Happy Sweetest Day!
Wait, you have never heard of Sweetest Day? That’s okay, no one else really has either. It’s a Hallmark Holiday, although Hallmark didn’t invent it.
Here’s the back story: In the early 1900s, a bunch of confectioners got together and thought it would boost sales if they introduced a new holiday, which they termed “Sweetest Day.” The original premise was to give sweets to someone who was a little down and out– an orphan, an elderly person, or someone convalescing– to boost morale. A great idea that never took off and never went farther than the Cleveland area, from what I have come to understand.
When I started dating Tom in 1996, I thought everyone celebrated Sweetest Day. My father would go to the Malley’s store on Brookpark and wait for hours to buy my mother chocolate covered strawberries. Of course, he would stop at the florist as well. To me, Sweetest Day was the second half of Valentine’s Day, and to share something special with the one you loved seemed like a wonderful sentiment.
Tom was in Wisconsin on our first Sweetest Day. I baked homemade chocolate chip cookies and mailed them to his hotel. When he received them, he called me. “Umm, thanks for the cookies, but I don’t know what Sweetest Day is,” he said to me.
What? How is that possible? Did he live under a rock?
“It’s the third Saturday in October,” I said. “Everyone celebrates.”
“Sugar (He likes to call me Sugar when he is being condescending), no one I am working with knows what it is either. But thank you.”
I was a tiny bit miffed, until I talked to a few other people who did not grow up in the area, and I realized that unless you are from Cleveland, you don’t really celebrate this holiday. Huh. I was flabbergasted. How could such a lovely holiday be a local phenomena?
Fast forward seventeen years, and I still like Sweetest Day. Since that first holiday, Tom has never missed. Each year, I have gotten flowers or candies or some little treat because I am his Sweetie.
This year, however, Tom is in Green Bay. He took a little road trip with “the guys” for a Browns game. Yes, it will be exactly what you are thinking– a whole heck of a lot of drunken middle-aged men pretending they are twenty-somethings. Before he left yesterday morning, he ran to the grocery store to pick up supplies. He got snacks, beer, and a special treat of donuts for our girls. For me? Nothing! He forgot. And even though I received two carnations from a Secret Admirer at school that were strategically left in a vase on the kitchen counter, he didn’t think about what he was missing– so excited about his weekend, he forgot about me.
“You forgot,” I said.
“Seriously?” he said. “I promise I will make it up to you next week.” He left, and I felt a little sad. I secretly hoped he was running back to the grocery store to buy me an overpriced bouquet. Nope. When he left the house, he left for good.
In the scheme of things, I knew it didn’t matter. We have been together for seventeen wonderful years, and Tom surprises me with flowers every-so-often, and I know the random flowers “just because” mean more than the made-up-Cleveland-only-holiday flowers do.
But, I cannot say that I wasn’t a little bit giddy when the delivery truck pulled into our driveway late yesterday afternoon and delivered this beautiful bouquet.