Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Valentine's Day - Then and Now

I used to hate Valentine's Day. Way back when I was single, I found it to just be a really annoying reminder that I was alone. It was as if the whole "coupled" world was having this little private love fest, thumbing their loved little noses at those of us who were partner-free. As if walking into a lonely apartment at night or sleeping in an empty bed wasn't enough of a reminder. I was very public about my hatred of the day, telling anyone who would listen - and several who tried hard not to - that if you were in love, every day should be Valentine's Day, and if you needed a separate day to remind you to profess or express your love, then, well, you were simply a bad partner.

Then, somehow, this awesome woman saw through all that venom and fell in love with me.

I have to admit, now I'm torn. I like the "holiday" much more these days and enjoy celebrating it with my beloved wife. Despite my bitterness in the past, I'm actually a full-blown romantic at heart. This year included 7 cards for her (one for each year we've been together), homemade brownies with love-notes iced on top for me, and curling lessons (in LA!) for us (well, mostly me) - sublime. Lyena and I are, ironically, exactly one of those couples I would have hated during my acrid single years. One of those disgustingly gooey two-fers that leave sticky, treacly love-gunk trailing behind them.

However, I still kind of feel like Valentine's Day is a bit of a sham. While it is nice to have a built in excuse to lounge around and do something nice for ourselves, I still feel like we, as couples, shouldn't need Hallmark to give us permission to do so. And I still really sympathize with those singles - my peeps of yesteryear - who have to suffer the constant media and advertising barrage of "Are you in love? Then PROVE IT! And if not, what's wrong with you?"

Maybe, instead of the day being about couples celebrating in a little love-vacuum, it should be about sharing love with everyone.  Maybe it should be about telling those in our lives who may not hear it enough that we love them and that they aren't walking alone. After all, those of us lucky enough to be in relationships have 364 other days a year to buy cards, make brownies or go curling.

1 comment:

  1. I kinda agree with you, but ---
    Valentines Day should focus on your true love. While you should show and express love for her every day, Valentines Day should be special and have something extra.
    I'm not sure about sharing love with everyone. there are some people that I have no love for, not that I hate them, but just that I do not have any love for them.
    Also, if you love everybody that seems to me to cheapen the love you feel for those really close and that you really love.
    As for Valentines Day, I have always been confused by it. I look on it as something special with Joan, but I also used it to express love for family. I appreciate it when others remember me on Valentines Day, but do not expect it of feel neglected when this does not happen.

    And then there was a Generic Happy Valentines Day for those I know and am close to.

    Really would be nice if there was a codification of the limits encompassed by Valentines Day. Maybe Congress will debate this and pass legislation covering this, but then that may not be a good idea. Anyway it ain't going to happen.:)


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