If Valentine’s Day were a person I would be defending her, taking her to lunch to help “pump” her up, and unabashedly wondering why people are avoiding her at all costs. I mean, geez, she’s just a pink and red Hallmark holiday moment. She doesn’t smell. Dress weird, or have bad breath.
It seems the truth is, or at least what seems like the truth based on all the email blasts I have been getting from love coaches in the last few days, is that if you are single on this holiday then you should accordingly be depressed, sad, hopeless and bitter. You should need to take a class to feel better, be mad that the guy you have been casually dating hasn’t “stepped up” to the plate. If you are in a relationship, you should feel “bad” for putting pressure on your beloved to show up with a bit of romance on Sunday. In fact, one email I got said that she and her partner were “boycotting” Valentine’s Day because they show love towards one another daily.
STOP the presses. REALLY, now. Does Valentine’s Day deserve to be trashed?
Quite frankly, this is the first Red Holiday that I have had a relationship in my life in six years. While the Brit and I chose not to exchange gifts during the winter holidays, (we went on a family vacation, instead) I decided I would like to acknowledge the love we have for each other during February. Here’s how it went down:
1. We discussed holidays, gift giving and the general expectations we each have for such holidays. I told The Brit that I am big into birthdays, Mother’s Day and since I am very blessed to have lots of love in my life (including the love from my three daughters) I like to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
The Brit said that as an immigrant, he has never been into the Hallmark Holidays, but is open to living La Vida Loca when it comes to a partnership with me. He admittedly botched Halloween, didn’t really get Thanksgiving, but is ready to start fresh in 2010. He asked for direction, suggestions, and a goal.
2. As February 14th approached, we talked about how and when we would celebrate Valentine’s Day. I told him I always buy my daughters small tokens (including chocolate — they are girls, after all), and have traditionally made a heart-shaped chocolate cake to serve at breakfast, given the girls their gifts, decorated the table with confetti hearts, and spent some special quality time together during the day. I told him I am a slight dork, and created this tradition the year I got divorced, to celebrate the Girl Power in my house, honor each other’s femininity, show each other love, and take advantage of an opportunity to eat chocolate together! As a result, even though I was divorced and then single for six years, Valentine’s Day became one of my favorite holidays.
3. We decided that we will have a family celebration on the 14th, and spend time together one evening next week when he isn’t working late, and my daughter’s are with their dad. I told him I “made” him a gift (yep, I did that, no button-down from H & M). He knows that I expect he will express his thoughtfulness with a card or other token on Valentine’s Day. He also knows that to me, the token does not have to be a diamond or other such typical Valentine’s Day gift. In fact, the engraved stapler he gave me for my birthday last year (it was a symbolic token and you can read more about it in a blog posted earlier) was one of the most romantic, brilliant and wonderful gifts I have ever received. He knows this because I expressed my expectations. Woohoo!
The result? I’m not sitting here hoping he “get’s it,” “figures it out,” or does something “amazing” to surprise me. The result is that we are putting some effort and intention into our romance because sometimes it gets lost between homework, making dinner, laundry and working til midnight.
So this is the real truth; a reality check so to speak — The truth is that if you choose to lament, boo-hoo, or go bash red piñata’s with your girlfriends this weekend because you feel like being single is “bad,” then it’s what you are choosing to feel, think and do. If you are in a relationship, I say, why not make your lover a red cut-out card covered in xoxoxoxs? Tell him or her you want to make February 14 a day to celebrate each other.
Yup. It’s that simple.
Here’s an option: Have fun! Create the Life You Love! Go see that Valentine’s Day move with your girls, or your boyfriend. Eat popcorn, laugh, pine over Bradley Cooper (he is in this movie, isn’t he? I mean, he’s in every ensemble cast move I have seen in the last 18 months, right?) and celebrate your life — the one you love because you are blessed to wake up, walk, breathe and have food in your refrigerator! Go volunteer with someone. Spend time with your nieces or nephews. Indulge them in one of those giant-sized Hershey Bars. Take them to ice cream. Or even offer to watch movies with them while mom and dad get nutty at the Best Western. Call an old friend. Spend time with your mom, or your dad. Be grateful for their place in your world.
The point is this: You don’t have to trash Valentine’s Day. She’s not so bad. She’s just a day that was created to sell cards and RE-MIND the general public to step out of their frenetic, harried lives for just one moment to tell someone — any person for whom you have feelings of love — that you LOVE him or her. That’s it. That’s all.
Now, go find someone in your life to say, “I LOVE YOU too, and then remember to be nice to all the holidays. Even Valentine’s Day. It’s not her fault. She was just born that way.
Want more? Check out www.datingwithdignity.com!