What I Think of St. Valentine's Day

Eh, I’m not a fan. I know, I know, you probably expected something different. I’m in love, nose wide open as one of my friends calls it, and engaged and I’m not a fan of V-Day. Strange, huh? Well, I don’t think so. Growing up, my mother always made February 14th special. When my sister and I woke up to get ready for school, we always had some type of chocolate candy and a card, generally signed “Love, Mama.” This was my constant Valentine. I might not have received any expressions of affection from a boy, but I always left the house knowing I was loved. Then I’d get to school. In high school, the choir had a Valentine’s Day fundraiser where they’d sell balloons, candy, etc. and deliver them to the desired recipient in class. And these were BIG gifts. We’re talking bundles of balloons (or at least a really big one) and stuffed animals of some sort, typically teddy bears wearing red bow ties or something. Anywho, although I never seriously dated anyone from my high school, I always hoped I’d get a simple acknowledgement or expression from someone telling me how wonderful I was. Yes, I know it sounds silly, but I’m being transparent here!

 So then I’d get back home, maybe with candy from teachers or my good girlfriends, but without those big mylar balloons or teddy bears. Feeling a little down like I lost my puppy, I’d look on my dresser and see that simple present from my mom, reminding me that I was, indeed, loved. Fast forward to February 2003. I reconnected with this guy I knew while in high school and we were just friends. Actually, we weren’t even that. We were cordial, no real conversations that I remember, so I didn’t expect any type of sparks to fly, but he asked me to go on a date with him the next Friday, February 14, 2003. He originally asked me via notes on Blackplanet.com (don’t front like y’all don’t remember BlackPlanet), but said he wanted to call and officially ask because he felt the Internet was still a bit impersonal. So a day or so later, I’m sitting in the middle of my bed, writing in my journal, watching SVU and writing that I’d probably be doing the same the following Friday. And my cell phone rings. It’s him, “officially” asking me on a date. Of course, I said yes and now, February 14th is the anniversary of my and my fiancĂ©’s first date. Was it magical and crazy electricity between us? Absolutely not. It was more awkward than anything. We didn’t say a whole lot. …Weird for a first date. I mean, you know how you’re supposed to talk a lot and get to know each other, right? Well, we kinda knew each other, so we just didn’t really know how to proceed. It was cool nonetheless.

 So what’s with my aversion to Valentine’s Day? I think it’s just entirely too commercial. I mean, the price of a dozen roses seems to skyrocket and let’s not talk about the bounty of red and pink colored cheap-tasting chocolates that now dominate the front of most grocery stores. All the florists LOVE this time of year because this is the time when everyone expresses their love, right? Well, I think that’s my problem.

 I love my family. It could be a random Tuesday and if we see something we think another family member would like or appreciate, we get it for them and give it to them. No, we don’t wait and save the gift for Christmas or a birthday, but we take that moment to express love and care for each other. My Aunt De-Rance loves angels, so if I see one I think she might like, I get it for her and share it the next time I see her. It’s not necessary to wait until a special day because my love and appreciation for her aren’t bound to those days.

So I woke up today, not really feeling February 14th but the texts were rolling in as early as 6:30am and I responded with a “Happy Love’s Holiday to you too!” …but I just wasn’t feeling it, ya know? Well, as I was getting ready for work, my mom went to warm up her car before I did and when I got outside, my mom cleaned the snow off my car for me. That was a great expression of love. My mom has had serious foot pain since she broke her heel last year (she still doesn’t know how she did that), but the fact that she took those extra steps to clean off my car meant so much to me. It wasn’t my usual card and chocolate candy, but it was that expression of love and care that brought me out my funk and made me smile and be thankful to God for the love that’s expressed in various ways.

 What do I think of St. Valentine’s Day? It’s February 14th. It’s just another day. However, it’s another opportunity to share love with those around you. Take advantage of it, but don’t get so caught up in the commercialism of it all. Love each other as Christ loved us and just have a good day.