Does anyone remember those packages of flimsy cardboard Valentines that we bought at Walgreens, making sure we had enough for everybody in our classroom? It was such fun cutting with our blunt end scissors, making those heart-shaped pockets that would hold all the “love” and glitter from the Valentines that the other kids would surely give us. Did you ever come to school before the BIG DAY and peek into your pocket to see how many were in there?
This day, touted as the “day of love”, is loaded for most of us, both men and women. It is an “either/or” kind of holiday, a holiday of anticipating and waiting to see if and how much you are loved, and when we are not in a relationship, Hallmark tells us that we are NOT loved…at least this year.
No matter how many ways my brain tells me that this is all a manufactured holiday and that real love is not buried in chocolate or expensive dinners, my heart still aches every single year I find myself “alone” on Valentine’s Day. It is in my bones, this message about February 14 and I am angry about that.
What do I recommend to all my readers as a way of coping with this holiday? Find a good friend who loves you even without your make-up, with dirty hair and in your ratty pajamas. If you are a man, celebrate not having to figure women out on this holiday! But, make a plan! Avoid restaurants at all costs and if you enjoy wine, buy yourself a nice bottle and enjoy every drop. No conversation is off-limits, but be sure they contain words of love, acceptance and joy for all the love that IS in your life EVERY YEAR.
Don’t fight the feelings around this holiday. Give advertising and marketing its due for being the King of Brainwashing. And remember, tomorrow it will be over for another 365 days! The holiday, not love!