Please indulge me rerunning the same post from last Valentine’s Day. I kinda still heart it:) Apologies to the few among you who were actually reading my blog way back then! ~~~~~~Thanks for sticking around. I kinda heart you too.
Call me Scrooge – I don’t like Valentine’s Day.
My first memories of the ‘holiday’ are from when I was in elementary school and we made little mailboxes to put on our desk. Then we walked around the classroom and delivered valentines to classmates. But those were the days before political correctness, and I was well aware of each valentine that didn’t arrive in my box. Not great for the self-esteem.
By the time I outgrew that horrible custom, I was well into my wallflower years, and never had a beau on Valentine’s Day. I felt left out and that surely there must be something wrong with me. I bought my own candy hearts.
Then there was the year that my older brother decided to send an unprecedented card to our grandmother. This was new! Grandma called Mom and said, “How nice that I got a card from ‘older brother.’ How is Karen?” Mom made me go to the store and send a belated card. That started the annual custom of cards for grandmothers, a custom I grew to love despite its origins in teenage embarrassment and sibling peer pressure.
I don’t remember my first Valentine’s Day in a relationship, but know I must have been very excited. Finally, someone to “Be Mine.” And probably that excitement carried over for another year or two. But I am a cheap pragmatist and eventually got annoyed at what I consider to be a fake holiday, forced on the general masses by card and candy manufacturers. Have you noticed how the price of roses goes way up that day?! Why should the calendar and society dictate that once a year I must recognize my love for my husband in a socially standardized way? Cheap and rebellious are a deadly combination for valentines. At some point in our marriage, my husband and I agreed that we knew we loved each other and therefor a simple card was enough to say it on that national day of love declaration. Okay, it probably started because I balked at the expense of flowers or because I was on a diet and didn’t want to be tempted by chocolate. The reasons don’t matter, the end result is the same. We bend to society pressure, but just a little. Could you imagine if we didn’t acknowledge the day at all?
My best Valentine’s Day gift was actually a gift I never got: Many years ago DH planned to send me flowers the day before the holiday. He intended to write on the card something about loving me everyday or that everyday was Valentine’s Day with me. But somehow his plans didn’t come to fruition so he ended up just telling me about it instead. I actually thought the sentiment was so great that I gave him points just for the idea:)
In case you think I am entirely a lost cause with no sentimentality at all, I will report that I do still give Valentine’s Day cards to the beloved people in my life. (And I cannot resist a little candy treat for my sons.) Hopefully they all know how much I love them… every day of the year, not just this one.
And to you, dear readers – I will break with my Scrooge-like traditions and wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day. Every day is sweeter with you in it; no candy needed:)