Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day: A Reflection on the Problems of Valentine’s Day

I am cheating I wrote this last year but wasn't blogging at the time. I only shared it with 3 people. Everyone of them really liked it so for your reading pleasure. Also I should add I did hate Valentine's Day for a few years because our dog's birthday was Valentine's Day and we lost him when he was just 3 because of a brain tumor. I think this may have caused some of the confusion. This year Paul made me a cookie. That is huge for him. Anyhow I hope you you are blessed by celebrating YOUR LOVE today. I am grateful that I found my own voice for love in this piece.

February 14, 2010

Don’t get me wrong I love pink glittery hearts and romance as much as the next girl. I think I am what you would call a closet romantic. My house is covered in festive hearts because I like the hearts not the holiday… that really confuses people, besides it is the dead of winter you need a little festive to get you through the day. If you met me walking down the street you wouldn’t get the impression that I am a mush or would ever like mushy stuff. Yet I do if it is just the right kind a great movie a random act of caring those will get me. I was a huge fan of Valentine’s Day when I was single. I was also 15ish then. I dreamt of my secret admirer coming in on his horse and sweeping me off my feet; professing his love as we rode off into the sunset of happily ever after. I knew in my heart someone had to love me but I didn’t really believe it then. Maybe I didn’t think I was worthy of love. Then 13 years ago my husband asked me to the Senior Prom (the first dance I was ever asked to) on Valentine’s Day weekend. It was probably the best I ever had. To top it off I was sick as a dog and dressed like crap when he just showed up on my doorstep to ask me and he asked in the middle of a conversation about answering machines, I said yes and the conversation kept going. I looked like crap and he asked anyway. I went from there to hating Valentine’s Day because it always lead to disappointment for me. I called it all sorts of dirty things like a card company holiday and a scam and pointless. I was in love and still as bitter as a single woman.

I think it is kind of a crappy day still because it tells us how to love and only really values one kind of love. So it tells people they should be in love, so basically if you are single today tells you, you suck because people in love have something special. If you aren’t in love it could make you panic and start trying to find love. It doesn’t say you are just fine all on your own a whole and complete person. People in love do have something special but I will get to that later. If you are in love today tells you what your love should be. Therein lies the problem. Love IS special and everyone loves in their own special way no two loves are the same. Valentine’s Day is about cheap calculated prescribed romance and that is what I don’t like. Three quarters of romance done right is the element of surprise which makes us feel special and wanted and LOVED. How can romance be a surprise on Valentine’s Day? Every girl if she admits it or not expects a little something if she has a special someone. So there it is calculated and maybe even expected and that just isn’t fun. So the powers that be tell us that we need that box of satin wrapped chocolates, over priced wilted red roses and maybe even jewelry or a fancy dinner. The price of all this stuff goes up and the quality goes down and let’s not forget all the cards. This is the first year in a long time I didn’t rebel and make my own card.

Then I have to ask what about all the other kinds of love there are in the world aside from romantic love? I love my daughter , my mother, my sister, my brothers, my nieces and nephews, my friends and the list goes on. What about God’s love? Love for neighbor? Love of Peace? Love goes so much deeper than here are some roses I want to get it on. Doesn’t it? And what of the love that doesn’t feel like a pink or red glittery heart? What about the love that is more of a bruised purple and blue heart? I know both kinds, don’t you?

After years of disappointment on this day even when I was in love I think today I figured it out. It was because I was looking for a prescribed culturally induced kind of love. I am not sure that is love at all. For years I set the bar in the wrong place and ended up sad and disappointed. Maybe I sent mixed messages too because I do not like the traditional gifts of the day. You can save the box of waxy chocolate wrapped in satin for some other girl (unless said box contains reeses anything). I do not like roses so strike two, they remind me of funerals. I am not even a big fan of jewelry. I particularly dislike diamonds. So maybe I made it impossible to understand what I was looking for. I made it quite clear what I wasn’t looking for.

Today we woke up a family, that was a first for us on this day of love. Love is different now. We both have this new amazing love for our little girl. Then we loved in the way our love works. We exchanged small tokens of affection and cards. I woke up with no expectation of anything phenomenal. I was grateful to have love surrounding me and it ended up being the best Valentine’s Day we have had since I was asked to the prom. It was special because it wasn’t calculated, expected or forced. It was special because I got a pair of funky socks with dogs and hearts on them and I really enjoy funky socks. I also got a handful of my favorite candies from a chocolate store. Take that box of waxy chocolates. I mean maybe my rant of I would take 4 caramels from the candy shop and be perfectly content rant as I looked at heart shaped boxes of candy in the store lead to that but whatever. He listened to a reasonable thought of romance, remembered it and did it and believe it or not I wasn’t even hinting. I bet that didn’t feel so overwhelming for him either.

In the end what made today special for us or really this morning was we loved in our own special way that only we can because the love we share is ours. Roses don’t fit in it especially over priced wilted ones. Our love is special! I mean after all it created our daughter. Our beautiful Lilia Grace. Maybe it sounds mean or judgmental and preachy but how many children are born out of a love like this? I have seen more born of cheap sex lately. Our love IS special and romantic and blessed. It isn’t perfect and it cannot be contained by Valentine’s Day or it’s culturally prescribed rules for romance. Like I said before romance is better other days of the year because it isn’t expected.

Maybe just maybe I have finally reconciled this whole Valentine’s Day thing in my heart. Today though I am comfortable in my own skin of love. I think from here on out I will remember how blessed I am to have this unique love and try to remember the blessings of all the kinds of love on know on Valentine’s Day.

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