Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine's Day? It's a Love/Hate Thing

My "Valentine"

I grew up hating Valentine's Day. I found it very embarrassing and the source of much tension in my life. "But why?" you might ask. You see, my parents moved our family constantly throughout my school years. Each year, I seemed to be in a new school where I barely knew my classmates so giving cards for boys and girls that I didn't know or maybe even want to know was not fun. On top of that, there was no budget for buying cards so I had to handcraft them. Sure that's fine, unless the tendency was for everyone to bring in their store-bought cards, and then guess who felt like dirt! Even worse was when I grew into my teen years and the day became the uncomfortable time for unsolicited gifts from guys trying to win my affection. Silly me. 

Okay, so let's get away from my life and look at the history of this awkward holiday. Or maybe not. Have you done any research? Talk about weird. Men beating women with the fresh hides of their hunt, expecting extra fertility? And that was just the beginning of the strange tales from many pagan countries. No wonder we were taught the day was some sort of remembrance for a Catholic Saint called Valentine who died in prison. Folks back then were just trying to change the pagan holiday into something a little less crazy. 

So let's skip to life in America and our beautiful commercialism. If it wasn't for Hallmark cards rolling out their pink and red cards in the early 1900's, we probably no longer would have this holiday. Now, the candy industry, the flower industry, the jewelry industry along with card companies all work feverishly to make Valentine's Day a great day, but just remember, it's our money that fuels it.

I don't like the idea that someone wants me to join in the fuss and use their words to express love to the person I work hard to have a relationship with all during the year. But let me stop complaining.

Did you know I was engaged to the love of my dreams on Valentines Day? Do I get flowers and chocolates and go out with him on Valentine's Day - yup. So why do I fuss? I love being loved but I hate the idea that someone else tries to dictate the how and the when and where. Eric and I are spontaneous in our love, like most people. We give gifts and notes to each other when we think about it on our own, depending on how we feel at the time.  

So, I guess I will go on with my love/hate relationship with this funny day. Chocolate, romance, flowers - they are all wonderful. Every year, I will try again to fight the system by at least making my own card and not buying anything red or pink. For today, I am happy to have someone that loves me and I will have fun loving him. 

How can I not love him?