I think there was a time in my life when I got excited about Valentines Day. I don’t remember when that was,which that is not to say I hate the day. I actually don’t really care. It’s nice, I like the decorations. My youngest was born 3 days before, so I think of her as my valentine. Even in the throes of my romantic entanglements as a youth, V-day never really caught me. I like it for the excuse to be crafty and use hole punches and glitter. That’s all.
The day has given me opportunity to examine the lives of my married friends and compare my life to theirs. Many times,when I dare to compare, my life comes out on the losing side. But V-day really does let the life of a single mother shine. Shine like the sparkliest glitter on the biggest heart in the dollar tree store! I do not have any expectations of anyone giving me anything. I don’t have to be angry that my special someone didn’t make me breakfast in bed, shovel the driveway or make reservations at a fancy shmancy restaurant. I do not have to open innocent boxes of cookies or slowly lift the dirty socks while trying to be sly, hoping to find the diamond earrings I circled in the Kmart advert. I do not have to be angry or disappointed in a day that sets the bar so high that even the good valentines can never live up.
But is it the valentine giver or is it the valentine receiver who makes the day a bust? I am going to go out on a limb here and say it is the receiver who either makes or breaks the holiday. Maybe the receiver only gets a cheap little card when he/she was expecting a trip to Cancun. That’s all on the receiver. The giver may be so thrilled to be giving a little card, thinking that it is the thought behind the little card that is gonna get him some tonight. Really, it is all just un-met expectations that lead to the ruination of the day. And many times, those expectations are never even communicated in the first place. The receiver just expects the giver to be a mind reader or the giver expects the receiver to be appreciative.
Then there are the couples who think just being in a couple makes us singles jealous. And they have to keep up the charade of being a happy couple especially during the holiday because they would rather be with someone than alone. I have outgrown that phase and I enjoy being single much more than I ever did being with some jerk. I am so grateful that I do not have to worry about any of this V-day stuff. There are no expectations, no crushed hopes, no dreams denied. There was just me and my kids, doing exactly as we pleased. Making sure that we all know about love, what we believe love is.
I don’t see how anyone could be opposed to valentines day. Oh I hear those curmudgeon whining that it is just a “commercial holiday” made up by a card company. Whatevah. It was made up by people, just like St. Patrick’s day, Presidents day and the 4th of July. All institutions designed by people to celebrate or commemorate events or people. What is so wrong with taking a day out to celebrate love? Sure, we celebrate it every day, we love every day. But why not take one day out of 365 to make love feel special. It’s like Mother’s day. We are mothers everyday. Do we really need a day specifically designated to praise us for being mothers? To be celebrated? Yes. We do. As do fathers and grandparents. How boring would this life be without simple celebrations. How boring would a year be without special days carved out to celebrate love, family and national pride? It is what you make it.
Today, I am grateful for the love I have received. I am grateful that I have a cupboard full of toilet paper because when I was married, we were constantly running out of toilet paper. I am so very grateful for having no expectation put on me to be/wear/do the most romantic thing. I am grateful for the love of my valentines. I am ever so grateful to be single and even more grateful that my friends are married. Not just because they prove that the grass isn’t always greener, but because they show me that love does exist, marriages grow and change just like people. Valentines Day treated this single girl really good.
Perspective is everything. Expectations are premeditated resentments. Love today because we don’t know if tomorrow will ever get here. And I would suggest that on Valentines day, just go with the flow, love the one your with and give your married friends a big ole hug. Sometimes they need it more than you would ever believe. Love, not sex, makes the world go round. Kiss your babies, call your mother and send your boss a secret admirer valentine. If you spread the love you will receive the love. And on Feb. 15th go buy up all the half price chocolate you can find and have a feast. We deserve it.