I remember growing up; Valentine’s Day was such an awesome holiday. It was one of my favorites that I looked forward to each year. In elementary school we would decorate Kleenex boxes that would hold the Valentine’s Days cards we got from our classmates. My teacher had a rule that required you to give a note to everyone in the class; no one was to be left out, even the kid that ate glue, or the boy that for some reason, always smelled like pee.
I liked to decorate mine with Conversation hearts that were stamped with sayings, such as “Be Mine”, “Kiss Me” or “Say Yes”. But now just writing this blog, it has a little bit of a creepy vibe to it. Kind of like a 3rd grade “50 Shades of Grey” thing going on… I mean seriously, who thought of these sugary innuendos for children? Once again I am digressing….. The night before the holiday, I would make my memos and label the envelope with each classmate’s name. Although I always put more effort into creating a stupendous card for my friends or the boy I had a crush on, I never forget to give a Valentine to the kid that reeked of pee.
As I grew up, and entered middle school, I saved up my allowance for the big Valentine’s Day gifts! I went to the local drug store and dished out a week’s worth of chores for a Milk Chocolate treat that stated “I (heart shape) U” with plans to give it to my boy crush the next day. But of course, my Dad found it stuffed in my backpack and had a cow. He wanted to believe that he had raised a daughter who wasn’t a floozy and did not run around town delivering provocative confections. Guess he was wrong…. Sorry Dad!
Now as an adult, I still adore Valentine’s Day. Maybe it is the hearts, teddy bears, chocolate or perhaps it is something totally different. Some feel that it is a holiday that seems forced or unnatural. If you are not in a relationship, it feels like everyone is in love and V-day was created just to remind you of what a loser you are and how you are doomed to walk the world alone. But on the other hand, if you do have someone special in your life, you are pressured to buy expensive flowers or head to your local Walgreens on your way home from work to buy a Valentine’s Day Card, and sift through the left-over heart-shaped boxes full of chocolate. But does that truly show your love for someone? Even deeper, what is “Love”?
The best definition of love that I have found is written by JoJo Moyes. She states, “What love is depends on where you are in relation to it. Secure in it, it can feel as mundane and necessary as air – you exist within it, almost unnoticing. Deprived of it, it can feel like an obsession; all consuming, a physical pain. Love is the driver for all great stories: not just romantic love, but the love of parent for child, for family, for country. It is the point before consummation of it that fascinates: what separates you from love, the obstacles that stand in its way. It is usually at those points that love is everything.”
Love is everything. Although Valentine’s Day is not a gentle reminder… in fact, it is an in your face, commercialized, cheap teddy bears and overpriced flowers day…. But it also gives us a chance to be grateful and this is why I just adore V-Day. It is a holiday that we celebrate love; it reminds us of those who give our lives meaning and that without their presence, we would not feel complete. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.