Wait? Valentine’s Day is MADE UP?
Hating Valentine’s Day, huh? Couldn’t find a more cliche version of “rebellion,” eh? We all KNOW it’s not a real holiday and that we are being encouraged to spend, less for the sake of St. Valentine than for capitalist greed. But in 1st grade, Valentine’s Day made me bold enough to give my crush an anonymous, homemade card with bears on it. My six-year-old self embraced that “now, or never” feeling, and left it in his cubby at the end of the day… He promptly ripped it up, overcome with embarrassment and SO not ready for that kind of relationship. What can I say? I’m an old soul.
Twenty-seven years later, I can also thank Valentine’s Day for encouraging bold moves. Preston and I have been anticipating, all week, the fancy dinner he has planned for tonight. We are going to be bold enough to get off the couch, turn off the TV (no worries… we have DVR), dress up despite two foot tall snow drifts and/or puddles, and stare into each other’s eyes for a few hours. I’m so excited! We have spent every Valentine’s Day, for the past five years, doing something like this, and I still feel giddy.
I have made countless gestures, some big, some small, on this day. I remember getting so excited to give everyone in my class a Valentine in elementary school. I loved the feeling of giving, (and I loved picking out Valentines that represented my complex, Barbie-obsessed, personality). I have also remembered to just take a moment to really say, “I love you,” and to feel the power of that statement before moving on to another task. I say “I love you” everyday to my family and friends, but making it extra special is hardly a burden.
I encourage you, whether single or attached, to be bold enough to embrace the day, bold enough to act, bold enough to be vulnerable, for the sake of love, not consumerism (like I said, WE KNOW it’s a fake day… you aren’t exactly an anarchist). Tell that woman you ride the train with that she is beautiful, and you hope she has a Valentine, even if it isn’t you. Take your coworker out for champagne. Tell them you love working with them, and feel the joy that comes from being kind. Wear a shirt with no stains and hold in your farts while sitting around the house with your spouse. However you do it, I guarantee that to give love is the best feeling, and you never know… you might get some in return…