Valentine’s Day. Where does one even begin on a topic not even they themselves can wrap their head around?
Perhaps if I was a truly enlightened and “responsible” writer I would Google and do extensive research on the why and the history of Valentine’s Day. I’m just not up to giving it that effort.
In truth, when I was young, I was enamored with the day of love, the notion of Valentines. So much so that I even dreamed of a Valentine’s Day wedding to whoever my Romeo would be. I was 12 at the time, it’s a fitting daydream given the age.
Now 35-plus years later, different dreams realized and true experience in love, I scratch my head at this day. Granted I too will give my Valentine a gift, a card and we’ll acknowledge our love over a nice dinner, but that’s not really unusual for us.
Last week we discussed this very topic in our staff meeting, as we pondered our online question of the week. One colleague raised the idea that some people believe the day should be one sided. In other words, the women should receive the gifts, cards and gestures of adoration … Period.
“What’s it like to live in that world?” I pondered out loud. Recognizing now that I immediately rose to judgement of what seems to be a Diva type mentality, the truth of the matter is, to each their own.
As a mom, I can’t imagine how that would work. Prior to the past few years Valentine’s Day was truly more about celebrating my love for my littles more than anything else. They still get a little treat from mom and a special I love you hug at the start of the day. But again, that’s not really unusual for us.
Reflecting back, I’ve spent my fair amount of time both as someone’s Valentine as well as without. Midway through my adult life and marriage, I recognized how much it meant to me to receive flowers, an ‘I love you’ card or a special something “just because” and not because of a calendar reminder.
Yes, I understand the thought of why not have a special day to celebrate love? As I type this, my 10-year-old interjects, “If you’re a loving person, shouldn’t you show that every day?” And my day is made.
This is the lesson I’ve learned through life and have modeled to my children. The notion of Valentine’s Day and treating our loved ones special for the day is sweet. The reality I live in, however, is that on January 15, we truly don’t know what February 14 will look like, so why wait?
The words “I love you” should not be handed out like the words “excuse me” or “have a nice day,” that goes without saying. They should come from the heart, the soul, a genuine place of being. Perhaps that’s what prompts my feeling of indifference on this day, Valentine’s Day.
As the mass majority overpay for a nice dinner out, hustle to get flowers sent to that special someone or look for the perfect box of their favorite chocolates, perhaps look ahead. How fun would it be to send your someone flowers on a random Tuesday, surprise them with lunch in the middle of their work week or leave a card on the seat of their car one day as they hustle off to work. Don’t wait until the calendar says today is the day of love, make every day (in some small way) a day of love.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.