As a kid, I always enjoyed Valentine’s Day. In school, we would always be required to bring enough valentines for everyone in the class, and you’d go around distributing them in peoples’ makeshift card containers. Most included candy. [Score!] I mean, it was almost like Halloween, but lazier – you didn’t even have to go asking people for a treat, they just gave it to you!
In high school, the student-run clubs usually had some sort of Valentine message-gram fundraiser – you could buy a paper heart/balloon/New York skyline made entirely out of strawberry licorice/etc. and have it delivered to the person of your choice during the last period of the day. I know at least once I got one of these, but it wasn’t an expected occurrence and I certainly didn’t feel bad or left out if/when I didn’t get one. Then and later, if I wasn’t in a relationship, Valentine’s Day was just like any other day, except I saw a lot more tinsel, hearts, and bright-red objects around than normal.
When in a relationship (then or now), I view Valentine’s Day a little bit differently. Yes, it’s a made-up holiday, and people overly attribute to it a necessity to give gifts and measure your love in chocolates, flowers, and cards. But to me it’s more of a wake-up call; it reminds me to stop and take a step back and review how I’m treating those close to me that I care about, and make sure my actions and words express how much I appreciate and adore them. Yes, I could do this any day of the year – it doesn’t necessarily have to wait until the middle of February on the day that little teddy bears everywhere climb the strings of heart-shaped balloons in an attempt to capture the hearts (and wallets) of men and women everywhere. But this day is as good as any to make sure that my feelings on how much I care come through loud and clear – not by buying diamonds or boxes of chocolates, but by my words and actions and demeanor towards those I love. And as long as I don’t have some sort of slump-back behavior the very next day, February 14th is as good as any day to give me a little kick in the tuchus and make sure I’m not taking things for granted, and make sure those I care about know it, too.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you out there – and may you have some sort of happiness today, whatever the reason for it. (But if you know what’s good for you, you’ll make chocolate the linchpin around which all other happy thoughts turn, today!)