny hill on my butt several times, and the one time I made it down while standing, I screamed “Get out of my way! I don’t know how to stooooooop!” at the people at the base and proceeded to fly through that orange fence thing, right into the woods. A tree stopped me. So that was it for me – I headed into the lodge for lunch. I found my friend, who persuaded me to let her teach me after lunch (she was having no luck on the date front – most people used the event as a way to get a cheap ski trip). So the two of us head up to the top of the hill. I step off the lift, take one, two, three shuffle steps and down i go – my body one way, the leg attached to the snowboard the other way, and I heard – and felt – a snap in my knee. The knee immediately began to swell, and the medic dude manning the lift said I could go down the hill on my butt or he could send me down the lift. I chose the latter and the medic escorted me down. I’m gritting my teeth through the pain, answering the dude in monosyllables as we glide down, and he proceeds to ask me out for drinks. I looked at him increduously, sputtered no, and limped into the lodge for the rest of the day. By the time I got home, my knee was the size of a cantaloupe. I had torn my medial meniscus, I later learned.

Farah

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was the first one I spent with my then-boyfriend, now-husband. We went to a local burlesque show and just had an all-around blast! We don’t really make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day anymore, but I always think back upon that one with a smile!

Heather

When my college boyfriend asked me out on February 27, I joked that he had bided his time to avoid Valentine’s Day, as well as my birthday on the 20th. Well, he didn’t think far enough ahead, because was 11 years ago, and my now husband has Three Celebration February every year, having added our anniversary!

amanda w.

My favorite because it was the start of something great…..My friend George and I went to his friend’s house for an anti-valentines day party. We had been spending a lot of time together but were not officially a couple and didn’t really love the holiday but loved the idea of having a fun night with friends. We were all in college so we drank our wine out of coffee mugs and made fun drawings all night while we wore some of our friend’s hats. Mine was a fur covered winter hat and George’s was a red wool wide brimmed women’s hat. We still have a polaroid photo of us in those hats holding out mugs! At the end of the night George gave me a handmade Valentine that really stole my heart.

I’ve always considered this our unofficial anniversary, even eight years later and still make George a handmade Valentine each year.

Rachel

I had never dated anybody seriously and I was begrudgingly content with that (I knew my type… It is always funny when they are mean until it is, you know, not, so I figured going with that sort of relationship was not a good idea), until I met Riley. He is sort of the nicest fella I have ever met. When we were introduced, he was dating somebody else, so we settled into an effortless friendship. By the time she a had smashed his heart into a million pieces (in a way that only lying and cheating can do), we were spending A LOT of time together. We fell into this dating, but Not Dating relationship that was incredibly annoying (he was “off women,” you see). On one hand, it is just a label, right? As long as he is being nice to me, does it really matter? (“No” said my head while “yes” screamed my heart). So I went out of town with him to meet his family, but we were Not Dating. We spent almost all of our spare time together and nearly every night, but we really, seriously, we’re Not Dating. This went on for a year. A very, very long, annoying year.

We finally, finally got together officially the week before Valentines Day. We had a V-Day weekend trip already planned with another couple (you know, because when we planned it we were Not Dating, so it is totally normal to plan weekend, double date getaway on Valentines Day Weekend, right? Right). We got to our hotel and realized that Riley, my dear, sweet, love able future husband had left ALL of my luggage on the curb back home. I had nothing but my travellin’ clothes and we were nowhere near a “let’s just pick up a couple things” place.

I spent the weekend in borrowed clothes (that didn’t fit correctly), no clean underwear, and with a hotel front desk toothbrush. It was the best weekend ever.

We are all married and official now. And he owes me a nice cream cake for every week he “was stupid” that first year. It has been like 4 years and I am still owed 47 out of 52 ice cream cakes, so we will be stuck with each other for a while, I guess. Plus, I still get to say, whenever we go out of town, “at least I have my luggage, right?” – a gem that should be good for at least another 50 years.

Dana

My favorite Valentine’s day was last year’s. My partner and I bought a bunch of cheeses, meats, and fruit. Then arranged them on a huge covered pizza baking sheet. That was out dinner. We ate and drank until we were too stuffed to move. It was gluttonous but fun.

Danielle

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was in 2010… My husband (then boyfriend) and I are Twin Peaks geeks and flew out to Snoqualmie, WA to see all the filming locations. Before lunch at the iconic Double R Diner (now Twede’s) we stopped by Snoqualmie Falls, because it is BEAUTIFUL and many scenes were shot there.

And he proposed. EXCLAMATION POINTS GALORE!! And I said yes. Then we ate cherry pie and drank some damn fine coffee. We married on Oct. 10 that year, 10/10/10, walking down the aisle to an acoustic rendition of the Peaks theme song. We had our first child, William Bowie Warren, March of 2012. Not to brag, but we’re the happiest David Lynch characters ever.

Sara

My most memorable Valentine’s Day, even more than the ones I’ve spent with my partner (which are wonderful but not so momentous) was the time I found my cat at the pound on Valentine’s Day in grad school. It was love at first sight, and I found my little buddy cat that day. We’ve spent the past five Valentine’s days together, and I love him and look forward to many more.

Kate

6 years ago my now husband surprised me by turning his apartment into Paris. We didn’t have any money so he bought black bed sheets and drew the Eiffel Tower and a Parisian scene to hang on the walls. We then ate a pasta dish he cooked, drank wine at a small candle lit cafe table and listened to French records – just like we were there! Of course I made fun of him for being so “cheesy” and “romantic” but deep down I knew all the trouble he went through and was overwhelmed by his love for me.

Kayleigh W.

I was waiting tables at a local restaurant, struggling to find a career start post-college. I was just getting out of a long deteriorating long distance relationship. My best work friend, Mark, was working with me Valentine’s Day last year. He was the funny guy at work, we kept each other company and he made me laugh (which was much needed). He came in to work Valentine’s day and throughout the shift started acting very sick. I was so incredibly worried about him! I kept checking on him, offered to take him to the hospital, and helped him as much as I could. I was so concerned that I left work realizing I was totally in love with him. It turns out he was suffering from post concussion syndrome, the flu, and a sinus infection!

Mark also saw the same night how much I cared for him and we quickly realized we were both in love with one another and started dating. We moved into NYC where I started my dream job. We now live together and he says that concussion was the best thing that ever happened to him, because it made me fall for him :) That will always be my most blessed Valentine’s day.

Stephanie Gamble

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was when I was a Freshmen in college missing my high school sweetheart who had stayed in state for school. I had made plans to visit my Aunt and Uncle in Virginia over the V day weekend because he had said he was busy but a treacherous snowstorm delayed my flight until the next afternoon. I called my sweetheart for comfort and got all ticked off because he sounded like he was at a frat party or something… It was so loud we just couldn’t hear each other! The Nerve! At a frat party on Valentine’s Day evening! Perturbed, I got on my flight the next day and to was stunned upon arriving in Virginia as my bleary-eyed, sticky, smelly sweetheart greeted me at baggage claim with a dozen red roses! Turns out he had been planning on surprising me for Valentine’s day, had gotten stuck at the airport overnight and had played off the noise and hustle of the crowd and delay as the noise of a college party. It was such a romantic gesture that got all messed up but became sweeter in the struggle. :)

Shelly

most memorable Valentine’s Day was when I came home to find my then 3 yeard in bed and my husband had made a bath with candles and flowers for me. He brought me strawberries and chocolate while I soaked. then… when I got out rose petals and a new nighty on the bed. I kid you not… just like a book!! so sweet!

Rachel

Best Vday was when my bf cooked me dinner and hand-made me a card. I know, boring. But my bf actually lives across the pond and it takes me 30 hours to get to him. It’s been long-distance for 2 years now and that valentines day, the only one where we have been physically been together, has been the best because all that really mattered was that we were together. I can’t wait to see him again and hopefully he’ll put a pretty ring on it ;)

Celia

I think my favorite Valentine’s Day was in elementary school when I ate ALL the candy from our class Valentine’s Day exchange. I couldn’t eat chocolate for months after that, but it was delightful.

Jennifer M.

My best valentine’s day was with my ex boyfriend…I surprised him with tickets to a concert (one of his favorite bands) that was on the actual day. So we planned on an early dinner and then a night at the venue. At dinner, he presented me with two large chocolate covered strawberries, which are my favorite, and a sweet card. He kept urging me to eat the goodies, but I didn’t want to spoil my dinner. He finally told me to just look at the berries. One looked professionally done and the other looked like it was homemade. Turns out, upon closer inspection, he had stuffed my gift in a bag inside one of the berries and re-dipped it!!! It turned out to be a gorgeous white gold wire bracelet, and his card said we were bound together tightly, strongly, like the wire in the bracelet. It was romantic and creative! I’ll always remember that Valentine’s Day fondly, even though we are no longer together.

KC R

I had just given birth to our son (on 2/11/11) and my husband gave me a mix CD (my favorite gift because it is so thoughtful) in which he mixed sounds from the ultrasounds and the baby cooing and crying. Pure joy.

Ashley

Like most college students, my husband and I were completely broke at the time and didn’t have extra money to buy gifts when we were dating in college. We made a pact where the only gifts we could give each other were handmade. I designed a poster with my favorite lyrics from Bob Dylan’s Make You Feel My Love. He, in return, made a video with all the trips we took to visit each other during the school breaks and photos we had taken up to that point. I still love that Valentine’s Day more than any other.

Sarah O.

My first Valentine’s Day with my now-husband was the most memorable. We planned to cook together which wasn’t the best idea since we were college students who did NOT know how to cook. Though our relatively simple dinner took several hours to make, it’s very memorable to me as the first meal we ever made together.

Morgan Castle

My most memorable Valentine’s Day cannot be pinpointed to a single year, but is instead a collection of memories from all my Valentine’s days growing up.

When I entered grade school, my mother started this tradition where she would leave a note in my lunch pail on Valentine’s Day, decorated as in invitation and inviting me the “Annual Valentine’s Day Gala.” When I would get home, I would not be allowed downstairs until my mother had finished decorating the dining room to perfection. When the time finally came for the party to start, I would always walk downstairs in complete awe, as in the room would be strewn with red and pink hearts; glitter and doilies; homemade cookies and sugar cookie candles; place cards and the perfect meal.

I got to spend every Valentine’s day not with people who I loved romantically, but people who I loved in such a deep way that I know that love can never be replaced or severed. Romantic love is radiant too (of course!) but there is nothing quite like the unconditional love only your family can give to you. As a child this is all I knew, and now as a young adult, I still go back to that feeling.

This beautiful tradition has been going on for as long as I can remember.

Sophia

Each year for Valentine’s Day, my husband and I attend the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City. There’s nothing better than my hot guy kissing cute pups!

Abigail

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was actually a pretty rotten day! Well, it started rotten and ended sweet and cozy. I was single, living in a new city, and struggling through my first year of law school. That morning I woke to discover that I was out of cat food. Then I missed my bus. During lunch, I got a massive stain on my favorite shirt. Later, I fell down the stairs. When it was time to leave for the day, I heaved a huge sigh of relief and headed for the subway; only to discover that there was a broken down train on the tracks and I had to find an alternative way home. After an extremely crowded and uncomfortable bus ride, I started walking home. Suddenly, I remembered the cat food and back-tracked to the grocery store. While there I decided to buy myself a steak and some fancy cat food for the cat, in addition to my more mundane supplies. I went home and opened a bottle of wine, cooked my steak, and snuggled with my fat and happy kitty while watching a sappy movie! While I cherish the days spent with lovers and friends, this day remains special because it reminds me how sweet and simple life can be.

Katie

I was seven years old. As my Valentine’s present, my grandmother gave me a little cross-stitch kit, the plastic kind with a marked grid and an allotted assortment of thread: the finished product was to be a little white kitten nestled in some flowers. She also gave me a box of bright red candy hearts. I opened my little sewing project and started working on it immediately while I happily snacked on my shiny, sugary red candies. I was a dreadful craftsperson (still am), and kept un-threading my needle. Each time I had to re-thread (often), I licked the end of the thread as I had often seen my grandmother do while she was sewing. By the end of the day, my project was finished, but instead of a snow white cat I had a blotchy pink, sticky kitty–the red candies had dyed my tongue pink, as well as most of my white thread. I didn’t care and proudly showed my bizarre, parti-colored handiwork to my grandmother, which she hung on her bedroom wall and where it remained for the rest of her life.

Stacey

I’ve never been asked out on Valentine’s day but I still recall being asked out by a guy during my senior year of high school. He bought flowers and chocolates, he even made me a card. It was really sweet of him, but I did not know him. He said I was the first person he met on the first day of school. I clearly didn’t remember, so I rejected him. I did not take the flowers or the chocolate, but I took the card and thanked him for having the courage to ask me out. It has now been three years and he’s been my best friend ever since. In fact we have been dating for a year now. I love him so much. I’m so happy to have him in my life, I appreciate everyday I spend with him.

Kristina M

my favorite valentine’s day was a few years ago. my boyfriend was working abroad in Scotland at the time, so I wasn’t expecting anything from him on the day. he had flowers delivered to my work and asked my family to take me out to dinner in his place. the waiter brought me an old-fashioned without me even having to order it. so cute!

Kelly

My favorite Valentine’s Day was one the first one I spent with my (now) husband. We had been dating just a couple of months and he was eager to impress and went all out. We took what has become known as the “one day vacay in downtown L.A.” in which we took the day off work, checked into the Biltmore and after some “ahem”, headed out to check out the sites of the place we call home, but have never really explored. We rode on Angel’s Flight, checked out the Bradbury Building and ate at the legendary Clifton’s Cafeteria (a fancier dinner came later). It was one of the best days of my life and kicked off our lifetime of adventuring together. It has been (and hope it always will be) such great fun!

Erica Leite

Nearly every Valentines Day I have all of my friends ( single or not) over for brunch or a dinner party so we can spend time together, get crafty, make delicious food, tell stories of bad dates, play a little Cards Against Humanity and have some adult bevy’s to wash it all down with. It’s pretty amazing and I love that I get to decorate and make interactive projects with all of my friends… like making everyone write what/who they love, then hang it up on in front of the window…see my friend Kyle doing it here.
http://tinyurl.com/k29syvh

boom. happy V day.

Dana

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was pretty much the opposite of romantic. I spent the day in the doctor’s office getting treated for a UTI! My boyfriend still made us delicious cheese and chocolate fondue afterwards. So Happy Valentine’s Day, anyway?! ;)

kim gee

my most memorable valentine’s day was in high school, where i was perpetually single but not about to be cranky about it. i bought a big pack of heart shaped post-it notes and decided i would just write love notes to everyone i talked to. i’d see a friend, jot a quick note, and hand it over. it was usually something as simple as “you’re the best and i love your shoes,” but people loved them and stuck them on their shirts for the rest of the day. i actually haven’t thought about this in years, but it is one of my fondest memories from high school. it’s always good to take time to accentuate the positive.

Jennifer

It was a chilly day in Paris. My boyfriend and I had set up a long list of things we wanted to see and do before the days end. So, we put on our coats and headed out. Seeing as we were staying in a new area of Paris, I followed suit as my boyfriend turned the corner. He seemed to know exactly where he was going and I trusted that he did (this is before fancy smart phones and gps). After walking for 30 minutes, I had a feeling we were not going in the right direction- but he insisted he knew where he was. 2 hours later we had walked completely outside of Paris. I was tired and annoyed and just wanted to head back to our apartment but he insisted we go to the catacombs before we made any real decisions.
The Catacoms de Paris were dark, chilly and eerily romantic. As we made our way towards the end he stopped and took my hands and said “it’s funny- all of these bones. They’ve been down here together for hundreds of years. And they’ll be down here for hundreds more. I wonder how many lovers are lying here together ” then he got down on one knee and said “I would be so lucky if I could spend a lifetime with you- will you marry me”.
Ok, so I know it’s kinda cheesy and cliche-valentines day proposal in Paris. And some people are weirded out about being proposed to surrounded by thousands of dead people…. But it was pretty bad ass.

Sara

As a serial monogamist since, oh, the 7th grade or so, I had a lot of lovely Valentine’s Days with my long-term boyfriend of the moment, but it wasn’t until an unattached Valentine’s Day that I found my true love – me.

Typical story… I’m in college, between boyfriends, and trying to get through the day as quickly as possible without acknowledging the hearts and flowers and pink and LOVE everywhere.

I did finally breakdown and cry (tequila was involved – it was college, after all), but through my tipsy tears I realized that these last few months that I had been single were revolutionary for me. I stopped dressing/ talking/ thinking like someone’s girlfriend and my real colors were able to shine through. And, as it turns out, they shine pretty brightly. I loved my real self and it was time to stop pretending to be a different person for some silly boy.

After that time, I did date a few guys (nothing too serious, which was exactly what I needed) but didn’t settle into another long term relationship until I met my real match – the man who is now my husband.

Melissa

One Valentine’s Day a boyfriend left me a hand-drawn map on my bed (pre-iphone!) with various stops to pick up clues along the way, along with a pre-made playlist for my ipod to cue up at various stops. He spray-painted notes on the cement for each stop, and left my favorite flower at each place. After a multiple bus rides, I followed the arrows down a quiet cul-de-sac to the Oakland Rose Gardens, where he had set up a dusk picnic in the roses with takeout from my favorite cheap spaghetti place.

Mindy

My best Valentine’s day was right before I “officially” started dating my fiancé. We were having a picnic in bed and he passed me a note. It said “Will you be my girlfriend? Yes No Maybe” As a 28 year old I hadn’t been passed one of these love letters in more than a decade. But that just made it all the sweeter. I passed it back and wrote in my own answer “Absolutely.” It’s currently framed above our bed.

Miriam

This isn’t actually a Valentine’s day story, but it’s the most curiously romantic one I know, and it happened to me. Two summers ago, I went to Paris with my boyfriend. We had just spent almost two months apart while I was in London doing research and we decided to meet up in Paris. When I was in London, my friends had gotten engaged in a big, romantic to-do in St. Paul’s Cathedral and they were giddy. Somehow I had gotten it inside my head that I would be proposed to in Paris, so long as I subtly hinted at it (my boyfriend and I were already planning on getting married eventually. It would be perfect!). When we’d been there about five days and bickering, I burst into tears in the Jardins de Luxembourg and finally melodramatically shouted “Well, I guess you’re not going to propose to me NOW!” He burst out laughing and I crossed my arms and shot him a baleful look. We both realized how silly it was of me to force something like that on us without explaining it to him. A day or two later we were hanging out on the Canal St. Martin, playing table tennis in the rain, and I tore a muscle in my calf. Pain shot up my leg and suddenly I couldn’t walk. Then we were in the cab heading toward Montparnasse, where we were staying, to the hospital there where no one spoke English. And then they wouldn’t let my French-fluent boyfriend into the examining room with me. Somehow I managed, but I was in pain and unable to walk. I was convinced our trip was ruined. He got us a cab, helped me up into the apartment, and while I fretted about ruining the trip, remained calm and soothing. Then he proceeded to spend the entire night wandering all over Paris looking for an all night pharmacy so he could get me the pain killers and compression stockings the doctors prescribed, even though we could have waited until morning. I think he came back at 1am, having found a place at the other end of the city. It was then that I realized that this was his proposal. Not something orchestrated, staged, and insincere, but something real, and messy, and completely devoted. It didn’t happen on Valentine’s Day, and it didn’t happen among the lime trees in the Jardins de Luxembourg, and it wasn’t a formal proposal. It was just a quiet moment when I knew I wanted to spend my life with him and that he wanted it too.

Dominique Generaux

My boyfriend Ken is of the mindset that the entire year should have special moments. He’s extremely creative and principled, so I keep my expectations neutral for Valentine’s day. Which is why I was completely surprised to come home this past year to find a beautiful bouquet of origami calla lilies on my kitchen table. I could tell he took a long time making each colorful stem. He said he thought about me as he folded each flower. I picked up the phone and we met that evening at our favorite noodle bar, (well favorite restaurant really) in Little Tokyo. We sat in our usual spot in the window, the neon sign illuminating his face. Steaming ramen promises us grand conversations. I had drawn him a close up picture of Cool Whip, the thing that brought him a crazy amount of joy as a kid. There’s a very sweet picture of him eating it as a boy in the park. I wanted to make him as happy. Sometimes simplicity, thought and creativity are the most romantic gifts.

Dana

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was last year. My boyfriend and I had intended to stay in at the apartment, cook something, and just relax. These plans were derailed last minute when his roommate decided to host a singles pity party in the living room.

tiffany

my most memorable valentine’s day was last year. i had just moved back to new york, having left close friends and family behind, feeling utterly and completely lonely. so, i was invited over to my godmother’s house for some coffee and, since i had no other plans i packed some of my home made cookies and paid her a visit. after all it was valentine’s day, a day for love in general and boy do i love that woman. she is the person that instantly calms me when i look at her.
when i got there, and after she served the coffee, and we were chit chatting politics with my nono (her husband) she pulled out a tiny pink heart shaped ice cream cake. she said she had decided to be my valentine. it took all of my inner strength to hold those tears from pouring like waterfalls :)

Jody

My first Valentine’s Day in California, it felt like spring to me! We’d been dating long-distance for some time, and now we were together again. We had a lovely dinner at a nearby French restaurant (now, sadly, closed), then went dancing at the Pavilion, which was pretty much my introduction to the local ballroom dance scene. We’ve been together ever since.

Alex

My most special Valentine’s day was a few years ago when my boyfriend sent me flowers at work. He is not a big fan of the holiday, so it completely took me by surprise. Now it has become his Valentine’s day tradition, and each time I look at the flowers on my desk I feel especially loved.

Jillian

My favorite Valentine will always be my first – my dad. When I was about 6 or 7 he gave me a cassette of Paula Abdul’s ‘Forever Your Girl’. We listened to it in the car and went out for ice cream and it was the sweetest evening.

Kate F.

One Valentine’s Day a friend and I came up with the idea to print hundreds of broadsides in red, pink, and orange with instructions on “How to Write a Crazy Love Letter”– we’d both been through a few romantic situations that had called for intense hail-mary style proclamations. My friend designed & letterpress printed them, then we went about distributing them and posting all over the city. I remember driving around in the snow looking for our posters and finding them in shop windows, on telephone poles, taped to garage doors, and on brick walls. It was one giant valentine/love letter to love in spite of (and because of) all the wildness, wistfulness, and hysteria it can create.

Kate F.

A couple of years ago my friend and I decided to make hundreds of broadsides in reds and oranges with instructions on “How to Write a Crazy Love Letter” to commemorate Valentine’s Day. We’d both been in romantic situations that had required these sort of hail-mary last-ditch confessions, and wanted to celebrate/commemorate our starry-eyed romantic stumblings somewhat publicly. My friend letterpressed the signs, and after we distributed them to friends and acquaintances, they were posted all over our city. On Valentine’s Day we drove around, admiring the bright posters in frosty shop windows, taped to garage doors, and stapled to street posts.

Liza

My most memorable Valentine’s Day would have to be the day before, 5 years ago, when my sweetheart confessed he had a big old-fashioned crush on me. We had met at work and been solid friends for a couple years. That January, I found out I had been accepted to graduate school at Pratt and so would be moving to NYC in a few months. When I told him I was moving, he kept saying, “Wow! That is so… wow!”
A couple days later, he asked me to meet him for a drink after work. We met at one of our favorite dives, sat down, and he looked me right in the eye and said “I know you’re moving to NY and I don’t want to get in the way of that, but I think you should know, I think I’ve fallen for you.” And I looked him right back and said, “Yeah… ugh. Me, too.” We’ve been together ever since, scheduling trips back and forth to see each other, moving in together, and then moving on to Boston. The Valentine’s Day timing of our anniversary has always struck us as a bit dorky, but hey, we’ll take it!

Kim

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was the one with a photo scavenger hunt that ended in a marriage proposal.

Susan

Hands down best Valentine’s Day ever was just out of college–I picked this total hole in the wall place in Boston’s Chinatown (it has two small booths and one table), made a reservation for Peking Duck, and had an amazing, incredibly filling, and perfectly fun dinner with my boyfriend at the time. And the place was BYOB, so we had a fantastic bottle of California red (kindly donated by the boyfriend’s father) with the meal. I’m not with that boyfriend anymore, but my friends and I (and current boyfriend) all still go to that restaurant for special occasions we want to be a little less stuffy and a little more fun.

B.

My favorite Valentine’s Day was a few years ago with my fiancé. We get burnt out at the end year because it’s goes major holiday, major holiday, his birthday, my birthday, and then Valentine’s Day. That’s a lot of time and consideration to devote to gifts! So, instead of gifts that year, we were to write love letters to each other with something special added.

His surprise for me? A 50s-esque love song about all my idiosyncrasies and why he loves them (and me)! Best Valentine’s Day yet.

Kristen

My best Valentine’s day was with my now-husband. At the time, we were 16 and I was waiting for him to walk over from his house to hang out for the evening. As I peered out the window, he was walking with a giant bouquet of roses through 2-foot deep snow and I just remember being so excited and so incredibly happy. It was the nicest thing. I just thought it was so crazy someone would walk over my house in so much snow, and he surprised me with roses!

Emily

My favorite Valentine’s Day was spent with four of my best girlfriends, when we met up after work to see Bridesmaids together. We snuck in loads of snacks at the bottoms of our tote bags – homemade brownies and jumbo-sized sour patch kids and the forbidden-but-essential ‘walktails’ in water bottles. We spent the whole movie and train ride home giggling and swearing we’d never find better Valentines than each other, even if we eventually had different ones.

Liz R.

One Mardi Gras season in New Orleans, Valentine’s Day fell on the Sunday before Fat Tuesday. My long distance beau visited, but things just weren’t going that great, and I felt disappointed and unrequited. However, all weekend along the parade routes, the usual purple, green, and gold trinkets that were tossed from parade floats were replaced with red and pink. I was showered with heart bead necklaces, little stuffed hearts, tiny teddy bears, and plastic long-stemmed roses. Float riders were blowing kisses, and strangers were declaring that they loved each other. It was silly, but profuse. I was showered with love. We all were, and we all needed it!

Evon

It was the first time I’ve ever been courted so that’s why I’ll always remember it. I went to Spanish class to find an abandoned iPod with a playing playlist on my desk. Just as I was just about to turn it in to the instructor for a lost item, some guy walks over and quickly swipes it from me. Little did I know that it was a Valentine’s Day playlist made just for me and it was his way of asking me out.

grace

my favorite valentine’s day memories are from elementary school, when everybody made large colorful construction paper envelopes the day before and taped it to the front of their desks. And on valentine’s day, we would all walk around and drop in a little card for each person. some cards came with candy or chocolate – those were the best. the biggest anxiety was choosing which card to buy at the local supermarket. valentine’s day was so sweet and innocent back then!

Adriane

I met my husband online; we were both bloggers, and I just happened to click on a comment he left on a website out in the ether somewhere. I read a bit of his writing and found him instantly compelling. I started commenting on his blog, he started commenting on mine, and we circled each other that way for a couple of years.

In early 2005 my father and grandmother passed away within three weeks of each other. That Christmas I wrote a rather mopey blog post about my losses and how Christmas would never be the same. He sent me a long, bolstering e-mail, the first, full of kindness and encouragement. We e-mailed back and forth for two and a half months. On the eve of Valentine’s Day 2006, we happened to connect on instant messager for the first time. We chatted through the night, and thirteen hilarious, giddy hours later, we finally signed off.

Neither of us had left our chairs or computers for any reason; not to get a drink, not to use the bathroom. I had only paused a moment to call in sick to work. The rest, as they say, is history, but we occasionally go through the transcript of that absurd and wonderful chat and relive this extraordinary connection blooming between two disembodied people 1,000 miles apart as Valentine’s Day dawned.

We joke that it’s our very own You’ve Got Mail, and I’m so grateful that one random click changed my world forever.

Laura

Two years ago I spent Valentine’s Day abroad.. in Bali, Indonesia, with my best girl friend! It was the dead of winter for us here in the states, so we decided a little R&R was in order. On the big day, we were surprised to see how fun and celebratory the country decided to be, even though the holiday is mainly a Western one. Many romantic couples surrounded us, duos all over the place, but we felt fulfilled and happy just having the company of each other. The backdrop of paradise didn’t hurt either. Anyway, the point of Valentine’s Day isn’t always romance and fancy dinners.. or even a significant other.. it is remembering who in your life fills your heart and spending that time with them for that day. Being away only helped to focus in on that feeling and have no choice but to enjoy.. company.

Andrea

Memorable Valentine’s Day: when my husband and I had been feuding over balancing two little boys, two careers, the usual early-marriage turf warfare that seems much more important than it really is. I went to sleep angry, but woke up to three homemade cards — my husband and both sons had gotten up early, broken out the crayons, and told me how much they loved me. I still have all of them ( cards, children, and husband! Thank goodness!) and Valentine’s Day in our house is still homemade. With a little chocolate in the mix.

Cassie

Happy Valentine’s Day, Rony Vardi and others of Catbird!

I hope you enjoy my story :)

Honestly, my most memorable Valentine’s Day happened when I was in First Grade, in Mrs. Zimmerman’s class. I was very interested in chasing boys, and they were primarily interested in sports, dirt, and fighting. Except one. One boy in my class liked me very much, so for Valentine’s day he brought me a big giant card in the shape of a heart that he had made out of construction paper. When all the kids were going around putting Valentine’s cards in each other’s “mailboxes” fashioned out of empty milk cartons, Jay left the giant Valentine on my desk. It was so big that it covered my whole desk. Some of the other kids laughed at the card because it was so outrageous, but I beamed with pride from receiving it. Of course, my younger self was only interested in chasing boys and had no idea what to do once I actually caught one so it didn’t turn into a “happily ever after” for Jay and me. Although, I do still have the card, and it makes me smile when I come across it while going through memorabilia from my past.

Jessica

I was 7 years old and it snowed in my hometown for the first time in years. It must have been a warm january because there were daffodils half buried in the snow. My grade three class was going for a snow day walk. My little girl crush, Davie, picked me a daffodil and said he wanted to marry me. I blushed so hard :)

Megan

The best Valentine’s Day that I have ever had was the second Valentine’s Day I celebrated with my now-fiance. We had decided that we wouldn’t do anything large-scale as we were still in college and not exactly financially stable yet. We chose to make something for the other person. He surprised me with a hand-bound book full of his favorite love poems and included two poems within the pages that he had written himself. I had never gotten a gift that was so meaningful and romantic. My gift to him was a hand-drawn comic strip of how we met. These two items are displayed in our house today as a reminder of where we began and how far we’ve come.

e

when I was in graduate school, my now-husband, then-fellow-student asked me one evening if I’d like to go have a glass of whiskey and a grapefruit with him. we sat on the patio of a little bar a few blocks from campus and spent the entire night talking, eating pieces of fresh grapefruit from a tree in his yard, and sipping on whiskey. it wasn’t until the waitress wished us a happy valentine’s day at the end of the night that either one of us realized what day it was. it seems in retrospect that the seeds of our relationship were planted that night, on a dreamy southwestern night.

Helen

My most memorable Valentine’s Day is bittersweet. I was a high school junior in my first “real” relationship. On Valentine’s Day he presented me with a HUGE handmade, hot pink card out of cardboard with chocolates and notes attached. Being the shy girl I was, I was mortified I had to carry this around all day long, answer questions about it, and of course it couldn’t fit in my locker! Since I was still learning how to communicate in a relationship, I ended up breaking up with him the next day! I was upset he made something for me purely for attention and not because it was sincere. But looking back, it was still sweet and we laugh about how I should have just let him know. To this day, that is still my most memorable Valentine’s Day I think of fondly each year.

Kara

Last Valentine’s Day I felt totally jaded as I watched my coworkers giddily receive their bouquets and chocolate and “ILY”-topped cupcakes, so I took a break to go bawl in the bathroom. A guy I had been insanely, I’ll-do-anything-for-you in love with had moved to Europe the month before for a job, so we decided it would be better to call it quits rather than trying to force a relationship across the Atlantic. I missed him so much I constantly felt like there was a spoon in my throat, and up until that day it seemed impossible to imagine finding anyone I could spark with.

I left work and started wandering towards home (I lived in Chinatown at the time) and on a whim went into one of those $30-for-60-mins massage parlours. The sweetest woman lovingly rubbed my back and neck and instantly made me forget how I’d been feeling all day. Afterwards I realized that I might as well get myself a great gift, and bought a pair of gold earrings I had wanted forever. Finally, I met up with some single pals for bowling, and on that night had a conversation with one of my longtime guy friends that made me see him in a totally different way. A few weeks later we started dating, and I officially felt like myself again.

Katie

Of the eight Valentine’s Days my husband and I have shared we have maybe spent two of them together (one of us has always had to work). The year we spent together we were so taken off guard, no work came up we completely forgot to make plans or reservations. We decided it would be better to spend the night in then waiting 2 hours for a table some place. We ordered Chinese and picked a movie, not 10 minutes later there was a knock at our door. We were completely confused when we opened it to the delivery guy, as they are always a 45 minute wait for delivery. He looked at the two of us confused himself and responded “No one orders Chinese on Valentine’s Day.” I know it is so simple and silly but we still laugh about it every Valentine’s Day.

Andy

My most memorable Valentine’s day is when my wife told me she was pregnant

Meredith

It’s a little strange, but last Valentines Day was my favorite even though, for the first time in ten years, I was alone. It was my first Valentine’s Day as a single lady since I was 17. It had been close to a year after I broke up with my ex boyfriend of 4.5 years, and I was bummed that a relationship with another guy I’d been seeing in the late fall/winter didn’t work out (definitely for the better), so I was kind of in a weird and confused state. I didn’t even make Valentines (something I usually spent hours and hours crafting for dozens of friends). Anyway, at some point that night, I was just like, “f$&k being sad, this is dumb! I rule!” And I went out and bought a six pack of awesome beer, brought it back home, cranked really stupid pop music, and essentially made myself one huge Valentine- a diorama made out of old book pages, millinery supplies, figurines, and other knickknacks. Wish I could post a picture!

Walmy E. Sveen

My favorite Valentine’s Day was spent skiing with my boyfriend, now my husband. Neither of us had skied for years, but we had a great time at small “mountain” in Wisconsin. We each had a set of ancient skis and managed to remember how to use them. Taking a day off work and spending a whole day having fun together is something I would love to do again with him.

Elaine

My most memorable Valentine’s Day wasn’t even romantic but it was great! A friend had a big party for all of us single people and I had a great time meeting new people and enjoying spending time with good friends!

Kelly

On Valentine’s Day, my ex and I hopped into our smallish moving truck with our dog Irma and all that we owned in the world. We were moving to New York City from Atlanta practically just out of college, and the second leg of the drive started from North Carolina. We arrived in the afternoon only to have the apartment broker, who was supposed to hand over the keys, never answer our calls and seemingly disappear off the face of the planet. We had no idea what to do and were afraid to leave the full truck parked anywhere, so we went north to Yonkers, where my newly-married best friend from high school said we could stay with her. When we got there her new husband wouldn’t allow us to stay because we had our dog with us. We were able to find a hotel room late that night, but the next few nights we were out of luck because there was some convention in Yonkers which had all the hotels in town booked! We ended up staying for the week in the East Village with very kind friends we hadn’t talked in years (and called in utter desperation), and relying on the parents of my mom’s neighbors in North Carolina, who let us park our moving truck in their driveway on Long Island while we searched for another apartment.
We found a studio, rather than the one-bedroom we thought we were getting, but everything worked out after that. That was a rough week, though!
(Oh, and don’t trust Knickerbocker Realty!!)

HB

I’ve never been a big fan of Valentines Day but back in high school I had ONE single very special Val Day! I used to always dream, just like every girl back in high school of getting called down to the office to pick something up. I always loved that giddy feel of wondering what it was and then running down to the office with my heart pounding. I had one single small bouquet of flowers from an old ex-boyfriend waiting for me, along with a ton of others for all of those lucky girls! Back then I didn’t necessarily swoon over flowers but the fact that something cute and special was waiting for me make my heart flutter. I’ll never forget that!

Hande Karaaslan

My most memorable one must have been in 4th grade when my “boyfriend” (debatable if he could be called that since we never went on a date of any sort and only kissed many years later) wrote a nice Valentine’s day letter for me in a pink script font printed on pink paper! Unfortunately he forgot it on the 14th but brought it instead on the 15th accompanied by many apologies. It’s been 18 years but I still have that letter.

Chelsea

My husband and I started dating in college. We had been making a huge list of places we wanted to travel together, and David told me he would love to go to New York city together. For our first Valentine’s Day I decided to get creative. So, I used metallic wrapping paper and cut out the NYC skyline and taped it on the windows of his dorm room. I put two “tickets” in his bag and we had a romantic NYC dinner. Now together almost ten years, I love thinking about our younger selves so excited and in love. We still love to imagine and dream.

J David

I was dating this fantastic girl in college, and long before Valentine’s day, she asked me out of the blue where I would want to go to dinner some time, if it could be anywhere in the world. I told her “New York!” not thinking much about it. Well, Valentine’s day comes along and I walk into my little apartment and she had cut out the New York City skyline from wrapping paper and taped it all along my windows. She cooked my favorite meal (fettuccine with a pesto-ricotta sauce) and had baked an amazing cake. 10 years later, her and I are married and are looking to plan a real trip to New York!

johari huggins

Valentine’s Day, senior year in high school…

Our student government decided to host a blood drive—because nothing says young love like the gentle pinch of syringes. Nevertheless, I was excited. Here was my chance for a part of me to go into the world and help someone. My boyfriend, on the other hand, was not a fan. He was afraid of needles and let me know just how crazy I was to volunteer for such a thing. I told him he couldn’t possibly understand as I sauntered off to do my good deed of the day.

As it turned out, I couldn’t donate. My iron was too low. I left the gymnasium-turned-medical-ward as quickly as I came, disappointed with a pricked finger to show for it.

Later in the day while headed to my last class, I spotted my boyfriend down the hall. Once we drew closer, I opened my mouth to begin my story when I noticed the gauze taped to his arm. As I reached out to touch it, he quickly pealed a sticker from its wax backing and pressed the heart-shaped badge onto my hand: GIVE BLOOD. GIVE LIFE.

“Happy Valentine’s Day,” he told me.

jh.

Jennifer Dranttel

My favorite Valentine’s memory was last year- my son (then 2) brought me flowers at work while my husband hid outside. It was also one of the first times he said, “I love you, mama!” without prompting. Now, every time we walk past our town’s flower shop, he breaks my heart by asking, “can I buy you flowers and say love you today, mama?” I’ve witnessed lots of romantic gestures over the years, but this guy knows the way straight to my heart.

Agatha

My most memorable Valentines Day was last year with my then newish boyfriend. I was going to be away for the actual day skiing in Colorado so we celebrated early by going to the romantic hotspot, Red Lobster located in this quaint area of NYC-Times Square. As we ate our semi delicious shrimp scampi, we were surrounded by sad, foreign couples. After our double chocolate layer cake with ice cream we went to another hot spot, Toys R Us and played with some still awkward foreigners buying too many Justin Beiber toys and finished the night by taking a selfie at the neon American flag. 2 days later, I landed in Colorado and went straight to the mountain with my friends. It was Valentines Day and I had altitude sickness up the butt. After about 4 whole runs and almost collapsing, I returned to my friends adorable condo where I enjoyed my time by throwing up and leaving a Chipotle burrito uneaten. Once I was done sweating and shaking, I found a box of chocolate in my luggage with a romantic Post-It on it from my honey bee, boo bear, chipmunk face boyfriend. We’re still together and leaving Post-Its for each other non stop. Minus the sickness. <3

Rachael

My most memorable valentines day in college when my friend and I had both broken up with our boyfriends and we had a girls night in with heart shaped burgers from whole foods.

Sara P.

My best Valentine’s Day was spent with my Mom years ago. It was an unseasonably warm day, and we both played hooky and rode our bikes down to our favorite art museum. It was great.

jenni o

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was spending it in the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. Happy V-day to me!

Meagan

My most memorable Valentines Day was actually spent with friends one year during College. There were 6 of us girls that lived together and none of us had boyfriends that winter (highly unusual). Instead of getting all sad, we decided to make a night of it. We made each other Valentines, watched girly movies and did spa treatments for each other. It was a blast! Most of us are paired off now and have more romantic Valentines memories but that is still my favorite.

Jessica

The boyfriend flips through the phonebook and picks out a random restaurant. We jump in the car and head to what looks like a home turned restaurant. Inside the hostess in a tuxedo inspired skirt suit asks us if we have a reservation. Uhh, no. “That’s OK. Let me check to see if we have something available.” By now we realize this is a fancy restaurant, and we are broke college students in street clothes. “We have a table for you! Please follow me.” She seats us in a lovely room directly in front of a fireplace. Jackpot! Right? A look at the menu says we cannot afford this, and I excuse myself to cry in the restroom. (Please forgive me. I was an emotional 18-year-old.) I come back, and the boyfriend assures me it’ll be OK, and he’s got this. The food is great, even though I have no idea what’s on my plate. The server comes back and tells us that someone has paid for our bill. Mouths drop to the floor. We are beyond gracious and kept help but wonder if it was the cute elderly couple seated nearby. The boyfriend and I have long gone our separate ways, but I will never forget our first Valentine’s date or my first meal at a non-chain restaurant.

Kait

That time I broke up with my boyfriend so spent about three hours on Valentine’s Day inside a candy store and proceeded to eat an entire pound of gummy candy. Didn’t feel too hot that night but my dentist is having a blast working on these cavities!!

emily

In elementary school I had a super crush on one of my classmates. (I think it was reciprocated, because once he gave me a hot pink, personalized velcro wallet. Swoon!) In third grade, I decided to pour my heart out in an anonymous Valentine. While on the phone with my best friend, I selected the most appropriate Valentine from the perforated sheet. She pushed me to use one that said “Hot Stuff,” which I thought was a little forward, but I went with it. I signed the note “from a secret admirer”. “Admirer” was almost definitely spelled wrong.

Unfortunately, the recipient of the card didn’t come to school on the 14th. (Seriously, who misses the class Valentine party? It was always the BEST.) So my plan to play it cool by being busy with my own stuff while he read the love note fell flat on its face. He read the note the next day, before first period, with my eyes boring into the back of his head. My face was the hottest and reddest it’s ever been my whole life.

He read the note and furtively tucked it back in the with others. We never spoke about it, but I’m sure he knew it was from me.

I love Catbird. Do think about stocking velcro wallets. xo!

Emmy

I turned 33 last year and was feeling the pressure to settle down because all my girlfriends are now married. Faced with the shame of spending another Valentine’s Day single and alone, I accepted a date with a man from OK Cupid with whom I had gone out once before. Our first date was for coffee, and my date was an intelligent and charming tax attorney who’s only fault was that he was a little boring. Turns out, he was far from boring. For Valentine’s day he met me outside my office to take me on our “surprise” date, which turned out to be a bondage club. I tried to stay cool and pretend I could hang, but when he surprised me with a “gift” of rope so I could dominate him that night, I kindly excused myself to the bathroom and never returned. Maybe Valentine’s Day brings out the worst in both of us.

Hannah

Favorite Valetines day memory was when I caught a flu that lasted 3 long miserable months! My boyfriend come over with a rom-com movie, 5 different take out dinners, because I couldn’t choose what I wanted to eat, homemade chocolates, and a treat for my dog. That was the most thoughtful Vday ever. I’ll never forget it!

Sarah

I met my favourite person on Valentine’s day playing badminton. He proposed on Valentine’s Day a year later in 2001. He was gone by September. I still wear his ring. I buy little rings to wear on top of it every Valentine’s day since then. To remember him. But also, to remember what it’s like feeling so loved and happy and hopeful. It helps me stay strong. I feel like I’m living for both of us, for what could have been.

Lauren S.

I am not a flowers and chocolate person (I actually don’t particularly like either!), and also not hugely into Valentine’s Day. Last year my boyfriend and I used to drive to work together in the mornings and when I picked him up he very casually put a CD into my player without saying anything. I was confused at first when a song came on, and then realized that he had played and sung an acoustic cover of “Ho Hey” for me…while he was still in a sling from a recent shoulder surgery (still not sure how he held the guitar)! It was the most thoughtful gesture and I had tears in my eyes. I’ve kept it in my CD changer since and still love putting it on when I’m having a bad day.

Clare

Most memorable? First proper date. Valentines Day. No pressure, right? We don’t have anything planned. He, the charming romantic suggests we go a national park and do the treetop walk. Me, nervous, blurts out “That’s a terrible idea! That’s what old people would do!”

Wishing the ground would swallow you up, much? We settled on a picnic by the river. And 10 years on, we’re married. Though he still teases me about that comment.

Hai Yen

My most memorable Valentine’s Day would have to be two years ago. V-Day 2011 was rough because I had just ended things with someone I was dating but 2012 was the first year I was truly single as an adult and I felt confident, optimistic, and good! I made beautiful Persian love cupcakes with rosewater frosting decorated with candied rose petals and pistachios to give to friends and coworkers. I wore a punchy red pencil skirt to work and later that night a friend and I went out for cocktails in what we thought was a low-key bar. Over the course of that evening, we saw an awkward and most likely completely drunk couple near us having intense conversation, hug each other for minutes at a time, and make out. Maybe they were saying goodbye before a long trip or breaking up, who knows. But we knew we were happy and content to be single and to be able to find humor in that situation. :)

Vickie

Honestly, I’ve never had a particularly memorable Valentine’s because I haven’t spent one draped in reds and pinks with a sweetheart or dressed in black caterwauling in Anti- style (though admittedly both sound fun in their own way). One of my best friends was born on Valentine’s, however, so secretly I know all that love is directed at Sara, and I try to send both a Valentine and a Happy Birthday for the twice-as-nice holiday it is.

Roxanne R.

My husband and I split the romantic holidays – I plan our anniversary, he plans Valentine’s Day. For our second Valentine’s day together, my (now) husband went all out. He woke me up with flowers and chocolates, took me to get a pedicure and was a good sport and got one himself. We went home and took a nice long nap, to get us ready for the special couples massage he had scheduled.

We get there, expecting two ladies as requested. Turns out they got held up, and we had two males instead – a tall guy with a ‘sensual’ voice, and this teeny tiny little 23 year old; he couldn’t have been over 5’7. We assumed we would get the one according to our height/size (my husband is 6’2 and built like a linebacker). First, though, we get to take a romantic bath together with candles and rosepetals. Except the tub is NOT a two person tub. We comedically squish ourselves in anyway, with parts that did not get wet.

After the bath, we go to the massage room, lay on the tables and such, and the therapists come it. Turns, based on their massage specialty, my husband got the little guy because he requested sports massage and I got the taller guy. My experience was just a little creepy – the man talked to me in a very ‘soothing’ voice, which made me feel like he was trying to have naughty talk with me – super uncomfortable. But when he worked around the table, massaging the different parts, his crotch kept bumping into my shoulder. Ugh.

But my husband, my poor husband. This tiny guy is having no effect on him. I look over after hearing a noise, and this guy has both feet against the wall with all of his weight on my husbands back to get leverage. It. Was. Hilarious. This tiny guy, mostly horizontal, feet on the wall, trying to works knots out of my linebacker husband.

Needless to say, it was a very awkward experience (and a little painful – we were sore for days), and we have no intention of ever getting massages again. Though we do love telling the story.

The rest of the night went beautifully. We went home, got dressed up to the nines in our best vintage finery and went to a 40’s style supper club for a late dinner and a fantastic show. It was fabulous, and I got sung to which is always flattering. It was definitely one of the most memorable dates of my life.

Courtney T.

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was four years ago.
My boyfriend at the time and I had taken a year off from each other, and as agreed we met to either start again or call it quits for good. It happened to be Valentine’s Day.
We had grown as individuals so much during our break, and yet had more in common then ever. We connected in a way we had never before, and have been together ever since.
Valentine’s Day reminds me of re-kindling of love. Of everything happening for a reason. My then boyfriend and now husband makes me the happiest woman in the world.

Collier

My best (or funniest) Valentine’s Day was five years ago – I had just started dating my boyfriend that November and we were off to a bit of a rocky start. After breaking up at the beginning of the month, we decided to get back together. But as with everything we do, it was a bit of a test. One of those make-it-or-break-it moments. We decided to drive up to Seattle to go shopping, rent a hotel room and have a romantic evening. If the trip went well, we’d give our relationship another go. It started off perfect, but by the time we got to the hotel, I could tell something was wrong. As valet took my keys, I noticed a strange liquid dripping from under the car. Not wanting to ruin things, I didn’t mention it. We retrieved our car after freshening up and ventured out to visit his favorite men’s store in Ballard, not realizing exactly where we were headed. After losing our way once or twice, having to stop for directions and nearly running out of gas, we were nearing the finish line … And then the car stopped running in the middle of an intersection. We were a block away from the store. Not skipping a beat, I pulled into what I deemed was “sort of” a parking spot and we went into the store, only a few minutes before they were scheduled to close. We browsed (but mostly, I quietly freaked out not knowing how on earth we were going to get back into the city, let alone home the next day). Five years ago was a time when only the savvy had iPhones, so I sat in the car on the line with my father back in Portland, trying desperately to convince him not to drive to my rescue but simply help me find a tow truck. We camped out at a Mexican joint and decided to have the hotel send a town car. The trip was already turning into a bust, we might as well try to cheer ourselves up with something fancy. Finally, we got back to our room, dressed up and went out to a late dinner. Nothing was open, so we ended up at Morton’s Steakhouse (I was a vegetarian at the time …). After dinner, we tried to book a train so we could return in time for work the next afternoon and realized our only way back would be a Greyhound bus at five o’clock in the morning. Now after midnight, we packed up our things and tried to catch a few minutes of rest before finding the bus station the next morning. We woke early, paid for the room, and wandered out into the cold. Boarding the bus minutes before it was scheduled to depart, we quickly realized we would not be sitting together. I remember falling in and out of sleep across the aisle from him. Hours later we arrived in Portland, still not knowing where we stood with one another. He went to his apartment, and I, to mine and quietly worried he’d never call after such a disaster. Fortunately, he called, we laughed, and this past October, we got the keys to our very first home after two cities and seven different apartments together. I’ll be curious to see what shenanigans we will find ourselves in this time around.

Carrie Fegley

My most memorable Valentines day was the first one spent with my now husband. We drove from Philadelphia to Vermont in the middle of an epic snow storm. Needless to say we spend the whole day in the car together talking, signing and making pit stops in random small towns eating nothing but gas station food. Thinking back on it, I wouldn’t have wanted to spend it any other way.

Marti

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was 8 years ago. One of my favorite bands happened to be coming to town to do a small show at a crazy dive bar in one of the scary parts of the city and the guy I was kind of dating decided we should go. He also invited a 17 year old coworker and didn’t tell me until we were on our way to pick him up, I was 24 and not pleased at bringing an underage kid with us. None of us were carded on our way in and ended up being the youngest people there and I was the only female under the age of 40, the other was a bartender. Only about 100 people showed up for the show so it ended up being amazing and I got to meet every band. I spent no time with the guy I was supposed to be dating while we were there but forged the start of an amazing friendship with that 17 year old kid. He became my best friend, more my brother than just friend, and his parents and siblings became my pseudo-family. My oldest daughter is named after his mother and his family are godparents to both my girls. Romance factor of that Valentine’s Day was zero but it was a life changing day!

B

The worst/funniest Valentines was last year for me. My (now) fiancé and I were having some engagement ‘discussions’ that weren’t so fun and we weren’t really feeling Valentines. So we ended up at our favourite bar that was clearly filled with couples on first dates or who were very in love. We sat at the bar and our friend, the bartender proceeded to make us Polish Martinis until I got so drunk I fell off the stool! Well apparently my partner got some very dirty looks from the people in there as he helped me home as they thought he was just getting me drunk to seduce me! Oh well, we ended up engaged 4 months later.

natalie

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was memorable in a bad way. As a freshman in high school, I had a boyfriend who attended the same school. While I was sitting waiting for third period science to start, he came in with a present. He put it on my desk. I was mortified. I later opened it inside my locker to find a Precious Moments snow globe with two people and the words “Our friendship is soda-licious.” We were *not* just friends and it was *not* my style! We *are* still friends today, though.

Kathy Davis

I had a first date once where my date relieved himself in a bush, right in front of me. I was appalled! He wouldn’t give up and continued to call. We have now been married 37 years and he has not repeated the incident. I have had Valentine’s Day every day since. Last night he called me into the kitchen just to dance with him because of the song that was playing on the radio!

Sara

I broke up with a “casual” boyfriend on Valentines day, just couldn’t face going out with him. Ended up going with a group of co-workers out for drinks that ended at a strip club (I had never been before). I was the only woman in the group and a friend of my co-workers showed up – he was horribly embarrassed to be seen there by me because he was interested in asking me out and thought that a strip club was an awful impression. So I asked HIM out. We’ve been married almost 11 years and couldn’t be happier!

Kelli

My mom began my love affair with the Beatles when she gave me Abbey Road in my Valentine’s Day box when I was in college.

C

My favourite Valentine’s day was the year that I got my dog Lou. We spotted him the day before at the Humane Society and my heart broke when I had to walk away from him knowing I couldn’t get a dog. The next day I came home from work late at night after bartending and there he was sleeping on my living room floor as if he always belonged there with my boyfriend at the time on couch near him.
The boyfriend is long gone but man do I still ever love Lou. Best Valentine’s day ever.

Blair

My birthday falls a week before Valentine’s D, so it always feels like overkill to do anything fancy. But my favorite Valentine Day event/gift was when my best friend invited me to watch the Before Trilogy culminating in a early screening of Before Midnight.

Stephanie

The first Valentine’s Day my boyfriend and I spent together was our second year of college at UCLA. Our first date had been a cute picnic in the Sculpture Garden, so we decided to do a reprieve picnic for V-day. He brought champagne, fresh fruit, bread and cheese and I made him a sweet card.

We finished the bubbly and were feeling the love in the empty, romantic twilight garden and started making out (well, maybe a little more than making out…). What we didn’t realize was a concert had just let out across the courtyard and a few hundred families and senior citizens flowed out of the hall and into: the Sculpture Garden. I can only hope that our audience didn’t quite understand what was happening as I swatted him out from under my skirt!

Five years later, my bf and I are still madly in love and living in Williamsburg (love Catbird!). To this day that remains one of our most embarrassing “love stories.”

Jill

I’m watching ice dancing while I catch up on DS, which makes me think back to when I first learned to skate as a small child. My friend, Timmy, learned to skate at the same time, and Valentine’s Day happened just a few month into our learn-to-skate adventure. He was my first crush, and he brought me a heart-shape container filled with candy. I kept the container for years, and I’m writing about nearly forty years later…it must have been memorable!

Mary Kate

In college I unwittingly started a lovely tradition for my then-boyfriend (now husband) called “Man Day”. On Valentines day weekend, my girlfriends and I had a mother-daughter weekend planned. My boyfriend wasted no time in responding by planning a day of bowling, wing eating, western watching manliness. Our mother-daughter weekend lasted one year, but their boy, ahem-excuse me, man celebration has continued to what will soon be the 6th annual event. Initially I was a bit put-off that this year the tradition continues and our newly-wed Valentines Day will be bro-centric, but now I am excited to celebrate a very memorable weekend with these great guys who have by now become my close friends as well.

Mariah M

My favorite valentines memories were when I was a child, definitely. Not to say none of my adult valentines were special but, being a huge daddy’s girl, my valentines with my father were very special. He would let me pick out the valentines I wanted even if they weren’t too girly (ninja turtles, anyone?) and then on valentines day morning he would surprise me with chocolates and those cute bears that you get from Avon. He would then proceed to drive me to school on his motorcycle which was always a treat! My day would then be spent making valentine boxes with my class and anxiously waiting to see what we all got! I really loved my valentines days when I was a kid and I hope to make my son’s days amazing as well!

Ashley

When I was 16, my family was in my grandfather’s home town of Milan, Minnesota for a family reunion. It was valentines day and we were at the family farm in the big house having all the food on earth, and my grandmother asked me to take a ride to run and errand with her. We drove up to this beautiful hill looking over the vast Minnesota farm land. We got out and just stood overlooking the breathtaking view. After that my grandmother took me to the town cemetery, one that I know well. We parked and she opened the trunk and she pulled out a basket and a bouquet of white roses. We then sat and ate our food in front of my grandfather’s grave, he died 4 years before. It was freezing cold, anyone who has ever visited Minnesota knows the winters are not conducive to being outside for longer than the walk to the car. We sat there for about an hour and my grandmother told me stories of all the valentine’s days that they spent together in their 50 years of marriage. And then as we were leaving she leaned down and kissed his headstone. It was the most sad, beautiful, meaningful moment I’ve even witnessed.
Later she told me that the hill we overlooked was the first place they kissed when they met at age 18.

My grandmother passed away 7 years ago and not a single Valentine’s day goes by that I don’t think of that day.

Stacy W.

My favorite Valentines is yet to come. Two years ago I left an abusive marriage and am now in a relationship with a loving, respectful man that I look forward to spending the rest of my life with.

Lauren Bienvenue

My fiance and I were coworkers for 4 years before we got our act together and confessed our long standing crushes. This gave us plenty of time to complain about Valentines Day; how it stunk to be single or how it silly it was to have to make a dinner reservation months in advance to ensure a successful date with our at-the-time partners.

When we finally got together (in 2011) we vowed to make Valentines Day fun: we hold a (highly competitive) cheesiest-valentines-day-gift exchange. Past gifts have included: a two-person heart shaped mitten for chilly hand-holding walks, a commemorative Titanic music box that played Rose’s song, airbrushed t-shirts with our names scrolled across and personalized temporary tattoos.

We have SO MUCH FUN with this tradition – it makes Valentines Day easy, hilarious and just right.

Jessica S.

***DISCLAIMER: You’ll find that my submission is much longer than average. I’m sorry! I just couldn’t create a more summarized recount, without compromising my story. ***

On Valentine’s Day of 2001, I was an eighteen-year-old college freshman, in the throes of my spring semester. A sensitive and shy girl, I’d never really had a true boyfriend. That morning, my closest friend (and roommate) had broken up with her boyfriend. Though this wasn’t the first time they’d split up and my intuition predicted that they’d reconcile, my friend was utterly devastated. “How could he do this to me, on Valentines Day?” she exclaimed. Doing my best to comfort her in her time of distress, I suggested that we have some “girl time” to take her mind off things. We made plans to see a movie, that night.

En route to the theater, we passed a storefront that advertised psychic readings in its window. “Let’s go in, for just a moment!” said my friend. I was skeptical (and intent on getting to the movie on time); but, since this was her night, I obliged. The psychic told my friend that she sensed energies of love and conflict. (“No kidding!” I silently thought to myself.) The woman assured my friend that things would find a resolution and be fine. (“Could you be more vague?” I thought.) Then, the psychic woman shifted her attention to me. “Would you like a reading?” said the woman to me. “Do it, Jess! What’s the harm?” said my friend. “Well…Alright.” said (a very reluctant/skeptical) me.

I placed a hand in the hands of this stranger; and listened as she explained the meaning of my palm’s lines. (Incidentally, I have “a very long life” ahead of me!) It wasn’t until the very end of the reading that the subject of my love life came up. “When you love, you love hard,” said the psychic. “And I’m seeing something about the number 23. Does that mean anything to you?” I shook my head. “Well, remember this number. It’s significant. 23…Boom!”

“Boom”? What the heck did that mean?

A few weeks later, I met my first boyfriend. He was preppy, handsome, ambitious, and independent. We fell in love; and I began to plan what our future might be like, after college. After about a year and a half of dating, and just after his 23rd birthday, I discovered that he was cheating on me with another girl. (Boom…heart shattered!)

Months went by, before I met my next boyfriend. He was so different from the first! Tattooed and pierced, funny and free-spirited. AND he knew the heartbreak of falling victim to a cheater, as he’d been cheated on too. I thought I’d met a great guy, until the day came when a friend of his pulled me aside and revealed that this “wonderful” 23-year-old was simultaneously both myself and another girl. To make matters even more shocking, I learned that this “other woman” and I both shared “Jessica” as a first name! (Boom…confidence blasted.)

After the two terrorist attacks on my love life, I decided to take myself out of the dating arena. A year went by, before I felt ready to trust anyone again.

Though I truly wasn’t seeking out men of a particular age, it wasn’t long before the next 23-year-old entered into my life. This one was smart and stable, athletic and sexy. He was also emotionally closed off, as it turned out. We dated six months, before I decided I needed more. (Boom…Self-worth restored!)

The very next day, I dove into my studies to take my mind off of my love life. It was then, in my university’s library, that I met the person who would become my husband. A sunny, caring, and dependable (24-year-old!) man. This year, we’ll celebrate our tenth anniversary of that fateful day that we met.

Do I believe in the psychic’s foretelling, from what I now consider a legendary Valentine’s Day? My feelings are conflicted. How could this woman have been so astute, if my reading had been bogus? On the other hand, could I have subconsciously self-fulfilled my prophecy, through the pattern of all those 23-year-old men? In the end, I’m at peace with being undecided. I feel resolved, knowing that those experiences tested me and helped me grow.

Ps. My college roommate did “end up fine”, as the psychic predicted. Today, she happily lives in Germany with her husband and young son.

Jessica S.

Sorry! I just noticed a typo, in the fifth paragraph of my story. It should read: “this ‘wonderful’ 23-year-old was simultaneously DATING both myself and another girl.”

I hate that I can’t go back and fix this myself, lol!

Meredith

My favorite Valentine’s Day was 3 years ago. I baked eleven pies that day for a charity fundraiser dinner and auction at my friend’s restaurant. I wasn’t sure I could pull it off, but 7 hours later and covered with blueberries and blobs of lemon chess, I delivered them for that evening’s auction. I’m not big on Valentine’s Day in general, but this one was truly full of love – friends coming together to put their talents and time and dollars towards something bigger than a dozen roses.

Emily Travis

My most romantic Valentine’s Day was the first with my current boyfriend, four years ago. We “agreed” early on that we weren’t really the make-a-big-fuss-about-Valentine’s-Day types, so we’d spend approximately zero dollars to celebrate. Secretly, I was a little diasppointed, as I imagined eating cup-o-noodle together and watching re-runs on tv in our pajames, (although in a way, that sounds sweet and romantic, too!) I arrived at his apartment, and he called me back into his bedroom, where he’d strung what looked like hundreds of paper hearts from the ceiling, strung with dental floss (ha!) The whole room smelled minty and sweet, and I loved it. Later we went for a walk though the park, and stumbled upon a proposal, which was slightly awkward, but wonderful at the same time. Kind of like us. (Too sappy?)

Grace, if you’re reading, this is the same wonderful guy who surprised me, by personally emailed you to ask that you squeeze me in for your pre-book signing crafting event in San Francisco. He’s pretty awesome (and so are you! Thank you again for letting me join.)

Shivani

I love Catbird and have been wanting to try their jewelry for ages! Thanks so much for the chance.

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was probably my freshman year of college, when my then-boyfriend surprised me with a single rose and a handwritten letter – probably the first love letter I’d ever received. I was so surprised that I looked at the letter and said, oh! Am I supposed to write you one too? I made him go away for a while so I could write him something meaningful before we made a simple pasta & fish dinner together.

katie marie

My favorite Valentine’s day memory dates way back to my high school boyfriend. I was just sure he had no plans or anything in mind… In fact I hadnt heard from him at all that day. Then a mutual friend showed up at my door and said that he was going to take me to meet my current beau. He drove me downtown where I found a (legal) graffiti wall that was entirely done for me. My name was a big as a building! It was so very special to me… the reason I hadnt heard from him was because he had been up all day painting for me!! I nearly died <3 so sweet!

Jamie

As a perpetually single romantic, my favorite Valentine’s Day was getting to play inadvertent cupid in college. I hadn’t planned it all (for once)! Out of the blue, a casual acquaintance IM-ed me to grab dinner with her in the dining hall. It was slightly less depressing than my plan to do homework in my dorm, so I happily agreed. A nice fellow from my freshman dorm came over to say hello and then later, by the fountain drinks machine asked me who my friend was, saying she had always caught his eye around campus. I returned to my table, and she asked the same of him. As we parted ways later, I casually invited her to a friend’s small party, thinking that she’d never go. Lo and behold, later that night she did show up and by coincidence, the he of this anecdote tipsily wandered in, having heard the noise. I nudged them together (I’m a yenta at heart) and after walking her home, they married a few years later. I knew it was going to be something special and was so excited to get to be a part of it. Someday a tall, floppy haired boy of my own will come, but til then, I can buy my own Valentine’s Day gifts (I’ve actually been eyeing the Digby and Iona Love Compass for YEARS now).

Carolina

I had really been looking forward to my first Valentine’s Day in a while that I actually had a boyfriend (who is now my husband), but instead of a romantic night out like we planned, we both came down with fevers and had to order in pizza. Now Valentine’s Day is an extra reminder that we’ll always be hot for each other!

Suzanna

my best and only valentine’s day with an SO was when my ex-boyfriend and i went to a mexican restaurant and it was loud, crowded, and uncomfortable and he tells me during dinner that his ex-girlfriend slept in his bed the other night like it wasn’t a big deal and then i cried in the middle of the restaurant. cool story bro. please pick me. i need some catbird to melt my icy heart.

va

My most memorable valentine’s was when i first met my husband and it was when we first met . He wasn’t the type of guy who liked to buy gifts or roses but his character and personality made up for all of that . He knew that I loved fashion magazines so one night when I was not expecting anything . He went and bought me a magazine with Hilary Duff on the cover . I don’t remember the title of it but remember this was in 2006 and now we have been married since 2007 . I love how he is always there for me and has accepted me as I am . He took me for me and that is what I love about him and every day he says he loves me . We have been through our ups and downs but in the end have been there with each other .
tumblemumbo at gmail dot com

Jung In Kim

My most memorable Valentine’s day was a few years ago when my sister and I plowed through a harsh February snowstorm to go to a French bistro in Montreal. I was in a rough shape going through a bad break up and my sister wanted to spark my day with a three-course meal and lots of laughs. She helped me see that failures and mistakes I made in life were almost worth realizing there were people who would always be by my side to offer the friendship and loyalty that I needed to get through the tough times. Thanks to their love and support, my life has been fulfilling and I’m proud to say that I eventually met someone I want to spend the rest of my life with. We are getting married this summer and will be wearing rings from Catbird as our wedding bands!

Jung In Kim

My most memorable Valentine’s days was a few years ago when my sister and I plowed through a harsh February snowstorm to go to a French bistro in Montreal. I was in a rough shape going through a bad break up and my sister wanted to spark my day with a three-course meal and lots of laughs. She helped
me see that failures and mistakes I made in life were almost worth realizing there were people who would always be by my side to offer the friendship and loyalty that I needed to get through the tough times. Thanks to their love and support, my life has been fulfilling and I’m proud to say that I eventually met someone I want to spend the rest of my life with. We are getting married this summer and will be wearing rings from Catbird as our wedding bands!

Nicole Sender

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was the first “date” my husband & I had after he came back from the service. We had a great dinner and time alone. My family was helped and watched our son. This was a meaningful time!

jodi

21 years ago a friend of mine walked into the coffee shop where I was working with a twinkly blue-eyed, messy blond-haired friend at his side. It took about a split second and I was smitten with this boy. We spent that summer kindling a sweet (but mostly innocent) romance between us, and then he left to move back to Taiwan where he taught English. Since Taiwan is about a million miles away from where I live, we kept our connection at a friendship and spent the next 8 years (yep, 8) staying it touch through letters & emails. Each summer he would come home for a visit and we would soak in some time together, always feeling that spark, but keeping it at bay due to the reality of him living so far away. Then one fall his Dad got sick and he moved home to take care of him at the end of his life. After his Dad passed, he decided to have a go at living in the states, and moved to a city 2 hours away from me. We started visiting each other every weekend, and that romance we’d started 8 years earlier finally had a chance to blossom! It was such a long time coming that it was exciting and nerve wracking at the same time – neither of us wanting to do anything that might harm our friendship. Well, Valentine’s Day rolled around and I was attempting to play it cool, not making too much of it if he didn’t. I arrived at his house to find him sleeping on the couch. I walked in quietly and sat down next to him. He woke up, looked up at me, smiled and said, “My girl!” I have been his girl for 13 years now, and nothing could make me happier!

Jaclyn Jelo

Awkward, nerdy teen with glasses? Check.
Hoping her crush would talk to her? Check.
Udder realization her “perfect” outfit laid out the night before smelt like old fish because her mom burnt dinner the night before? Double check!

Oh yes, this was 15 years ago and apparently I’m still scarred…
…my crush DID talk to me but only to say in passing “What smells like garbage?”.
Worst Valentines ever. Makes a good laugh now though!

Amber

This Valentine’s Day is already proving to be my best one yet… ironically, I’m single this year. I have spent the past few months focusing on loving myself more – joining a gym I enjoy going to, ending a long-term relationship that wasn’t making me happy, focusing a bit more on charity, and starting a new job that I love. I may not be with a significant other this year, but learning to put yourself first and loving yourself is still significant!

Kari

My most memorable valentines day was the 4th grade. My mom isn’t really a planner but that year she went out ahead of time and picked up some earrings and candy for us. Since we never did anything special for the holiday that one stands out to me because it was such an unexpected fun surprise.

Jessica

My most memorable valentines day was 3 years ago. My fiance and i had just moved in together, and we cooked mussels, and drank cocktails in front of the fire. better than a night out!

Amy

I was unattached last year for Valentine’s Day and felt down about it. Didn’t help that girls all around the office are being delivered dozens and dozens of gifts each hour. Then right around lunchtime I was delivered a HUGE fruit basket arrangement. I looked at the card and it was from “Fernando, your spicy Latin lover”. Turns out it was my best friend who didn’t want me to feel left out of all the office deliveries. Since then everyone has been under the impression I’ve been hiding this spicy lover :)
Didn’t matter the person wasn’t real. I had a best friend who had thought of me and made me smile.

Kylee

Every Valentines day is special to me because my amazing brother, Dalan was born on Valentines Day. In my family we celebrate “Dalantines day” instead of Valentines.

Kris

I’m pretty happy with this Valentine’s day already! I sent a big bunch of sunflowers to my boyfriend at his work (his favorite flower), wore my loudest Valentine’s-appropriate outfit to work, and this evening I’m heading to Chicago to meet up with my best friends from college. It’s been a great day :)

Sarah A.

I got my favorite valentine from my nephew when he was 4. I know my sister picked it out & was probably trying to be mean, but I loved it. On the outside it said “when I first saw you, you were a stranger in the distance…” On the inside, “then I found out you’re even stranger up close!”

Emily

Even though my boyfriend of 7 years has given me some beautiful jewelry and flowers for Valentines Day, my favorite Valentine’s Day memory is from high school. I woke up on a school-day morning to a 3 foot potted yucca plant outside my bedroom door. I ran down the hall to ask my father about it and he sprang into the hallway shouting “HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!” Ahaha. I still have it sitting in my living room.

Margaret

It is not memorable for being happy but when I was eight my parents who were in a trial separation had a huge fight. It’s when I realized that this separation was going to stick. In the long term their split was a hugely positive thing in my life and the fight itself taught me a lot about relationships.

Mary M.

My favorite memory is from when I was in the second grade, and this boy called my house to ask me to be his girlfriend. He had already had a few girlfriends at that tender age and was something of a ladies man! I mean this kid would show up to school with a huge bouquet of roses and little gifts for the girls he was wooing. It is incredibly sweet to think of now, but at that age it was scary to me because boys obviously had cooties.

Anyway, we had just had this talk about the birds and the bees in school, and at that age our teacher was rather vague about the “special touch” between a man and a woman that was needed in order to procreate. So when this poor kid asked me out, all I could think of was that I DID NOT want to have a baby of my own!!!!!!! I hung up the phone and ran up to my room and started crying hysterically under my bed (of course under the bed!) and my father came in and pulled my legs until I slid out, and he calmed me down and sent me back downstairs to watch television with the rest of the family.

During one of the commercial breaks I saw a father giving his daughter away at a wedding, and I proceeded to burst into tears again (mind you I really never cried even as a child, so my parents were very concerned) and I ran up to my room and dove under the bed again, and this time when my father pulled me out I made him promise me that he would never give me away to a man!

The next day I wound up getting a 3 hour lecture about the meaning of life, so I learned to never display my fears in front of my family ever again! Years later that adorable little ladies man ran into me at a local pizza shop, and I asked him if he remembered asking me out when we were children. He said that he cried when I freaked out and that I had hurt his feelings so badly his sister wanted to beat me up, and then he introduced me to his husband and children. We wound up having dinner and laughing together. His kids thought it was very gross of their father to have asked me out in the second grade too, so at least I had them on my side. His husband was concerned that as a young man he was interested in women, and he never knew of just HOW MANY second graders his husband had dated! Lol. It was an amusing night.

This may not be the best V-Day story, but it is a true one. Honestly the rest of my Valentine’s days have sucked a rotten egg. At this age I would be absolutely thrilled if an adorable man my age called to ask me out on Valentine’s day, and then followed it up with a bouquet of roses and little gifts. Isn’t life ironic? Not in the Alanis Morrisette way either. Perhaps maybe catbird could be my valentine this year? I promise not to freak out! I’ll say yes!

Joanna

My most memorable Valentines Day was this year. I sent a card to my grandfather and simply let him know that the love stories of he and my grandmother are the ones I hold as an example of the kind of love I want in my life.
He called my mom after receiving the card and was crying. He asked her how such a wonderful granddaughter could come from such a pain-in-the-butt mother :)
My grandma and grandpa continually remind me of what life-long love looks like, despite my grandmother’s death three years ago.

Michela V.

I would have to say this Valentines Day was the most memorable of all .
Both me and my boyfriend are pretty broke so we couldn’t afford to go out to a fancy dinner this year so we decided to make our own at home.
The night began with me walking over to his place, wine in hand. Since we’re broke I got the largest and cheapest wine possible. I made it to right in front of his apartment and then proceeded to slip on a giant ice sheath right outside. Of course the wine exploded behind me leaving me in a puddle of what probably looked close to blood (red wine + snow) I showed up at his house looking like Carrie.
I didn’t realize that this was just the beginning of what to come.
He was cooking up some vegetables while I was starting to make fudge brownies for desert. I had gotten out all the ingredients and laid them on the counter while I went to get a pan. When I turned around to start both the eggs had fallen on the ground thanks to classic new york city uneven apartments. I grabbed a rag to clean it up and upon finishing it, (probably since I was at this point slightly delirious from all this bad luck) put the towel on the counter maybe a little to close to the stove. I went into the other room to tell my boyfriend what had happened, but before I could even finish he was running into the kitchen, the rag had caught on fire and was flaming away ruining the skillet of food that it had now engulfed. Luckily (ha) we were able to put out the fire.
Now with no wine, no desert and no planned dinner all we could do was laugh. It was absurd right?
He quickly whipped up some quesadillas while I ran to the store and grabbed 4 24 oz cans of beer. We ended the night sitting on the floor eating, drinking and laughing more than I have in a long time, truly enjoying each others company, thats equally what made it into such a memorable valentines day. Thanks to boyfriend for cheering me up and turning what could of been the worst night ever into one of the best.

thanks guys! Sorry if I posted this twice I didn’t mean to!

SB

Two years ago, just before Valentine’s Day, a close girlfriend was going through a devastating breakup, and I was single and felt really stuck career- and life-wise, and had never gone to the one place on earth I was most dying to go: Paris. We got the crazy idea to just seize the day and GO–I could only get a few days off from work but we found an insane deal on flights and hotel and a few days after Valentine’s Day we spent a magical four days in the most magical city on earth. It was a whirlwind but life-changing trip, and I fell in love with that city even more than I thought possible. Life is light-years different just two short years later–I did a LOT of soul-searching, landed a dream job, moved to NYC (another dream city!), and am lucky to have a life with a truly wonderful guy–but that Parisian Valentine that a best girlfriend and I gave ourselves one especially dreary February just may be the most special ever!

Kelsey

Not incredibly romantic, but the best was freshman year in college. All the guys in my dorm bought single stem roses for each girl then took us all out for a group dinner. It was mostly a celebration of the love between friends, but is one of my favorite memories.

gabrielle

one of the most memorable valentines days was in high school when one of my friends pranked all our other friends with little love notes left in our locker. they were all so personal and the first letter of each line spelled out i love you. it took us all day to figure out who our mystery lover was!

Paige

I once spent several days (days!) making intricately iced doily heart cookies, only to slip and fall on my way into school on Valentine’s Day. The cookies were arranged on a platter and comically shot into the air, the impact turned them into broken-heart cookies instead.

Eva-Marie

Great giveaway! Thank you for the chance!

Valentine’s Day is always hit or miss. One year, I had a first date on Valentine’s Day. Thinking back, it was a risky move! However, it turned out to be a wonderful date that included red roses. We dated for several months before graduating college.

Tiffany

I’ve always been single around Valentine’s Day so I’ve never had a real memorable in terms of romance. I briefly remember my mother doing something special for my sister and I one year. She bought us candy, flowers and a lovely card I still have.

Karla

I would have to say that for me every year Valentine’s Day is memorable, because it is also the day I was born. I get to celebrate 2 different events and it makes me feel special. This Valentine’s Day was very special for me not only did I spent it with someone special but for some reason felt a lot of love from my family and friends, maybe it was because I turned 34 (and suddenly became sentimental) but it made me look back in awe at how far I have come and how much I have lived.

Karla

would have to say that for me every year Valentine’s Day is memorable, because it is also the day I was born. I get to celebrate 2 different events and it makes me feel special. This Valentine’s Day was very special for me not only did I spent it with someone special but for some reason felt a lot of love from my family and friends, maybe it was because I turned 34 (and suddenly became sentimental) but it made me look back in awe at how far I have come and how much I have lived.

Hannah

My most memorable valentines was driving from Maryland to Mississippi with my boyfriend to drop off my cat with my parents before we moved in together. My parents met the boyfriend and took the cat and we had a day in Jackson before driving the 17 hours back to Maryland.

Marisa Keris

Most memorable Valentine’s Day… the first year with my boyfriend (now fiancé) who gifted me a pair of rain boots and the Design Sponge book! At the time we were living separately and he knows how important decorating and making a “home” is to me. We were both thinking about all the future had to offer us, and our relationship. It was so special for a non-design guy to give me such a sweet and lovely gift. We have since made a home together, and I still wear the rain boots. Although I love flowers, what a great memory… and a flood of all those early love feelings, hopes and desires that you try to make into reality the longer you are together. We are getting married in September, and have plans to purchase a catbird wedding band for my wedding ring… the giveaway would make this dream come true!

Lindsay

This Valentines Day we were snowed in, so my boyfriend and I ate Japanese takeout on top of a cardboard box in bed. It was romantic because it reminded me of first moving in together and eating delivery food on the floor, picnic style, before we had any furniture set up :’) And I guess being sentimental makes me a cheap date!

Tabitha

The first year my Husband of Long Standing and I were married his mother sent us each a separate little valentine (the kind you would exchange at school) in one larger envelope. That she sent these every year to all 6 of her children and to each of their spouses seems so sweet to me. A small gesture like that can really mean a lot to someone, and I know it did to me.

Sarah Ann

The valentines day of 2009 I found myself single and across the country from my best friend finishing up pharmacy school. I received a phone call offering me an interview the Monday following the big day in DC with Megan!

I arrived we shopped and then I convinced my straight lace friend that we were off to a drag show. It was a night of lots of giggles and friendship- not once did either of us feel sad or single!

Jacky

My most memorable Valentines Day was just last week. My boyfriend and I have only been dating for about 5 months, but we are head over heels for each other. I came to his house after work that day and he had all the lights off, candles spread around the living room and dining room, and he cooked me a meat-and-potatoes dinner (the way to my Midwestern heart!) It was a quiet night spent in and it was perfect :)

Shin Yu Pai

My husband and I don’t traditionally exchange gifts or mark V-day in any significant way. This past year, I gave birth to our first child and our lives have changed so much that we rarely have time these days to eat or go out. He’s the stay-at-home dad and I work full-time. This year, my husband had the sweetest card waiting for me when I got home. And he even wrote a personal note, instead of just signing it! Plus, he got me some cookies from the local cupcakery that were chocolate free, since I’m on a choco ban due to kidney stones.

jaewon

my boyfriend, who is now my husband, woke up in the wee hours of the morning to make me one of the best french toast i’ve ever had before i went to work at 5am. consequently, i got sick from said french toast, but he still got takeout from our favorite sushi place for dinner. this guy ate sushi and watched a whole rom com in bed, while i slept all night beside him. it was a funny, sweet, and very thoughtful valentines.

Lavina

My most memorable Valentine’s Day occurred when I was in elementary school. The fifth and sixth graders all joined together for a choir session every day, and on this particular day, this kid named John M., a sixth grader (I was in the fifth grade), pulled my chair out from behind me just as I was going to sit down. I fell, obviously, everyone laughed, and I was so embarrassed that I cried. No big whoop, typical elementary-school-type stuff. Later that day, though, John ran into me outside one of our classrooms and knocked over the stack of books I was holding and then shuffled off. When I was gathering my things, I found a note amongst my books. It was a really lopsided heart drawn in pencil on line paper, with the words “I like you” written over and over inside it, and then signed “John” at the bottom. No one had ever given me anything like that before — and from a sixth grader! Lucky me! I was giddy until I found out the next day that he’d given a similar note to a sixth grader, except hers had the words “I love you” written in the heart. A lasting lesson in love (or like); twenty-odd years later, I don’t have the note anymore, but I still remember the shape of that wonky heart.

Lauren

One of my most memorable Valentine’s Days was this year’s – since my fiance lives in England and I live in the US we had to celebrate apart. I got a card and flowers, he got a bottle of rum and chocolates but we both spent our evenings discussing our upcoming elopement and watching the same movie, one of our favorites, Love Actually (cheesy, I know) together over Skype.

Julie

My favorite Valentines memory so far was this very year. After trying to conceive for many years, my husband and I finally adopted a beautiful girl from Ethiopia. She is now three, and loves anything having to do with glue and glitter, and of course, making cookies. This year she and I made Valentines and heart-shaped cookies together, wrapped them up, then drove around to deliver them to friends.

Elyse

This Valentine’s Day was important to me because my Grandmother was recently put in the hospital. I couldn’t be with her because we live so far away and I was constantly worried. We hadn’t made Valentine’s day plans with all the chaos. My boyfriend surprised me with a simple dinner- a sandwich my Grandmother used to make me when I was little. It’s my ultimate comfort food. The gesture was so sweet and so thoughtful, it reminded me of the strength and love I have in my partner.

dana

My most memorable one was the first one we spent together. I had just moved in, and we were sleeping on my husband’s broken frame futon. On Valentine’s Day, he went and bought us our first mattress — in a bright pink floral!

Jamie

This probably isn’t going to win me any prizes, but the honest answer is that my most memorable Valentines Day was when I broke up with my 6th grade boyfriend AT the Valentines Day dance – by scribbling a note in the bathroom, so terrible – because I was too scared to dance with him. I feel bad about it to this day. Sorry, Jeremy Dylewski, wherever you are.

Taylor K.

Three Valentine’s Days ago, I was in my second year of law school. It was early in the morning, before classes started, and I was stuffing store-bought Hello Kitty (“Stay Sweet!”) and Superheroes (“Have a SUPER Day!”) Valentine’s Day cards in student lockers. In the two weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, I had organized a Valentine’s Day fundraiser whereby students could buy Valentine’s Day cards for their friends and I would stuff them into their friend’s lockers with some candy.

When I got to my locker, I flipped through the stack and saw that my friend Matt had sent me a Hello Kitty card. Matt and I were part of the same, large friend group, we frequented the same parties and bars, gchatted occasionally, but we weren’t that close. Thinking that maybe Matt sent Valentine’s Day cards to everyone, I quickly checked the rest of the cards I had to deliver. He only sent a card to me. Of course, it was entirely possible that he only sent the card to me because it my fundraiser but nevertheless I took as a sign that he might be interested in me. From that day on, I got to know Matt better. We moved from gchat to texting to phone calls and eventually started dating. This past November, he proposed. Needless to say, I think that Valentine’s Day will always be memorable because it was the day that started it all.

P.S. The card read, “I hope you have a profitable Valentine’s Day.” I’m hoping that I can find a jeweler willing to engrave that many characters on Matt’s wedding band.

Kate

When I was 16—totally boyfriendless and barely kissed—my two best friends and I went to a Jack’s Mannequin concert. We wore skinny jeans and tee-shirts and converse, our hair was long, and we waited outside in the freezing midwestern cold for hours before the doors opened to ensure a spot right in front of the stage. Our plan worked. We danced and jumped and sang along—all the way through Valentine’s Day night. And while I’ve had sweet Valentine’s days since then—ones with flowers and jewelry and breakfast in bed—that’s still my favorite Valentine’s Day memory. Especially because those friends are still among my favorite on the planet.

Kim

My valentines day this year was pretty great. We were supposed to go to a fancy Japanese restaurant but my husband had to work late and we missed our reservation. We went to the cheap BYOB sushi place in the corner instead– it was probably half the price, and so delicious.

Hattie

I’m not big on Valentines and don’t celebrate it usually, but a couple of years ago while at university in Scotland, my boyfriend called me and told me he was picking me up from the library. He then proceeded to take me to the blood donor centre! He knew I really wanted to give blood (it’s a voluntary thing over there) but was a bit scared to go by myself. I thought it was such a sweet gesture. We joke it was totally relevant to Valentine’s Day too – all about giving, from the heart, the colour red..!!

Hannah

My first valentine’s day with my now boyfriend, he asked me to leave my apartment. I waited out in the hall, chatting on the phone with my parents, with no clue what he was up to. Turns out he hid a whole package of mini valentines throughout the apartment, with a different saying on each one. I was finding them for weeks!

Dale

My most memorable Valentine’s Day is the one before my husband and I officially got together. I was going on a road trip starting on Valentine’s Day and he overnighted me a mix CD to listen in the car on my drive.

Libby

Fortunately or unfortunately, I don’t have a good Valentine story, but I love Catbird! Elegant and both modern and classic at the same time. My husband and I usually enjoy quiet Valentines celebrations – enjoy a nice dinner, either at a restaurant or at home, and cuddle on the couch to watch a movie :) delicious, simple, and relaxing!

Kerry

My husband and I celebrate each Valentine’s Day with a bake-off. We started this tradition when we were dating and have continued it ever since. The first year, my husband made me a chocolate box and filled it with chocolate pudding and berries. It was the perfect gift!

Sarah Fletcher

My 3rd Grade Valentine’s Day was my best Valentine’s Day to date! My super cute red headed crush brought in cards for all of his classmates and mine was not only the largest, but it also came with some candy. I’m not sure I have ever in my life felt SO special. This is not a sad/bad thing! It is such a sweet and goofy childhood memory that I will never forget. :)

Rebecca Thao

I love all things handmade. My husband is not a super crafty guy, but this year he grabbed some wood glue and got to work. He and our boys gathered sticks, twigs and acorns and then artfully glued them inside a heart for me. It made me feel so loved. I think it will find its way into a frame soon;)

maggie

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was in college when I was single. My friend and I LOVE Robyn, and we had tickets to see her the weekend before. Unfortunately, she postponed due to being ill and moved it to Valentine’s Day. At first we were a little bummed, somehow hoping we would both get dates for that night, and then we were like, “Hello! Robyn IS our Valentine!”

David and I went to this tiny venue in Chicago and danced our HEARTS out on Valentine’s Day. It was amazing, full of self-love, and some amazing dance moves on Robyn’s part.

Kristina Strain

My first boyfriend cooked me dinner on Valentine’s day… tuna steaks, chocolate custard-filled creme puffs… and champagne… He turned out to be a real jerk, but for that night, he was perfect.

Jenn

Valentine’s Day 2013 was my first Valentine’s Day as a teacher. The week leading up, I prepared little Valentine’s Day notes for my homeroom students, and spent the night before baking and decorating cookies for the kiddos. That year was also my first winter driving in New England (I’m originally from California!).

On my way to school, my car spun out on black ice causing my car to spin multiple times hitting the guardrail a few times along the way. When my car stopped moving, I let out a comical groan as I noticed the pink cookies crumbs all over me and my car. I snapped to reality when a man who had stopped from the other side of the highway and jumped the median knocked on my window to make sure I was okay, which I was.

When I got out of my car, another woman had stopped her car along the highway. She stayed with me while the police came and even drove me back home since my car was totaled. When I asked her for her address so I could send her a thank you card, she replied, “You’re going to think this is crazy, but I live on Valentine Street!” I honestly don’t know what I would have done without her support as I was crying in panic on the highway and her advice as a retired car insurance agent as she drove me home. She will always be in my heart as my Valentine’s Day Guardian Angel!

Grace

My boyfriend, who works at a law firm, is always working into the late hours of the night. But for Valentine’s Day, he called me up at 6pm and told me he was going to leave soon to “pick me up”. He showed up with flowers and an itinerary for the night. It was definitely a special night being able to spend the whole evening together with zero work-related interruptions!

JennyMontyinSD

You know? This year was memorable! Our 11-year-old nephew is recovering in the hospital from a terrifying aneurysm; my husband, our 2-year-old, and me have all been sleep deprived from horrible colds; I’m 9 weeks pregnant with all the exhaustion-while-having-a-toddler that entails. Stress, illness, and sleep deprivation have been kicking our butts so we both said “let’s not even worry about trying to coordinate anything.” But, we were together, we ate meatloaf that I shaped like a heart, and we enjoyed how much we all love each other even when things are tough.

Colleen

The very first Valentine’s Day that my husband and I spent together as a dating couple was a funny one, since I made an almost I edible romantic meal, trying to make up a bunch of recipes as I went along, including dumpling soup, stuffed chicken, and raspberry pavlova. But my favorite Valentine’s Day is from 2014, when we we treated our son to some new presents and had a wonderful breakfast together.

Katie M.

This might sound dumb and so small, but here we go. I grew up with my mom and my brother. One Valentine’s Day when I was in high school, shortly after my brother got his first job (on the night shift), my mom and I woke up to find a rose and box of chocolates for each of us. Since then I’ve worked hard to remember that other types of love are just as supportive and important as romantic love.

Jessica

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was my first with the love of my life. He had to work late at the restaurant so I had no expectations of hearts and flowers or grand pony rides through the park. To my surprise, and utter delight, I came home that evening to find 30 small valentines hidden all over my apartment. On each one he had written a reason why he loved me or something to make me laugh. Two years later he still cooks for me, dances in the kitchen with me, holds my hand, and is the most genuine and thoughtful man I know.

Zina

My most memorable Valentine’s day was when, on a very uncharacteristic whim spurred on string of bad dates/boyfriends, I flew to Norway for a two week blind date. The man I was going to see had been introduced to me by a mutual friend (who had spent the summer with this Norwegian filming the tour de France) and was a painter and film maker. We had been exchanging very exciting emails and letters filled with little drawings, funny stories, and mystery. He seemed so much more interesting, mysterious and exciting than any of the guys I was meeting, so I decided to take a chance and go meet him. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t partly intentional that I booked the trip over Valentine’s Day (a gutsy move I’m still surprised I did). I painstakingly made him a very elaborate handmade card before leaving, packed a minimal suitcase and took off. It was only while sitting in the Amsterdam airport waiting for my connection to Oslo that I began to mildly freak out and realize how nuts this whole scheme was.
But Magnus was there, waiting for me with a sign that simply read “Zina from Utah”. The two weeks were a success and we connected as well in person as we had via email and letter. On Valentine’s Day we found ourselves in Copenhagen visiting my friend Stine and we decided on another crazy whim that we would try to meet Lars Von Trier. I don’t know what we were thinking, it was like going to Hollywood saying we were going to meet Spielberg or something. But, through a series of crazy events, we met some art students who said we had a very slim chance of meeting him if we went to his filming studios about an hour out of the city around lunch time and went to the mess hall. We took the bus, wound up at a hospital, then a circus museum and finally the film studios. We walked into the mess hall, and there he was! But we were quickly found out and asked to leave, so we waiting in the freezing February air outside till Lars had finished his lunch. He finally came out with only one other person and we seized our opportunity! Magnus wound up talking to him for a good 20 minutes and Lars was very generous giving him contacts with his producers and great advice. We took the bus back to Copenhagen on cloud nine.
The rest of the trip was also a grand, romantic adventure, but that Valentine’s will always stand out as one of the most memorable and crazy.
Alas, the ocean and land between us proved too great a barrier, and Magnus and I didn’t work out; but we are both happily married now (and I met my husband through him) so in the long run that trip did lead me to true love.

Kate Hocker

It was Valentine’s Day in 6th grade. The Student Council was holding its annual carnation sale and I was dreading the day. I was certain I would leave empty handed. Much to my surprise, a pink carnation was delivered to my desk during homeroom. It was the best day. Thank you, Secret Admirer. You gave me a huge boost during my awkward and formative years! XO

emily

Six years ago my now fiance put an ad in the local paper to tell me he loved me and that I am “the best and most important thing” that has even happened to him. He’s a man of few words, so that kind of declaration was really special and still brings tears to my eyes while I type about it now.

Erin @ Thanks, I Made It

this year’s wasn’t anything special, but was exactly what I wanted– a snow day with my special someone, munching on homemade pizza and working on a DIY project for Design*Sponge! :)

Jade Sheldon-Burnsed

My most memorable valentine’s day happened nearly 7 years ago now. I had met this lovely man (after a dating a few not so lovely men) and a few weeks before valentine’s day I was telling him how I never had had a Valentine. Ever. Not once. I either wasn’t in a relationship or the guy I was seeing didn’t much care to celebrate. I also had never received flowers from anyone, besides my grandmother. But I had just started seeing this wonderful man when I had to leave for a few weeks from Portland to New York during Valentine’s Day. But when I returned home, he asked me to be his Valentine and gave me the first romantic flowers I had ever received. He ended up surprising me and driving me down to Canon Beach, which we now return to every year as husband and wife. We have been together nearly 7 years, married for 2 and in all the moments we have shared, the best ones are the small, sweet, from the heart ones that no one else will treasure but you.

Lisa Adams

2 Valentine’s days in a row I got to go hear Kurt Elling, my favorite jazz vocalist, perform live with my boyfriend at the time. So romantic.

kaitlin

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was actually pretty awful.. I was in college and the guy I liked was going out with a good friend of mine. I was pretty bummed all day. It snowed and was gross outside. And to put the icing on the cake my dresser, out of nowhere, collapsed and I had clothes and toiletries all over the place along with some broken mirrors! The day ended better when my best friend came over to watch Remington Steele and drink ginger brandy and gingerale.

Shannon Doronio

My first Valentine’s Day as a single lady (after an eight year long relationship) was my best. My exes birthday was 2/14, and it was his rule that “we only celebrate his birthday.” So for eight years, I never had a Valentine’s Day. After the split, I got my own place, danced in my underwear every night, pawned my engagement ring to buy some new house things and fell totally in love with myself again.

When V-Day finally rolled around I decided to celebrate big time by throwing a “Be your own Valentine” party. I spent the night drinking and dancing with friends, laughing and just feeling really great.

BEST V-DAY EVER.

Arana Peters

This year as memorable. My husband, who is not a fan of Valentines (something about being to commercialized) sacrificed his time to do something special. He was just about to rush out the door late for work when I announced that I had just dropped my fav earring down the bathroom sink drain. It was not expensive but held a lot of sentimental value. My lovely husband spent the next 45 minutes taking apart the pipes, cleaning out all the gross, smelly stuff before he found my earring. It reminded me that love can come in all forms…not just candy and flowers.

marjorie

it was the first date with my (now) husband- I didn’t even realize it was Valentine’s day until the next day (thankfully, because that would have been a lot of pressure for a first day). it was very simple but wonderful night, a meal he cooked and a board game, and now we always celebrate the 14th as the anniversary of our first date.

Aidel.K

When I was a little kid, my dad always bought me a heart-shaped box of chocolates at the drug store. Initially it was exciting that it was mine, all mine! After a couple of chocolates, I always shared with my brothers. (PS–happy to learn about this shop.)

alexandra keller

Our anniversary is just after Valentine’s, so we usually celebrate the two together.
For our 5 year anniversary, we invited a bunch of our friends to Las Vegas to celebrate. We were able to renew our vows in a wedding chapel pop up shop in one of the hotels.
And since the shop/chapel was at street level with a wall of windows to the street,
everyone outside cheered when we kissed!

Briana

In 2003, I was in college at UMd. One Sunday in February (it happened to be the weekend before Valentine’s Day), my bf’s dad was coming to pick him up for the day. I decided to hitch a ride home, too, since we lived nearby, so that I could do laundry and say hi to my mom. When I got home, no one was actually at the house, and my bf later called to say that his dad wasn’t going to drive him back to campus that night because it looked like a big snow storm was coming. I ended up getting stuck at my mother’s house (while she holed up at a bf’s house) for the entire week while it snowed nearly 20 inches. I spent my Valentine’s Day alone, shoveling out the driveway. :(

Elissa

Oh, darlings, how can one compete with such stories? Mine is mundane, but special to me. This year, I had been in yoga teacher training for the past 5 weekends (exhilarating but exhausting!) before Valentine’s Day, so we decided (because of my long weekend absences) to share it with our daughter, as a family. I went to a local market/restaurant and picked up our favorites–cheeses, sweet nuts, artisan crackers, meatballs and very thick noodles and sauce, then proceeded to design platters of food. In the meantime, my daughter had changed into her “yoga” pants and was teaching yoga to her stuffed animals. “Oh, hon, get your bum up higher,” she said. “Now we say ‘Namaste’ to each other. This means ‘The light in me sees the light in you, darling.'” We were cracking up. Truly, is there anything better than sharing love with such exquisite people–my dear husband and my very funny 7-year-old daughter–two people who are the lights in my heart!

Alyssa

Two years ago I got a bit disappointed that my serious boyfriend did not get me anything for Valentine’s day. I just wanted a card and instead he told me he didn’t want me to cook and took me to an Indian buffet. What I didn’t realize was he was so busy getting my engagement ring that day that he didn’t really think of anything else. He popped the question months later I found out about his arduous trip downtown that Valentine’s. We now go to that Indian buffet every Valentine’s day now and I always think twice before I get a bit upset because there might be something I don’t know.

isabel

Even though I am as sarcastic as the night is dark, i love valentine’s. Every Valentine’s my son would awake to a blizzard of handmade hearts, from his pillow on down to the carpet. For breakfast, I made heart shaped pancakes, and for his lunch, homemade heart cookies. Even in college, I sent him valentine’s cards, though he was probably more embarrassed than not. Eventually I stopped sending him cards on Valentine’s day. Therefore, I was delighted and surprised when several years ago my son sent me a homemade Valentine’s card declaring that I deserved a day off from work and a box of chocolate. I am pleased to say that the tradition continues, and the sentiment of love and appreciation is held dear to both of us.

kara

my boyfriend and i have never really celebrated valentine’s day — we’ll exchange cards and a small gift, but there’s never a plan or a big fuss. in fact, this year, i was planning on visiting a friend over the long weekend instead of spending valentine’s day with my boyfriend. of course weather intervened, and my flight was cancelled. we ended up having an impromptu valentine’s day dinner at a not-so-great restaurant (everything else was booked with reservations) and splitting a pint of grocery store gelato — and we had a blast.

Jacqueline

Well, the sad thing is that I’ve never had a good Valentine’s Day, that’s why I’m in need of some pampering. I could make up an elaborate story of some memorable situation, but nothing comes to mind. That’s it. That’s all. Thank you for reading.

Gillian Helm

My most memorable Valentine’s Day is also the most recent. After a very long, and for some reason especially grueling week of work for both my husband and me, we both scooted out early, picked up our one and a half year old son, grabbed a quick bite to eat, then over-indulged in froyo and watching our baby boy delight all the other customers with his antics and new vocabulary. That evening, the baby, miraculously, went right to bed and the hubs and I got to have some much-needed adult time ;)

Alison

Let’s not jinx it with any crazy proclamations. I’ll just say: I love him. He loves me.

Yesterday was our three-week anniversary. So far, it’s been magical. We met in the antiques store where he works: I was buying vintage bird ornaments. He admired the paint on my shoes. On our first date he pulled a yellow bird that matched my flock from his pocket. Every day is more romantic than the last. The day before Valentine’s Day, we spent our first snow day together–at midnight, I think we were snowball fighting. When we woke up in the morning, he dug his car out, I went to the studio, he went to work. When we met up at 6, I gave him his valentine: a painting of us, as banana and pear. He gave me his: nine hand-sewn and hand-embroidered fish, stitched to a line by his own dear hands. We made risotto for dinner, though we were missing white wine. We ate venison sausage, because it was delicious, and he tried his first fennel. We toasted (“our first Valentine’s”). We danced to Hank Williams records, took off our clothes, danced some more. It was excellent dancing. We fell asleep watching Wall-E. We have old-married-couple monikers. He’s my Gene and I’m his Shirley. Can life get any better? It’s never been better than this. Tomorrow will be better than this. This is it.

Katie Jackson

The most embarrassing Valentine’s for me occurred in high school (when most embarrassing events happen that you try to forget). I had just started dating this guy (my first valentine’s with a BF) and I wanted to impress him by making him dinner. But I had no idea how to cook. So I put pepperonis on a premade crust in the shape of a heart, and had my Dad drive me to his house. It makes me cringe to think about its cheesiness. (Pun intended.) love you catbird!

Yehieli

*Mine’s a little longer than most other posts. Sorry! I just can’t spare details!*

My boyfriend (now-fiancé) and I last year…well, I’m not sure if we went out or not FOR Valentine’s Day or not…we may have done lunch in honor of the occasion. He had come in for the weekend from college and we had gone to the mall for something, and since we were already there he decided to pick up my engagement ring from the jeweler’s. We weren’t officially engaged, but we knew we were getting married, I knew he was planning the proposal, and I’d even seen the ring already due to his child-like carelessness as he was flipping through picture on his phone one day. He was all giddy and excited about it and I’m arching my eyebrow in my typical “I know exactly how this is going to turn out” way…. I knew that he would not be able to contain himself, especially now that he had the ring in his pocket, and would propose sooner than he was planning to and that all his grand schemes would be thrown out the window in a second of child-like impatience. (See a pattern? Child-like? It’s pretty cute, actually. He’s a great man overall, he just has child-like innocence and displays his joy and excitement as such.)

So, nighttime comes and we are at my house watching a movie which I had seen a few days or weeks before which I KNEW he would like because it is so US. The house is pretty quiet as my family has decided to go to bed early-ish, and my boyfriend and I sit on the couch to watch “Monkey Business” on Netflix. There’s Barnaby, all spaced out trying to remember where his house key is, and his lovely wife Edwina telling him that the key is in his jacket pocket, upon which he says, “Oh yes! I keep it there so I won’t forget it.”

That is SO like my Christian…

Then there’s Edwina and Barnaby inside the house as they’ve decided not to go to the party they were heading to and they’re holding each other, standing closely together, looking like at any moment they might kiss…and she says, “How do you like your eggs?” “How did eggs get into the conversation?” replies Barnaby. “Well you’re hungry, aren’t you?” replies she.

That is SO like us…I ALWAYS know when he’s hungry…the same as Edwina, he’ll be leaning in for a kiss and I just KNOW it. On top of that, Barnaby is a chemist, and my Christian is a biochemistry major.

Well, ok, Christian is enjoying the movie so far, laughing at how much we are like the characters, the movie keeps playing, it ends a few minutes after midnight (it is no longer V-Day), we turn the TV off and we just sit there for a while in the dark. He gives me a hug, and I can feel his heart beating very oddly…. He gets up and goes into my bedroom for a moment, and returns quickly. Still not having turned the light on, he asks the typical questions/makes the typical comments. “You know I love you, right? I hope you know it…I hope I show you how much I really love you…”

I know perfectly well where this is all going.

Then, spur-of-the-moment, he gets down on one knee and proposes. For having been so prepared and aware that it was going to happen I found myself surprisingly surprised, and somewhat breathlessly I say, “Yes.”

And so it is that my most memorable Valentine’s Day to date actually took place in the first few minutes of 15 February, 2013.

Yehieli

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was actually not on Valentine’s Day but just after midnight, so it was actually 15 Feb. of last year.

My now-fiancé and I were not officially engaged at that point in time though we were planning on getting married. I just didn’t have the ring on my finger yet as it was still on layaway and he’d not outrightly asked. However, he had come in from college for the weekend and as we were already at the mall he went and picked up the ring as he had just finished paying it off. And this is where the story begins….

He picks up the ring and is extremely giddy and excited, like a kid at a candy store. And I just KNOW that he’s not going to be able to wait much longer and that all his grand-schemes of proposing will soon be thrown out the window in a moment of child-like impatience.

Well, later that evening we’re at my house watching “Monkey Business,” which is absolutely perfect because he and I are JUST LIKE Barnaby and Edwina in our relationship. The house is quiet because my parents and little brother have already gone to bed. The movie ends a minute past midnight (making it the 15th now) and we turn off the TV and sit in the dark for a few minutes, when suddenly he gives me a random hug. I could feel his heart beating very, very strangely… He gets up, goes to my room for a moment, and comes back. He starts to ask the typical questions/make the typical comments. “You know I love you, right? I hope I’m able to show you just how much I truly love you….”

I know exactly where this is all going. My suspicions, at this point, have been confirmed.

Suddenly, he drops onto one knee and pops the question. On my living room floor. In the dark. And for being so prepared and aware that it was coming, I find myself surprisingly surprised, so rather breathlessly I say, “Yes.”

And so it is that my most memorable Valentine’s Day actually took place in the first few minutes of 15 Feb. 2013. We’re getting married next year. :)

Jess

My favorite Valentine’s Day was when I fell in love with my life. In the last week of 2011, I lost my job at a magazine, was dumped by the guy I was seeing, and met, by random chance, a documentary filmmaker who took me onboard as the writer for her film about widows in India. By February 14, 2012, I was in a small village in Rajasthan, interviewing women about their lives and their struggles to overcome social stigmas. At some point, I had to pee, which just meant going up a hill to squat behind a house. As I crouched there, overlooking some clay huts scattered across the desert expanse, the thought occurred to me, for the first time ever in my life, “I am doing exactly what I want to do.” I realized at that moment, ass-out in the Indian desert, that I was living my dream. It took until that evening before I remembered it was Valentine’s Day—which I used to keep track of, to greater or lesser disappointment—and it remains the sweetest one I’ve ever had.

gurian6

My husband and I agreed not to “celebrate” Valentine’s Day for several reasons including the idea that our love was to be celebrated every day. Another was the commercialization of the day. So, I never received flowers, etc. He would buy or make me a card though. While I was at work, I saw a floral delivery come in, a huge beautiful bouquet of mixed flowers including my favorite – iris. The receptionist called me over saying, “I thought you guys didn’t believe in Valentine’s Day. These flowers are for you. He only sends flowers on ‘non-occasions. What’s going on?” I was totally surprised as we had been married about 20 years at that time. I called my husband and asked him if he really had sent me the most beautiful bouquet and he chucked, saying “Were you surprised? I thought you were worth the extra cost of the flowers for once on Valentine’s Day.”

Kellie Rose Wilson

Fancy dress and him in a tux..
everything about this dinner is lux.
Bowls of pasta in Italy,
people stare at the man with me.
Sinful chocolate double fudge cake,
better than anything I could make.
My date is hot, for sure, he is super.
He is a mega movie star, Mr Bradley Cooper.
Let’s be real this is only a fantasy..
but it would be the perfect Valentine’s Day dinner for me!! :)

L

Out of our five married Valentine’s Days, we have spent two of them moving. Not just the packing part of moving, but the driving 750 miles with fully loaded vehicles part. Staring at your spouse’s tail lights for 8 hours is not exactly romantic, but we at least made the concession to eat in at Wendy’s, instead of carrying our food back out to our separate vehicles.

Bernadette

$500 to Catbird? OMG, yes please! I am planning on getting my wedding band from Catbird, as I first visited their store the day my fiancé proposed. Little did I know, as I was eyeing and hinting at the rings behind the glass, he would pop the question later that night.

So, I’d have to say this past February 14 was my favorite V-day. It was culinarily adventurous, but laidback -like us. We opened a bottle of chardonnay we’d been saving from our last big roadtrip up the California coast to Portland, cooked scallops for the first time (actually, not that hard), and watched the sunset behind the LA skyline. Can’t wait to have many more of these with my forever adventure buddy (hopefully, with some Catbird bling)!

Sara G

This Valentine’s Day was one for the memory books! My very macho man, bro, of a boyfriend decided to make me a very special Valentine’s Dinner. He even conference called his sister and mother for advice! After a long conversation, the menu was decided and we would be having roasted chicken with potatoes.

I had to work late on Valentine’s Day so he had all the time he needed to prepare dinner for a 9:30pm reservation — located in his living room, of course. I got to his apartment and was greeted with a beautiful bouquet of roses and immediately opened a bottle of wine to celebrate the evening. He told me to sit down and the food should be ready shortly.

Moments later, he walked over and stood in front of me with a look of horror on his face. HE FORGOT TO PUT THE OVEN ON! After the laughing subsided, and since we were starving and couldn’t wait any longer, we ran to the closest pizza joint and shared our usual pie. The perfect ending to such a great night.

mk

this valentines day! it was a full moon and we spent the night out on the pier picnicking and fishing for crab!!

Jeanette

Blind date on valentine’s day who guzzled boos like a fish and by the end was so drunk, I had to pay for dinner and his cab ride home!!!

H

When I was a senior in college, living the high life in a one-bedroom all my own in a complex with palm trees and a pool, I developed something of a stress-baking habit. So for Valentine’s day, I invited a bunch of people over for cake and crafting. I baked an enormous chocolate layer cake, frosted it with ganache, stuck a red glitter heart on the front door so people would know where the party was, and expected most just wouldn’t show up. By ten p.m., my apartment had fifty drunk people in it, my best friend was asleep in my bed, there were homemade valentines everywhere, and I was making a second cake. I distinctly remember waking up the next morning and finding that not only did my apartment reek of stale beer, but that said beer had also adhered pink glitter to most horizontal surfaces. The red heart sticker stuck to my front door remained there until I moved out after graduation.

Jen

Valentine’s Day as a kid was always amazing because my 2 brothers and I would each get a card from our Grandparents with 5 brand-new, crisp $1 bills stapled neatly in a row.

We thought we were rich. But, more importantly, we knew we were loved.

Sheila Cody

Holy Mole`! My favorite Valentine’s Day would have to be this year. Though I am incurably romantic at heart, I am single and decided to be ‘pro-active’ about how I would celebrate this day of love. I contacted my son and invited my 6 year old granddaughter to join me for pizza and pin ball at the local pizza parlor. She is delightful and we love spending time together. This also gave her Daddy & Mommy a couple of hours of time to themselves. I gave Maddie a set of frilly headbands since she loves all things girly and she put them all on at once and we both dissolved into a chorus of giggles. She ordered pineapple & sausage pizza – and I ordered white pizza. We ate on the heated enclosed patio with the tiny twinkly lights overhead which Maddie thought looked so pretty and magical. It will be a special forever memory for us.

Bridget P.

My boyfriend at the time (now husband) was working in Irvine during the week while I stayed in San Diego. Since Valentine’s Day that year fell on a Wednesday, I knew that there would be no way I’d get to see him, Driving down two hours through traffic and then having to drive back up only a couple hours later was stupid when we could just wait to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a couple days when he came down for the weekend. Being the helpful person I am, I very kindly suggested he have one of my sisters buy me a Valentine’s Day cookie cake to make up for his not being there and left it at that. Valentine’s Day came around and alas, nary a cookie cake in sight. That night as we were having our nightly marathon phone session, I complained to him about his not being there and his lack of planning because the only thing I had asked for was a measly cookie cake and he couldn’t even deliver on that! In the midst of my spiel, the door bell rings, and imagine my shock when I saw my boyfriend on the doorstep holding my cookie cake. My heart simply melted at the thought of him going to all this trouble and to drive all this way just so that he could spend a couple hours with me. Best surprise ever. As you can imagine, I held onto him extra tight that day. =)

Kara

I’ve never had a particularly memorable valentine’s until this year, actually. My boyfriend and I celebrated with a night at home with a few ambitious recipes… which of course didn’t go as planned. With a glass of wine in hand, we laughed our way though the failures, had great conversations, and I remembered by how well we compliment each other and how spectacularly I was loved. It was definitely the most loved I have ever felt on a valentine’s day.

Melissa

One of my favorite moments was this one valentine’s day when I was out of town for a conference, flew in on a midnight flight to find a handmade welcome home banner made out of love notes strung up across the entryway with dental floss. My husband was fast asleep after a long shift at the hospital, but he took the time to make sure I knew how much I was loved and missed.

Macy

My most memorable Valentine’s Day happened my first year teaching. I loved seeing the looks on my students’ faces when they walked into a pink and red classroom with goodies on each desk! They had an amazing time making Valentines for their parents, and I am most reminded on special occasions where the kids can let loose a bit, of why I selected this career. I love creating joyous and laughter-filled memories with them!

Laura R.

Every Valentine’s Day, I think about the Feb. 14 when my now-husband and I first kissed. We weren’t dating – we were friends who hung out in the same group in college. We were at a birthday party for another friend. He impulsively kissed me in the kitchen. The rest is history.

Vanessa

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was with a gentleman I casually dated. He always wore a suit jacket and fancy glasses and wrote me a love letter for my birthday (a few days before). That Valentine’s a Day I grew even more smitten when he tipsily played the violin for me! The love didn’t last but the friendship did–a fond memory! :)

Dre

My now husband left a sweet note in my desk at work-we had had our first date a few days beforehand and it was a lovely, exciting time in our relationship.

Amanda

My best Valentine’s Day was rather multivalent. I spent the evening with a man I began dating shortly before. We cheered on our city’s hockey team in a record setting win (watched the game on the tv) while he made us a seafood dinner and I played DJ with our records that we had already started to combine. I distinctly remember playing through both sides of In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, an impulse purchase of mine that I wasn’t hugely familiar with and that he’d never heard. He made me a valentine out of construction paper, which I accidentally found when had to leave the apartment briefly before dinner. I saved it, and we are still spending our February fourteenths together, years later. To make the day better, my niece Isabel was born that afternoon, eight days late.

Allie J

When I was in college, my freshman year, my boyfriend at the time lived about 250 miles apart. There was no real good method of transportation for us to go on a date for Valentine’s day that year so we planned to spend the evening watching a movie together via phone. He surprised me that day with himself. He told no one, even my roommate who was a good friend of his and was waiting for me outside of my building in the cold for a couple hours until I got back from class. He traveled 5 hours by bus to spend the weekend together. It was a huge surprise, very romantic and ‘ll never forget it.

Jennie

I’ve never dated a guy who believed in celebrating Valentine’s, until this year. But I was out of town the whole weekend visiting a friend who’s mom had just died. The new beau surprised me at the airport when I returned with a dozen long stem roses of the deepest red, and then spent the entire weekend afterwards celebrating. We visited the opening of a new Buddhist center in Miami, went kayaking all day, and then finished off with my favorite restaurant for dinner (Pubbelly). He’s definitely a keeper!

christine

this year’s vday will be quite memorable! my bf and i celebrated the night before with a cooking class at sur la table. we’ve been feeling like we’re getting old lately with the staying in and sleeping early on weekends but we had so much fun on the actual vday night staying in and making our own cocktails while watching the notebook, which he’s never seen before ( i couldnt believe it). 4 years in and we enjoy each other’s company more and more :)

Nina

My most memorable Valentine’s Day was not with a significant other but with my Uncle (not in a creepy way!). It was my first year studying at Pratt in Brooklyn and all my friends and family live in CA so I was quite lonely those first few months away. My uncle was in Miami for contract work and decided to come visit me after his project was over. Coincidentally, the project ended in Feb and he arrived on Valentine’s day. I was ecstatic to see a friendly, familiar face so far from home. It also helped that he brought a bulging care package from my mom! Despite the day, we went out to dinner and laughed to ourselves when the waiter gave us side-eye for ordering a romantic dinner and telling him we were related. It has been by by far the best V-day ever as there were no raised expectations and no crushing disappointments. Just a fun, memorable day with family far from home.

Marika

I first read this post and passed over it with a sigh, never having had a particularly memorable Valentine’s day. And then, Valentine’s day happened. Every President’s Day weekend I go dancing at the Dance Flurry. I went again this year. Like every year, I was hoping to see friends. But this year, I was hoping one particular guy I danced with last year would be there. We’d waltzed that sort of waltz last year where the room disappears and you don’t notice when the music stops…

I saw him on Valentine’s day. He beamed when I asked him for the waltz at the end of the set. I beamed back. And then the band ran out of time for a waltz. He pulled out his iphone to play a waltz, but it wasn’t loud enough in the big room. “I guess…” I started to say. “I’ll sing a waltz for you” he replied. And he did. He sang a waltz and twirled me about the room. I don’t remember if other people were there because all I could feel was the delicious tension of two bodies swirling perfectly around each other.

He lives on the other side of the country. But next year, on Valentine’s day, I’ll ask for another waltz.

Ariel Sage

My husband and I don’t really do much for Valentine’s Day, but my most memorable would be our first. We were seniors in high school (I know!) and had been dating about four months. He had me come over to his parents’ house (so romantic!) and cooked me a homemade meal — spinach-artichoke dip (actually pretty tasty), white pizza (which ended up being very, very undercooked!), sparkling apple cider (because we were seventeen…) and chocolate ice cream (because chocolate, duh).

This year, thirteen V-Days later, we also had a nice dinner at home — and once again I had sparkling cider, as I’m pregnant with our first child, due in May!

Julia

My boyfriend and I made out for the first time one long-ago February 12. Neither of us knew where this was headed, but we awkwardly already had dinner plans for February 14, so I made the least romantic food I could think of: latkes. Four years later, we celebrate our love a couple of days before everyone else, and then eat Valentine’s Day latkes.

Stephanie

Oh, I adore Catbird and would love to have an excuse to go shopping there! Even though I live in Brooklyn, I never get there enough!

One of my most memorable Valentine’s was probably the year my (then boyfriend; now husband) and I both printed the same Simpson’s card online to give to each other! I CHOO CHOO CHOOSE YOU! Ah, young (broke) love!

David

Hi Grace, here’s a story of my most memorable valentine’s day. I had the biggest crush on her and we had been friends for over a year at this point and I really just wanted her to like me back. We were both living in a small land locked country in West Africa. I lived 4km away from the Malian border and she lived a 12 hour bus ride through dirt roads and the blazing african sun. We spoke over the phone almost ever night before heading to bed talking about anything, it was just nice to be able to speak to someone in your native tonuge after a whole day trying to decipher which of the four different native languages people were trying to communicate with you. She had mentioned in one of our telephone conversations that she wished she had some flowers in her small barren courtyard. My courtyard was full of flowers, so I decided to the a sapling from the prettiest flower growing in my courtyard and plant it in a pot. I went to the local market 7km away and bought a clay pot from the clay makers. I had to travel to the capital city for a meeting that weekend and her village was along the road just 30km away from the capital. So everyday for three weeks, I woke went to the pump and got water to water the flower in the morning and afternoon. On valentine’s day I woke before dawn, my bus left at 6am from the market 7km away on a dirt road. I loaded the small flower on the back on my bicycle, using strips of old tires to tie it down safely to the bike rack. I rode my bike just in time to grab the last seat at the back of the bus. For hours I held the flower in my lap, as we bumped around along the road, and watered the plant with water sachets sold by children along the road and major stops. We were about 12km away from her village, and pleaded with the driver to stop the bus along the road so I could give someone a gift in a village he had never heard of, although he had drove by it many times before. He agreed and we stopped the bus, I jump out with the flower in it’s pot in my hand, run across the highway and find the first child I see, wave him over. “Do you know Ashley the nassara?” I asked in my broken french; nassara is the word for foreigner in the native tongue. The small boy nods, I give him the flower pot along with 500 cfa about a dollar, a lot of money for little kid in that village, and tell him to give her this flower. I run back on the bus and my heart is racing, all the Africans on the bus are yelling at me asking me “What are you doing in this small village nassara?”, I let them know my love lives there.
About an hour later I arrive into the capital, and a text message that reads “How’d you do that?”. She had gotten the flower.

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