For the first time in longer than I care to remember, I have a Valentine for Valentine’s Day. All year, I’ve been eager to arrive at this celebratory day for lovers. But do I get to enjoy a candlelight dinner and bedroom eyes gazing at me from across the table? No, I get to be sick. Instead of chocolates and a rose bouquet, I’ll be enjoying a box of Kleenex and cold germs.
Valentine’s Day hasn’t been the luckiest of holidays for yours truly. In grammar school, I taped my handmade Valentine mailbox to my desk and waited patiently for my classmates to plop their Snoopy or Bugs Bunny cards inside. Much to my chagrin, there were never any declarations of love from secret admirers. When I finally did get a Valentine from one of my crushes, the card featured a drawing of an ugly, blobby, purple monster saying, “I like you.” Beneath the monster’s words, my crush had written, “as a friend.”
When I got married, I figured I’d be set for every Valentine’s Day for the rest of my life. While my ex was a great gift giver, he was also French which meant Valentine’s Day meant zilch to him. I usually had to remind him well before the 14th came ‘round. Before and after him were dumb boyfriends, too dismissive or noncommittal to phone me on a consistent basis much less host a romantic evening of hearts and flowers.
Even if the holiday hasn’t treated me well, I’m no cynic. I love Valentine’s Day. Sure, it’s an overly commercialized event which, like the eternally loathsome New Year’s, creates unnecessary pressure to have the time of your life. And I have been known to mutter, “I hate Valentine’s Day.” But it was usually when I was feeling like poo about being alone.
Really, what’s more worth celebrating than love? When I’ve triumphed in other parts of my life, yet found myself solo, I’ve often come up against that bittersweet moment of wishing I had someone to share my successes with. When life’s in the crapper, yet I’m in love, nothing the world throws at me can do much harm.
How amazing to feel love again. It makes battling the head cold that ate Cleveland not half bad. So, while I regret not being able to go whole hog this Valentine’s Day, I still think the celebration could be special. I’m envisioning a warm bath and foot massage, chicken soup served in a heart-shaped bowl and cough syrup in a wine glass.
Anyway, my Valentine and I have time. With any luck, this will be the first of many Valentine’s Days we’ll share.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
[Photo from Flickr.com – Starberryshyne]