Be Your Valentine

I have a love/love thing with Valentine’s Day, which falls upon us in two days. I can’t hate it the way some people do, because although I have been single more of them than not, I have a soft spot for this day, thanks to my Dear Old Dad. More on that soon.

I know a lot of people that dread the Valentine’s thing, and funny enough most of them are in happy relationships. It can be a lot of pressure, if you have someone who has big expectations of the holiday. And a lot of people write it off as a Hallmark holiday, fake day, if you will. Sweetest Day is fake. I don’t buy into that one at all, but Valentine’s is an actual day if you read up on it. It is the feast day of St. Valentine. It’s a thing, I promise. It has been ramped up and commercialized, for sure, and I don’t love the people that go out on Valentine’s Day, it’s amateur date night.

How are you going to get through it if you are a hater? Sitting in a bar throwing spitballs at happy couples is one option, or you could go around doing something small but meaningful for someone else. It doesn’t have to be about grand gestures or even romantic love. Give someone a simple smile. Open a door for someone at the store. Buy a coffee for someone. Or sit around and drink beer and stay away from people, that can be a gift sometimes too, you know? The flowers are overpriced, and that big box heart of candy isn’t cheap either. But someone can benefit from your smile, so I hope you give that away freely.

Back to the one reason I cannot write off Valentine’s Day. My dad, Ed, was an old softy when it came to things like this. I remember as a little girl that he would come home on Valentine’s Day and bring a flower, a carnation or whatever, for me and my sister, and usually a little box of those conversation hearts or chocolates. It wasn’t really a big deal, but he would say he had “posies for my posies” and he really made us feel special for that moment. There is no better Valentine’s memory for me than how he made me feel special, and I have gotten flowers from special people before. But Ed wins, every time. Because Dads and little girls, you know? That is why I can see this holiday as something beyond romantic love, something bigger and better than the Hallmark and flower industry are cranking out, and why the jewelry store ads don’t bother me so much.

Don’t get me wrong, if you are planning something big for me, I will graciously accept your chocolates and stuff. I do have manners, after all. But just in case, I wish you all a very special day with special people around you. And if you know of someone who may have recently lost their love, their Valentine, reach out and give them a reason to smile. I know a few who lost theirs recently, and I would love for them to know that that big love is still out there, it’s just using a different messenger this year.

Give love, be love and receive love. It is all around you. Happy Valentine’s Day, every day.

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