He Will Always Be the King of Hearts

giant heart-shaped blondies
Let me preface this entry with a hand-over-the-mouth *gasp!* statement that may conflict with any preconceived notions about me that are based on previous postings here at The Delicious Life.

I am not a naturally bitter person.


So, my sentiments about one certain annual February date that I refuse to call a “holiday” do not come from any inherent bitterness, nor are they the result of traumatic experiences with a jerk who cheated on me with my friend and decided to tell me about it on or about February 14th. *oooh* Did I just blog that out loud? *oops* Damn, and I thought therapy took care of that.

sugar-topped fudge truffle cookies
fudge truffle cookies: poor things didn’t stand a chance

I can’t get into Valentine’s Day. It’s a bit of a shame really, that I can’t get into it the way Hallmark and Godiva and DeBeers want me to, because strangely, all the “things” related to the day suit me. I have an unabashedly violent sweet tooth that could take down a double stacked box of truffles in seconds. Pink is my favorite color, and no, it’s not because I’m a tiny tea party girlie girl. I tried, once, to not like pink so much, but it’s hereditary – my grandmother loves pink, too.

heart-shaped measuring spoons
so cute it’s sickening, but i use them every day

I love any, and every, thing that is heart-shaped (unless, obviously, it has the word “Valentine” printed on it). And of course, every holiday is an opportunity to cook. Or bake. Or both.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean much to me because it has always been, and always will be, a manufactured holiday that has been completely stripped of all of its original significance. The day is supposed to be dedicated to celebrating love and romance, but do people really know the history behind the day that is named after St. Valentine? Do they know that there are, in fact, numerous unconfirmable legends about Valentine and how and why he was martyred?

I understand that in this hyper-capitalistic world we live in today, there isn’t a single holiday that hasn’t been a victim of utter commercialization. However, Valentine’s Day seems to be the most profitable, snapping up the most revenue for a saint who has no more meaning than say, St. Dichu.

anti-valentine's day cookies
and that’s how i feel about that

Dichu was a swineherd (like a cowboy, but for pigs!) in Ireland. How come we can’t celebrate St. Dichu’s Day by exchanging gifts of bacon and asking one another “Will you be my Dichu?” We can. I would posit that bacon, prosciutto, and pork chops have the same appeal, if not more, as a flimsy index card with a heart scribbled on it, roses that will wilt in thre days, and cheap chocolate that tastes like ash. The point is that because there is nothing stopping us from celebrating any of these 10,000+ saints, and because St. Valentine is no more important that St. Dichu, we are spending exorbitant amounts of money on ridiculous gifts that will end up on the dollar table at your garage next summer just to prove to someone you love him or her. It’s meaningless.

But perhaps the reason that St. Valentine’s Day has no meaning to me is that there is a far more important day in February. My Dad’s birthday is two days after Valentine’s Day, and I learned much more about love from my Dad than I ever did from a tiny chalky heart with an artificial “I {heart} U!” stamped into it.

Love is leaving your family and every comfort and luxury you’ve ever known in life to give your children a better opportunity in America.

Love is commuting to work 1 hour and 45 minutes each way so that your children can go to school in the best district.

Love is telling your children what to do.

Love is showing them how to do it.

Love is teaching your children respect by respecting their mother.

Love is showing up for everything, even when she’s too embarrassed to acknowledge you’re there.

Love is being proud of your daughter for coming in first. Or second. Or third. (But not last. That would foster underachievement.)

Love is waiting up all night to make sure your daughter gets home safely, and sneaking upstairs before she walks through the door, even if that means you only get two hours of sleep.

Love is fighting with your daughter and yelling and screaming no matter how much it hurts you, until she finally learns to stand up for herself.

Love is being humble enough to cry in front of your children when their grandfather passes away.

Love is trusting your daughter enough to make her own decisions, even if they’re the wrong decisions.

Love is biting your tongue from saying “I told you so.”

Love is expecting nothing in return. Ever.

Happy Birthday, Daddy.

We don’t deserve the sacrifices you made for us.

We love you. You will always be our King of Hearts.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rose March 1, 2006 at 4:18 pm


That’s one of the most beautiful tributes to a parent I’ve ever read.


2 Eve March 1, 2006 at 5:51 pm

This is a really wonderful post, sweetie. xoxoxoxo


3 Catherine March 1, 2006 at 6:24 pm

Beautiful…as pink as pink can be that was beautiful. ;)

Happy Day of Love 365!

(i *heart* the pix, too, btw – too cute and funny!)


4 Stephanie March 1, 2006 at 6:28 pm

sobs…it’s things like this that really make me wish my dad had been around. So wonderful and honest…thank you, Sarah.


5 Anonymous March 1, 2006 at 7:40 pm

This made me cry. It’s so…damn….beautiful, sniffle.


6 rick james March 2, 2006 at 5:23 am

Love is teaching your 5 year old daughter the Rule of 72… that’s still my fav sarah’s dad story of all time..

nice post


7 Dolores March 2, 2006 at 5:59 am

Wow… I just found your blog and this post. You’ve expressed my feelings about the commercialism of the “V” Day far more eloquently than I could — and your tribute to your father sent chills down my spine. His legacy of love clearly lives on in you.



8 Anonymous March 2, 2006 at 7:16 am

Sarah, will you be my Dichu?


9 sarah March 2, 2006 at 7:47 am

all: thank you so very much, but of course, i could not have written it if not for Dad.


10 swati March 2, 2006 at 6:37 pm

what about your mom?
i am a mom too.
my daughter is ten and is learning to make chicken soup and rava dosas from me.
she thinks my chinese is a bit of all right and my momos are heavenly.
dont moms deserve public gratitude?


11 sarah March 2, 2006 at 8:20 pm

oh, absolutely, swati! moms are AWESOME and i’ll bet your daughter appreciates every thing you do for her!

mine most certainly deserves as much gratitude as my dad, but this is my father’s birthday, so it’s all for him.


12 Anonymous March 3, 2006 at 6:47 am

beuatiful post as always. thanks sarah for making me cry. :)


13 hermz April 19, 2006 at 1:02 am

I’d love to meet him someday, China lectures and all.


14 Jessica January 28, 2007 at 9:18 pm

Really nice post, Sarah. I may forward that along to my boyfriend to show him how I feel about the day and its silliness. And how nice that you have tied it to how much your father means to you. We should all take time to really appreciate our parents like you have.


15 Kate February 15, 2007 at 1:10 am

You’ve made me well up. Your dad is as lucky as you are.


16 Christine Collins January 21, 2008 at 3:58 pm

Nice dinner for st. valentine day.


17 chelsea February 16, 2010 at 10:04 am

i dont even know you or your father, and that made me tear up! so sweet. and those chocolate brownie/cookie hearts look delicious.


18 MyLastBite February 16, 2010 at 10:09 am

tears… from a girl with big glorious daddy issues. xo


19 yutjangsah February 16, 2010 at 11:48 am

I miss my dad. If he was around, I’d maybe bake him a cake asking him to be my dichu. Shucks.


20 abraxis February 16, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Great tribute. That’s all that can be said.


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