I’m so glad Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday this year. This way we can be relatively relaxed all day and then celebrate tonight as a family. I’ve always thought of Valentine’s Day as a family celebration, not a couple-thing. Maybe it’s because my family always celebrated as a family, with a special dinner on the 14th where we set a beautiful table with pink and red camillas from the garden as the centerpiece and mom or dad cooked something wonderful and we each had a stack of Valentines at our plate.
I’ve written before about how Dad and Mom would give us each a Hallmark card (besides our birthday, it was the only other time we got a card from our parents) and then Dad would often personalize the cards for each of us kids, adding in little notes, crossing out something and then filling in something even funnier, and I loved opening my stack of family Valentines. We kids would buy Valentine’s for everyone, too–in the beginning they were the left over school Valentines, but then later we’d ride our bike or drive a car to the store and buy a card for everyone in the family.
I’ve carried the Porter family tradition into my family and honestly can’t imagine celebrating Valentine’s Day out at a fine restaurant without my kids. I actually don’t like eating out on this night. It’s so much cozier and warmer and friendlier around our own dining table with my own pink and red linens and pink stemware and vases of tulips and roses. (Yes, all this pink and red with an all boy family!)
I did have a little melt-down yesterday, though, when I discovered my boys decided to forgo getting cards for each other and me so they could concentrate on buying gifts and gift cards. I was quite impressive as I stormed about the meaning of Valentine’s Day and how Valentine’s Day isn’t about gifts, its about cards–and apparently store bought cards–because I didn’t want my kids to make me a card (which they hastily offered to do) as I knew they’d be hastily scribbled.
My storming went something like this: “No, I want a card, a real card.”
“But we’ll make you one. We’ll make each other one.”
“How? With what? Do you have doilies? Lace? Beautiful red paper? Do you have an envelope? Because I don’t just want colored pencils on paper. That was fine when you were five. But you’re ten and thirteen and you can put some effort into this.”
Well, I showed them the true meaning of Valentine’s Day. In the worst sort of way. And no, it’s not about consumerism. It’s about being loving and sharing tokens of love, and yes, I’d love a home made card if the boys really tried, but all I heard was “am I getting a Game Stop gift card?” “I don’t want any Lego this year, I’m tired of Lego, and want the new Pokeman movie instead.”
Anyway, meltdown over, storming ceased, I smile wryly at the lessons I (inadvertently) teach. But at least my boys can’t say that their mom didn’t try to teach them to try to do things nicely. Maybe a man doesn’t need his gift wrapped, or a card for a birthday, or flowers for Valentine’s Day, but as a woman, I do, and as a woman, I’m going to encourage my guys to think about what a woman wants and needs, not just on special days, but every day.
Tell me what one thing you’d like most/best for Valentine’s Day and you’re entered in my Valentine’s Mystery contest. I’ve got two boxes of prizes that were never claimed and I’m giving them away in the drawing. Post something by midnight tonight and tomorrow morning I’ll announce the two winners. The boxes are taped up and I’m not sure what’s in them anymore but they both have See’s chocolates I believe and I’d love to get them in the mail on Tuesday. So if you’re up for a Mystery prize and feel like sharing, go for it! And Happy Valentine’s Day to all!
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I absolutely laughed out loud and almost had coffee coming out of my nose when I read….
“Do you have doilies? Lace? Beautiful red paper? Do you have an envelope?”
Happy Valentine’s Day my friend!
Happy Valentines Jane. Great post again. I so agree with gift wrap. Mine came special in a Walmart sack. lol
The only thing my son (7 years) wanted this morning was heart-shaped pancakes! That is exactly what he got. Both kids were thrilled.
I like small surprises and notes, nothing big or extravagant. As I write, I’m baking my husband’s favorite brownies to put in his lunch. He’s working until 9pm so we won’t be celebrating tonight. Perhaps tomorrow.
On a perfect Valentine’s day, I’d be doing fun, small things all day long for the kids and in the evening, hubby and I would get some tasty take-out and have a picnic on the living room floor with a favorite movie. I’d probably ask for a ‘chick flick’ and make that my once-a-year, girlie film request.
Happy Valentines to you and all your boys!!
How’s Baby Mac growing these days?
I would love the gift of “time”…
Just a couple of hours…to relax in a bubbly bath, reading the New Yorker, sipping a glass of red.
But having two children with medical conditions…(one a toddler) the gift of time, for now, is simply a dream…(even as I am sitting here writing I am being “paged”, as we call it).
Happy Valentine’s Day! Hope your dinner is wonderful…and I hope you get your “real card”.
Happy Valentine’s Day! I enjoyed your amusing post today.
Spending time with precious family and husband is my idea of a real enjoyable and cherished day. I would make the meal and feel fortunate.
What I would love is a story from my 14-year-old daughter & a drawing from my 13-year-old son. My daughter is always writing stories and fanfic and my son is the artist, always drawing. Every holiday I ask for something written and drawn especially for me but I have yet to get them. Maybe they’ll get so tired of me asking that they’ll eventually do it just to shut me up. 🙂
Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!
Jane, I cracked up at your line “How? With what? Do you have doilies? Lace? Beautiful red paper? Do you have an envelope? Because I don’t just want colored pencils on paper. That was fine when you were five. But you’re ten and thirteen and you can put some effort into this.” That is SO TRUE of most GROWN men, not just boys. But my boyfriend of 8 years last year had a beautiful candlelight dinner HE COOKED, a CD of love songs HE compiled, HE decorated the entire house, a huge bunch of carnations (my favorite), a fire in the fireplace, chocolates (a necessary element), and rose petals scattered everywhere. This from a big burly cop. Yup, I cried, at least twice…he was worried about this year, how to top last year, I said don’t even try, you never will. But yes, again this year, he went all out…dinner at a great restaurant, then to see a movie, then back to his house where I found the following scene: a red sheet covering the sofa in front of the fireplace like a slipcover, a roaring fire, tealights all across the mantle, another CD of love songs playing, chocolates, a huge bunch of carnations, and a really wonderful heartfelt mushy love proclaiming card. What a guy…I think I’ll keep him…He is the only thing I need for Valentine’s Day & every day.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
First of all, I’d like to say that I read the excerpt from Easy On The Eyes and it really grabbed my interest and I can’t wait to read the finished product when it comes out! I also LOVE the cover…I think it’s perfect and is that YOU as the model? It sure looks like you! 🙂 Beautiful!
I happened to notice a word in the excerpt that I’m not sure is correct. In this sentence: “Most children find their mothers beautiful, but my mom, a former Miss South Africa who took second place at the international competition behind Miss Venezuela, my mother stopped men in their tracts.” Shouldn’t that last word be “tracks”?
Anyway, I must say that I’m a total Scrooge when it comes to Valentine’s Day. I almost never get anything except for maybe an e-card from a friend and my Mom called me from Arizona last night and wished me a Happy Valentine’s Day. I call it VD Day and I say, “whatever.”
I did get my Korean boarder Clara a little box of chocolates and a stuffed puppy with a store-bought card and I bought cards for my six year old niece and nephew along with some chocolate hearts but that’s about it. Oh yeah, my dog Scully got a stuffed bear with a heart attached to it to tear apart! LOL What would I really like? The whole nine yards baby…a romantic dinner (either in or out), flowers, chocolates, a mushy card, good wine, everything…with a really great guy attached to it who’s mind blowing in bed! But since that’s not likely to ever happen, I say, “whatever.”
I’m going out tonight to see a blues concert by Debbie Davies and am going to be taking pictures for the Kingston Blues Society so that’s my Valentine’s night! Should be fun! However, it could be any night as far as I’m concerned. I’m glad you’ll be celebrating with your boys and just think…next year, you’ll have one more boy to celebrate with!
Lots of love,
Thanks for sharing your Valentine’s Day experience!
My husband is lucky because I really never expect anything! Not even a card!
He ususally gets me a card though!
This year I am hoping he hasn’t done anything because I have been way too busy to get him a card or plan anything!! I am so bad! I am feeling guilty as I writing this! Maybe I need to sneak out for a quick errand!!
Have a fabulous Valentine’s Day Everyone!!
Oh, I forgot to mention…I bought myself a lovely olive green faux Crocodile style handbag yesterday that was originally $90 on sale for half price! 🙂 Happy VD Day to me!
I love anything pink or red. Flowers, cards, little notes… and of course chocolates.
Hmm – I bought myself some salted caramels from Franz but I’d like it if Mr Maura actually remembered and decided it was worth as much effort as his gaming night with the guys. I’m a whiner, I know…. I love him but he’s got clueless down to a science. I’m the one that’s sick and he’s the one still in bed at noon!
But the kisses and hugs from the Morganator helped a lot. He offered to share his chocolate with me (and loved the LEGO I got him). His card was signed Mom & Dad but he looked at me and said “I know YOU did this. I love you.”
I’d really love a call from my eldest who is deployed in Iraq, though.
I would love something homemade from my kids & have hinted it to my husband several times. Since they are only 3 & 5 they can’t come up with anything on their own & would need his assistance & direction. With that said I am still waiting for something homemade from my kids. Luckily my son is in preschool & his teachers send something my way every once and a while.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Jane! I also had to laugh at your comment about the card making by your kids! Too funny! Have a great day!
Happy Valentines Day!!
I loved reading your blog today!! But you know, as Mother’s of son’s, what we teach them will carry with them to when they become a man! Some men do not learn this.. I’m still waiting for my card, or acknowledgment 🙁
But the happy news!!!! My niece is IN LABOR!!!!!!!!! whoooohoooo!!! this is the best Valentines Day ever!!! So anxious to meet little Isabella! Had to share this news with all.
Our oldest son left for bootcamp (Air Force) this week to Lackland AFB, Texas. For Valentine’s Day I would just love a 5 minute phone call from him and hear his voice:)
What would I like most for Valentine’s Day? Well, I got it…a day with my family to play games, laugh, relax, all the simple things we love to do together most. The heart shaped pancakes (although they looked more like Mickey Mouse!) lovingly made by my husband, the coffee delivered to me in bed by my daughter (and later help with the laundry), the lemon cake hot from the oven that my teen son ( and his girlfriend) just baked and offers of help from my youngest son have contributed to making this the most perfect Valentine’s Day ever…..and I haven’t even opened a card or a gift yet!!
Blessed and lovin’ in CA.!! Mandy
Happy Valentine’s Day to All!
We are making cookies with our granddaughter, moving stuff out of storage and my husband wants to go to the zoo. I missed out on doing a Valentine’s breakfast but now I am inspired again by your post. I am off to salvage the rest of the day! Happy Valentine’s everybody!
What I would like most is to finally win one of your drawings–you always have the best stuff.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Jane!!
Thanks for sharing that with us, it was to funny. I am working today so hubby and I are going to try and celebrate Valentine’s day another weekend, when I have off. So I am sitting and work and waiting til 6pm to go home and see hubby.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
The one thing I’d like most for Valentine’s Day? I’m a huge chocoholic, so anything with chocolate and I’m happy 🙂
Loved your Valentine’s blog – and I thought your tirade about no cards involving crayons, only frills and lace, was hysterical. I am spending Valentine’s Day trying to shake a cold that I have had for two weeks. I thought it was getting better and then I woke up this morning sounding like Kermit the Frog and feeling yucky. If I had to choose one thing I would like for Valentine’s Day, it would be for my husband to cook me dinner, choose a romantic movie for us to watch later on and build a fire in the fireplace for us to snuggle near while watching the movie. Of course with Flirting with Forty on at 7 p.m., he wouldn’t even need to go to the video store. And as far as dinner, I would be happy with a tuna sandwich if he would make it. Happy Valentine’s Day to all the romantics out there.
I got the beautiful card from dh (nothing from the kids, but they are still quite young and dh “forgot” LOL) and then a separate envelope with gift cards for a pedicure, coffee and a movie. Apparently the idea is that I’m supposed to make a day of it. Um, yeah, that’s great and I really appreciate it, but how about actually giving me the day. LOL With three kids, it’s not like I can just take off. So, like someone else said, the gift of time is something I’d really love.
However, I’m just glad to have my family and blessed that my dh tells me every night he loves me and holds my hand as we go to sleep.
My Valentine’s Day wish is small, but would mean the most for me. We took my daughter into the Dr. today and found out on top of the virus she has, she now has an ear infection. I simply wish she was feeling better. I had a lot of special things planned today for them, and it just isn’t the same when they are not feeling well. I was going to make a cheese fondue and chocolate fondue dinner for everyone. I can’t see that being a fun thing passing the germs around, so it’ll wait! I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day jane!
I would like to snuggle with the husband and watch a good movie. He has been working a lot lately and I would like to have some “US” time with him.
I just want everyone to be happy on Valentine’s Day.
I am getting what i want a quiet evening at home watching romantic movies all day. I am so glad that Valentine’s came on a Saturday. I have already watched Can’t Buy Me Love and Love Actually is on right now.
WE are making a quick run to drop my youngest daughter off at the movies. She and her friends (about a dozen kids) are going to see Coraline. Then me and my hubby are heading to the video store to rent a handful of romatic chick flicks for me.
I remember when the girls quit making me the fancy homeade Valentine’s they used to make at school. It broke my heart when they stopped.
Happy Valentine’s day to everyone.
If my hubby just got me one little thing it would make me happy. I wouldn’t care if it was a card or a flower or even candy it just wouldn’t matter if he was the one to go and get it. Or even offer to take me out to eat on another day would be great. You see he never buys me gifts and he had to work this weekend. So he will come home tonight and ask what have you fixed me to eat and that will be it.
That’s a really grat idea to make it about love in a family rather than just concentrate on romantic love! I hope your boys will be able to appreciate that in the years to come. I’d adore a smile and hug from a certain special guy who lives in Long Beach, but sadly he won’t be home until the summer. His vists are never long enough, as I know you well understand the feeling. I have to work tonight, but I wish you and your family nothing but love today and every day!
Hi Jane! I want PEACE on Earth. My son was deployed to Afghanistan three days ago. I’m a crying mess . My doctor gave me Xanax for Valentine’s day OY! From you, I would be happy to get some chocolates (and a bottle of Jack Daniels…)
Jane, just commenting in, so please count me out of your prizes-selection. A very happy Valentine’s Day to you and your family.
These days, there are only two ocassions on which I make handmade cards: one’s on V-day for my daughter and one’s an Xmas ornament with her photo.
Hubby and I have never been into much gifting other than on birthdays, but we try to do something for each other and the family as a whole every weekend.
The best V-Day gift of all has been a clothing tape measure that I received this year from a friend whose mother’s hand-sewing me a Regency gown.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Jane!
Valentine’s Day is my favorite day of the year. I think the best part of it is the giving and receiving of cards, whether they are store-bought or handmade. Wishing each and every one of you a wonderful day.
Hi to all. I have had the best Valentine’s Day. We have actually spent the whole day together. Jr bought me three books as my present. Books are ten times better than flowers and candy. The flowers die and the candy goes to my waist line. Have a great day.
Hi Jane! I have had a wonderful Valentine’s Day! My husband surprised me by giving me a card and some beautiful red roses! I hope you had a fabulous Valentine’s Day too, Jane!
Happy Valentine’s Day! My husband and I had planned to go to a movie and out to dinner. Since I’m sick, I spent the afternoon sleeping. Not feeling very pretty today. My wish is to feel better and for my nose to stop running. lol
Happy Valentines Day! I would love to spend it with my boyfriend but I have to work, so we went to breakfast.
I would love to have some See’s chocolates, they are the best and my favorites. Gave my hubby 3 pairs of work jeans and a bottle of after shave…I didn’t get anything but he’s so busy building our son a house and really it’s not that important to me. Prepared a nice meal and was truly enjoyed…their smiles were my gift and of course, their love.
I would just once not to have to remind my husband that its Valentines day, my 18 yr.old has more romance than is dad. I go all out with fixing a nice dinner for my family and do small things for money is tight for us but he doesn’t do anything. My kids got me a book that I;ve been wanting to read. Anyways, I had a nice day reading since it was raining her in Fla. Carole
I would like for my husband of almost 20 years to not be sick. 🙁
Oh, and I would like to FINALLY watch the movie Flirting with Forty as I went to turn it on at 7 pm and that was for the Eastern Time Zone! I missed it again…GRRR! Let us know when it will be shown again. I searched the lifetime site and couldn’t find a schedule. Help!
My boys (3 and 6)did make their own Valentine’s cards this year — Mommy and Daddy got several each! But I do always insist that my husband buy me a Hallmark card and tulips for V-Day. And this year he was never more attractive to me when he also vacuumed and cleaned the toilets for me today too!!! I really needed him to step it up a notch today and I’m so glad he came through!
Have a wonderful family event this weekend with your boys!
This post made me laugh, not just a giggle, but a true belly laugh! This is such a great story! This year my hubby did try really hard to get me something that I wanted. I really said I didn’t want anything and I did truly mean it! I don’t think I need a holiday to tell the ones I love how much I love them. I do it all year long!!! We did celebrate and I got a card, chocolates and a form of the bracelet I wanted (long story). I really would be happy with just kisses and hug from my little ones!
Happy V-day Everyone!!!
Happy Valentine’s Day! Chocolate!
seeing the thrill on my daughters face learning the meaning of “valentines day” the day of love
Honestly, i’d just like to not be sick. 🙁 Matthew was sick all last weekend and into the week and then he went back to school and now my husband and I are both really sick with what we had. We were going to go to a movie- our first few hours out in a long while without our son, but we had to cancel plans. I’m not one for the fancy dinners on the day- normally do something before or after because it’s just easier but this year we are just not doing much of anything.
However, despite being sick I did have a lot of fun helping my son with valentines for his classmates. It was fun seeing how into it he was and how much thought he put into it!!!
Valentines Day was very special when my mom was still with us. It sounds like my experience growing up was very similiar to yours. I have tried to build the same traditions and special memories with my family.
Happy Valentines Day!
If I could pick one thing it would be having dinner made for me. Candles set up and flowers on the table. How wonderful it would be to sit back, relax and not worry. For dessert, a hot bubble bath with a glass of wine.
Ooooo, almost forgot a whole box of California toffee from See’s would be splended!
we had a nice dinner last night in seattle…and the one thing i really look forward to on this day is getting a card from my husband…soo pretty much i had a great v-day!!
Happy Valentine’s Day, Jane!
I was giggling out loud when I read your blog, and I ended up having to read it to my husband, who then joined me in a great belly-laugh too. Thank you so much for that!
This year we stayed IN on V-Day, and I prepared a dinner “Melting Pot” style. Our older kids are all out of the house celebrating with their boyfriend/girlfriends, but our youngest son, Matt (who is 16), was home with us. I made some really great pecan and garlic flavored rice pilaf, and I bought and cut up all kinds of vegetables – broccoli, asparagus, squash, mushrooms, red potatoes, etc., and two chicken breasts, and we cooked them on fondue forks in a pot of boiling chicken broth that I doctored up with some wine and seasonings … it was so much fun, and really yummy (and healthy, too)! For dessert I am melting chocolate with boiling heavy cream and butter, and we have a bunch of cut up fruit to dip in the chocolate fondue (not nearly has healthy, but still very yummy, and fun)!
I also made my home-made Valentine’s Day gift for my husband this year. It took most of the week and many hours to do, but I made truffles! I made Champagne truffles, Grand Marnier truffles and Bailey’s truffles. Talk about decadent!!! I bought a heart-shaped box of candy at the grocery store, took out all of the candy and replaced it with my truffles – then I presented my package to my husband. He was so surprised, and he LOVES the truffles!
What do I want most for Valentine’s Day? I think I got it this year! I truly had a great time “creating” everything for my Valentine to enjoy – and that’s what makes me the happiest of all!!!
I just stopped in on your blog for the first time tonight. I had just finished watching Flirting With Forty on Lifetime and loved it. I had had the book on my list at Amazon for quite sometime and didn’t even realize the movie was out. I really enjoyed the movie.
To me Valentines Day is more about your spouse or s/o. I always make the children really nice handmade cards and send them flowers, candy and balloons to school, but to me it’s about your spouse.
I guess because the first time I ever received flowers for any occasion was 3 years ago at the age of 43 when I received them on VD from my now spouse. That’s when I knew he was the one.
Happy Valentine’s Day Jane! I wish you a fun day filled with sweets and kisses!
I love homemade cards! I am a fanatic scrapbooker and cardmaker. I just love anything crafty! What a fabulous post Jane!
The thing I would like most for Valentine’s day would be to take a trip to a sunny destination like Bermuda or Aruba where the weather is sunny, warm and energizing.
I live in Indiana and we have had a terrible winter. We were the lucky ones here that had over 3 feet of snow this winter! Yuck! I don’t mind a little snow but this year it has been ridiculous!
Then on top of it good ‘ol Phil of Phuxtahwney saw his darn shadow! I don’t want 6 more weeks of winter! I say keep those camera’s off him and you won’t see his blasted shadow!
Anyway, many Valentine wishes to all!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
One thing I would like most would be to see my Mom/Dad in person and give them their valentine. I live in NC and they are in upstate NY. I guess the recent plane crash that just happened near them in Buffalo has me being sentimental and missing them.
I love the idea of celebrating V-Day like T-Day and C-Day and E-Day. :o)
I would love to receive quality family time for V-Day, like I did today. We had a pizza, brownies, and a little bit of Wall-E with my 19-month-old (she got Wall-E, we got the pizza and brownies while she got Spinach Bites and Tofu Dog). The hubby did the dishes. Of course, I had to ask him. My ultimate V-Day gift would be him doing the dishes without me asking him to.
Ahh…We can dream, right?
I love to buy cards and I like to look at lots of them and get them early and then I like to go back on the 13th just to look at all the guys who are buying cards late. I was at the Square yesterday evening and it was sweet to see all the men with bags from Victoria’s Secret and Godiva and other stores in line to buy a card. I think it is great to have a day that makes it ok for all people to celebrate love at the same time. Hello Young Lovers and hooray old lovers, and love does make the world go round – it is what we sing about and write about and live for.
And of course any day you are going to get something chocolate has to be good!
My comment is late and that’s okay if I am not entered…I just wanted to be included and to say that since my husband and I started dating 16 yrs ago, we celebrated that first Valentine’s Day out in a fancy restaurant and he spent a fortune on jewelry and roses and teddy bears. But my birthday is exactly a week later and all I could think was this wonderful man who is only 18 is spending all of his hard earned money on silly things. So since then, especially since we are grown, married, and parents of 2, we would rather spend V-day at home with our kids. Only cards between the grownups are exchanged…no gifts. My son was born 2/15 so we are usually busy getting ready for his party. My father who traveled for 20 yrs for work and was usually only home for 1 night every 10 days always found a way to give us hearts with chocolates. He never bought a card but the sheer fact that he thought about us on this day was great since he was not the emotional kind of father back then. Now that we are grown, he is. Anyway, last night, my husband went to the food store to get the stuff for my son’s birthday party and came home with a single rose. Well, I couldn’t find a vase because that is how long it’s been that he gave me flowers. Not that that’s important…He shows me how much he loves me all the time…Although I love flowers, I also think they are sometimes silly to spend money on when there are so many other things that are needed. And I do love Valentine’s day but I also want my kids and husband to show their love 365 days a year also.
Jane, I hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s day!!
I would love to have one night alone with my man.
Good morning, everyone!
You are the two winners of the Mystery Prize. Shoot me an email with your address and I’ll get the goodies out in the very next mail. Congrats and enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Happy V Day! late. I totally agree with you. We are teachers as parents and boys need to be taught how to respect others.(as well as girls)
Boys growing up having respect and treating women well is our job as Mothers. Hopefully they will grow up have great relationships. And find that lucky girl. I hope I am doing a good job with my 10 year old Son.
By the way I think your blog
is great I like read all the interesting topics. Love your books!
Hope everyone’s day was Sweet!
Oh! I forgot to mention! We love to celebrate as family as well!
We went snow shoeing yesterday
as a family! Fun!
I am laughing at your raging, about doilies and paper, ha ha ha ha ha
Those boys for sure will grow up and never ever forget to get a card for their girlfriends or wives!
A little fun and freaky update on my wish…the SECOND I pushed send to post it, the guy I was talking about calls me! so he says on a fluke he’s home for the weekend and was I working Saturday. I say yes 8-midnight. He says he’ll try to stop by but wasn’t promising anything. He ended up calling later and wasn’t able to come by, but he invited me to church Sunday with his family so I went and then we all went out to lunch together. 5 hours with him and family. I was in happy tears when I had gotten off the phone when he said he was home. I got my Valentine’s Day wish…just a day late. But considering he wasn’t supposed to be in town at all, I couldn’t have been happier 😀