I attended one private school for grades K-8. If anyone brought Valentines to school, they had to bring them for every classmate. So, fairness abounded. When I was really little, this was all just cute and fun. But, around 5th grade or so, you also had the option to purchase Valentine Grams that were delivered to the classrooms. I never got one… until 7th grade. It was from a secret admirer. My heart was a flutter. Then I learned our teacher thought she was doing us a favor by sending these to those of us who weren’t receiving them from other students. Ouch. I think it must have been around this time that I started to get bitter about Valentine’s Day.
Enter high school. Freshmen Valentine came and went. But then I had a boyfriend during Sophomore year. I got him a few little goodies and put them in his locker (I had his spare key). I was tickled and couldn’t wait to see what he got me. But he didn’t get me anything. And he didn’t really say anything about what I got him. Epic fail. Bitterness grew stronger. Junior year I was single again. And really rather pissy about the whole Valentine extravaganza. But it was that year that I got the sweetest Valentine – my best girlfriend at the time had a balloon bouquet delivered to me in one of my classes with a sweet note. We were both single, and she got how rough the holiday could be. It was a super sweet gesture.
Enter college. I had a boyfriend when Valentine’s day came around my first year. But I was actually really peeved at him because he spent a lot of money on me when I had asked him to keep within the same small budget I was. It wasn’t the greatest relationship, so this big gesture just didn’t fly with me, I guess.
Then I had several more single Valentine’s days. Though, it’s much easier when you’re out of high school and not at a campus flooded with heart decor and PDAs. Though I do remember when I was in my early 20s my best friend and I were both single, and she decided to have a Black Valentine’s Day party for all the single girls. It was going to be an awesome bitterfest. But, before the plans went under way, she went and got herself a boyfriend. The party never happened.
Really, it’s a silly holiday. And the pressure it puts on you – especially in those angsty teen years – is rather unfair. I never felt like I needed to be in a relationship, and I was fine when I was single. Until the big V-day came – then I always felt excluded. The holiday for everyone who had what I didn’t.
You’d think after all this, as I grew up, I’d just grow to dismiss it as the silly day it is. That I’d grow to recognize that we celebrate love every day and there’s no need to put up paper hearts and swap out fluffy gifts. But, that didn’t happen. Now that I’m married I love Valentine’s day more than ever. I still feel bad for all the kids/teens that won’t get that special gift from that special someone they haven’t met yet… and I don’t know how I’ll address the holiday when I’m a parent. But for now, despite the fact that – I think – I’m a relatively grounded, mature grown up…. I love every ridiculous pink inch of it. Flowers, balloons, cards, small trinkets, kisses, stuffed monkeys, you name it. My dad makes fun of me every year. Fortunately, my hubby indulges me.
And now I’ll tell you about the best Valentine’s Day with my hubby. When we were engaged, I was sick on V-Day. He called in sick and didn’t go to work because he said I shouldn’t be home alone and sick on V-Day. Awwwww. Then he went to the store to get me some more cold meds. He came back with all the right goodies! Here it is:
I know it’s a silly day. And I fear it can harvest some relatively shallow thoughts about love…. But I hope you enjoy it with whomever you have, or just dismiss it because it really is silly! I hope no one is feeling lonely this Valentine’s day. It would be nice, I think, if it focused on more than romantic love, because we all do have great love operating in our lives.