Thursday, February 14, 2013

Obligatory Valentine's Day Post

It's February 14, so it's Valentine's Day, so, of course, it must be discussed. It's like the old elephant in the room, only this one is stuffed and covered in pink and red hearts.

Like most every other red-blooded American female who wasn't dating the quarterback in high school, I went through a period of intense dislike for the Hallmark-holiday that is Valentine's Day. This was followed by the usual bouts of defensiveness that young adults develop -- girls' nights with titles like Singles Awareness Day (with its convenient acronym SAD), and a long standing inside joke with my BFF Andria about Arizona's birthday.

The thing is, though, that those things aren't me. I'm festive. I love a reason to celebrate, and the more wholesome the better. I was born to be a room mom, I'm telling you. I love the people in my life and want to cherish them and celebrate them. What's wrong with a holiday that celebrates all that love.

I'll tell you what's wrong.

{assumes position on totally unoriginal soapbox}

Totally stolen from CatholicMemes

Advertising and the giant tent at Fry's and those guys on the corner selling weird cellophane baskets of giant red teddy bear are all about one and only one kind of love. Romantic, passionate love. There is nothing at all wrong with that love (when appropriately directed). But that's not all there is. 364 days a year, we all know that. We celebrate our parents and our children and our friends and Administrative Professionals Day.

One day a year, though, we're told that if someone doesn't love us enough to buy that diamond necklace or said cellophane-wrapped bear or 5 million dozen roses or whatever we're not good enough. It's what makes high school girls -- who long to be loved, but almost never are in the way that the movies say they should be, and who are too young to realize what real love looks like -- feel marked and inadequate. It's what makes young women focus on the SAD, instead of recognizing the gift they have in their girls. It's what makes us lose sight of what real love really is.

What makes me saddest, though, is how it made me, for years, feel guilty about enjoying the day for what it was -- a chance to make cookies with red sprinkles, wear pink, and pull out a pair of ridiculous holiday-themed socks. If I wasn't in luuuuuuuuuuuuuv, I needed to be SAD or yearn for Mr. Right (now?) or long for the day when I, too, would receive a teddy bear and nougat-filled candies that would literally make me sick (thanks, egg allergy!). Or when I had kids. Then I can be as cheezy as I want. Moms = cheezy. I guess.

I could blather on and tell you what real love looks like. But you already know. You know it all those other days of the year when you celebrate the loves of your life in ways big, small, and meaningful.

{steps off soapbox}

So, now I get to embrace all that is cheezy. I wish I could say I was inspired by a bolt of self-confidence. Instead, I ended up with a really nice guy who doesn't go over the top for Valentine's Day, but certainly doesn't ignore it either. It softened my heart, and made me realize that my natural cheeziness is just right for today (and any other day)! Tonight, there will be a yummy dinner and a little something for Charles. In a year or two, Clare will enjoy some small treats. I'll bust out the sprinkles. I'll still wear a pink sweater and silly socks. Some things never change.

Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day!

1 comment:

  1. Did not know that about St. Valentine! Yikes! Valentine's Day is definitely a leetle crazy...I mean, you won't find me stepping into a restaurant or grocery store at all today, even if it means we eat PB&J for dinner :) But I agree--the heart shaped cookies, the red velvet cake with cream cheese icing (ahem), the fun little heart banners everybody's putting up this year...they're just that--FUN!


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