Valentine’s Day has always been a bizarre holiday to me. It’s not that I didn’t get it because, I most certainly did. From an early age, I would write one particular valentine a bit better than the rest. First grade and Lisa Swecker was the beginning. From there, I probably had a crush on half the girls in grade school at some point in time.
But helping my boys write their Valentine’s cards made me stop and think about it.
Even when I was in school, you couldn’t give one Valentine’s card. You had to have one for everyone in class. It was to keep things fair and stop kids from being outcast. I don’t think it makes things any better or worse for the persona non grata in school. There is either false hope or obvious knowledge that this is a false wish. So what does it accomplish?
The cup half full side of me says it shows fairness and positive thoughts for everyone and I try to instill that in my children, but the truth is far from it. They already have clicks and outcasts. Verbal abuse and rejection starts early.
From there we head into preteen – teen years and awkward moments where this, pseudo holiday, makes life miserable in some forms or another. Do you express love? Because that’s a dirty word for many years to come. Do you let the other person know you like them? Rejection and sorrow run rampant. Most of us wasted good money on failed relationships.
Then there’s adulthood. If your not in a relationship this holiday is shitty. No question about it. Probably worse than when you were a teenager. Even if you tell your friends your not phased by it, the thoughts are still milling around in your head.
If your in a relationship, getting a Valentine’s gift is a requirement. Actually it always was, and we seem to forget that. We “HAD” to have valentine cards as early as four and five.
Even if you and your significant other don’t celebrate this day, friends and coworkers berate you. “What did you get her?” or “What did he get you?”
Try saying, “Nothing” even if it’s a lie and watch the reaction. I can say, from experience, either you’re not normal, the other person is a jerk or some version similar.
My wife and I have gone through this for years. We love each other and day it every day. No really, EVERY DAY. We aren’t public display of affection people. We don’t kiss too much in public or write each others name in the sky. Occasionally on Facebook but never in the sky. We also don’t waste money on flowers, cards and, well, anything romantic and mushy.
So, with our mutual bitter hatred for the holiday, we chose February 14th to get married. Why? To Kill it as Valentine’s Day. Now it’s more. It’s real. It’s special. No red hearts filled with chocolate or roses. No sappy pink cards. Now it’s about us. All the lonely or stupid years of fake love and stupid gifts of affection are gone.
My kids do think of everyone. The teacher and the bus driver. The aids and more. They still don’t understand the concept because they chose family and friends, boys and girls…….
Our maybe they do understand, better than I ever did.