I hate Valentines Day. On Valentines Day in first grade, I eagerly searched through the box I had decorated with my Valentines in them. I wanted to find the one Brian had given me. He was soooo cute. All the girls in my class thought so. I couldn't wait to see which one he had chosen for me, or how he wrote his name. Imagine my suprise when I saw that my valentine read "To Jenny B. I Love You". I LOVE YOU!!! My little six year old heart almost exploded with joy! I looked over at my best friend, Michele, and mouthed "I have to tell you something!" When the girls and boys got in our separate lines to go to the bathroom before recess, I was finally able to show her my valentine. "Can you believe it?!", I gushed, still on cloud nine. She got an angry look on her face, blurted "NO!", and showed me her valentine from Brian - "To Michele. I Love You". She started talking about how Brian was a turd, and the girl behind us overheard. "Hey! That's what he wrote on MY valentine!" Pretty soon all the first grade girls were in a tizzy. The toughest of them said we had to do something about this, and that is how it came to be that all the first grade girls cornered poor little Brian on the playground, yelling and waving valentines in his face. He was practically in tears as he yelled, "That's what my mom told me to write on all of them!"
In third grade, our idiot teacher thought she had a great idea on Valentines Day. She had the girls draw a boy's name out of a hat, and then that lucky boy was forced by idiot teacher to pull his desk along side ours, where we were to share each other's lunches. I'm not sure how she saw this going in her head, but this is how it went (at least in my corner of the classroom). I drew Jason's name, and I'm pretty sure I heard him groan and mumble something about girls having cooties, as he was moving his desk over. He then proceeded to eat my entire lunch, and his, without so much as a word to me. Happy Valentines Day!
In junior high (seventh grade) another wonderful tradition began. Each year on Valentines Day, there were people selling carnations. You could buy red carnations, which stood for love, or yellow carnations, which stood for friendship, and have them delivered to people at the start of the day (in homeroom). Since I didn't even have a boyfriend until I was 18, I'm sure you can guess how many red carnations were delivered my way. I would look around at the lucky girls who had red carnations, and cringe when my yellow one was delivered from my best friend at that time, Karen, with some remark like, "Who needs men? We've got each other".
In high school, when it seemed like everyone was pairing up, I would try not to puke as I looked around at the sea of girls dressed in reds and pinks, clutching their cards, roses, and chocolates, as I tried to imagine what would happen if I went around popping all those damn heart balloons!
I decided to go to a "christian" college, where we were forced, yes forced, as a whole campus, to attend chapel twice a week. (Don't even get me started on that ridiculousness). Freshmen year, Valentine's day happened to fall on "chapel day". It just so happened that out of me and the 9 girls I most often hung out with, only one had a boyfriend at the time. The day before V-Day we were all complaining about the dreaded holiday, and I formulated a plan. That is how on Valentine's Day 1991, in a huge auditorium of reds and pinks, all eyes were drawn to a row of 20 girls(my army grew), grinning and laughing and wearing nothing but black. It is a tradition I've carried on to this day. This year was the 18th year! The years that I did have someone special, I felt sorry for those that didn't.
Don't get me wrong. I definately believe that love is worth celebrating. I just don't think we need a trumped up, Hallmark driven, "Every kiss begins with Kay", "He went to Jared", pay $60 for a bouquet of flowers that would normally cost $20, call weeks in advance to make a reservation or don't eat, holiday to celebrate it. When I buy Jim something at the grocery store that he loves but hasn't had in a while I celebrate it, when I kiss Dylan's soft cheek I celebrate it, when I watch Jim rough housing with Dylan I celebrate it, when I listen to my parents making Dylan laugh I celebrate it.. I celebrate love EVERY DAY.
I told Jim, as I usually do, not to buy me anything for Valentines Day this year. He listened, but he made me a card anyway.
With a guy as thoughtful as that, and a son as cute as that, who needs a holiday? Trust me, I'm celebrating.