I Don’t Hate Valentine’s Day

MJLife34 Comments

So, here we are. Stores are full of big red hearts filled with candy. Silk boxers patterned in Cupids or covered in “I love you” show up next to bustiers and feather trimmed lingerie, displayed prominently in every department store. February 14 is here. Another Valentine’s Day. Time to commence the annual this is just a greeting card holiday/ I hate Valentine’s Day/ can we just skip right to St. Patrick’s Day and green beer, please! grumbling.

Right?

No. Not me. I’ve made my peace with Valentine’s Day – and not just for half-price chocolate on February 15.

Oh, it wasn’t easy. I’m 46 and single. Twice-divorced, actually. I’m not dating anyone particularly important and there’s no one out there I’m hoping will change that status. All of the above puts me in the prime “I hate Valentine’s Day” demographic.

Except that Valentine’s Day is about love, and I choose to celebrate love in all its forms.

I consider myself very fortunate when it comes to love. For one, I have a few really great friends who are as important to me as anyone with whom I share blood. There are families we’re born into and families we choose, and I am very lucky that the family I choose manages to put up with me, my sometimes difficult attitude, and my habit of hibernating in solitude for long stretches of time. My BFFs are the family I choose and I love them.

a baby girl and little boy at the beach

My favorite photo from their childhood

Two more reasons I celebrate Valentine’s Day are a little boy and a little girl who, even though they’re all grown up now, will always be my babies. Having them in my life made me a better person. There were times when they were the reason I got up in the morning, why I didn’t give up or give in, why I put one foot in front of the other and just kept moving. When they were little, the Valentine’s Baby always brought them a box of chocolates and even to this day, that’s a tradition I still keep. If I forget, my daughter reminds me – “Where’s my chocolate, Mom?” My children taught me what it means to love completely.

E at 2, in a funny tshirt

Now, how could a kid this cute get in trouble?

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day is about love, and love is a 3-year old little boy who thinks playing hide-n-seek means crawling under the covers of my bed and giggling “Here I am, Nona!” when I start hunting for him, and love is a baby girl who’s all big blue eyes and wide, happy smile and the reminder that life goes on, one child at a time.

my granddaughter and her big blue eyes

nothing but big blue eyes

 

 

 

 

 

I celebrate Valentine’s Day because I’m grateful that love has been a part of my life. I fell in love with my first husband with all the passionate fervor of my youth and because I did, I have two beautiful children who have given me two beautiful grandchildren.

And I was lucky enough to fall in love again with a man who walked out of every dream I’d ever had and was everything I ever wanted and who, to be honest, I still love. My life is better because I had that experience, because I know what it feels like to love someone that much, to have feelings go that deep. Hurts like hell sometimes, too, but I like to think that even if I’d known in advance that this would be the price I’d pay, I would have risked it.

I celebrate Valentine’s Day because my mom is still with us, because I have brothers and a sister and aunts and uncles and cousins who share my memories and remind me of my roots.

I celebrate Valentine’s Day because it’s about more than lingerie and jewelry commercials and chocolate and overpriced flowers.

I celebrate Valentine’s Day because I’m surrounded by love and love is good.

So here’s your challenge – find your own reason to celebrate Valentine’s Day, one that is about you and your own life and not Hallmark or Godiva or 1-800-Flowers.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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MJ

48/DWF."I don't entirely approve of some of the things I have done or am or have been.But I'm me. God knows, I'm me." Elizabeth Taylor
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MJI Don’t Hate Valentine’s Day

34 Comments on “I Don’t Hate Valentine’s Day”

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  1. Avatar of Heather
    Heather

    My boyfriend and I decided that V-day would be a time to have a nice dinner that’s usually above our typical price-range just because. We also decided that we’d save gift-giving for the summer when we aren’t so burned out on gift giving and receiving.

    So on V-day I spent the day receiving online cards from my friends and leaving messages on my friends’ FB walls letting them know that I love them.

    I like this tradition, I think I’ll save V-day for my friends.

  2. Avatar of Darcy
    Darcy

    I’ve always kind of liked Valentine’s Day for the reasons some other commenters have stated: to me, it’s always been a nice day to tell friends and family you care about them. My mom always gave me and my brothers chocolates on Valentine’s Day when we were growing up, even mailing mine after I moved away for school. I normally give/send valentines to my friends, and this year I sent a care package to my BFF whose boyfriend just deployed a couple of weeks ago.

    This is the first year I’ve been genuinely sad (okay, and really increasingly pissy throughout the day) about all the ladies in my office getting flowers delivered, but it’s because I’m in a relationship-that-we’re-no-longer-calling-a-relationship with the guy who I had a real relationship with for almost two years, and was about to move in with, when things sauntered vaguely south. And that’s not really Hallmark’s fault.

  3. Avatar of
    chocolate clusters

    Usually Valentine’s Day is also my Dad’s birthday AND also my grandma’s (on my mother’s side) birthday, and my grandparents (on my Dad’s side) marriage anniversary, so I’ve never really been able to focus on the love aspect of the day until I moved away from home to go to college. (There are major celebrations at home this time of the year, anyway, with marriages and birthdays within months. We’re all a bunch of winter babies.) This year, I will celebrate Valentine’s Day because I have two of the most amazing people for my parents. And this is the first time in two years my sister is within driving distance of me. I baked a cake in honour of my dad (banana bread is his favourite).I also celebrated being me. I mean, there are tons of things about myself I don’t like, but it’s kind of nice being who I am and living the life I live and doing the things I do. Other people might say I don’t have much of a social life, but I hang out with people I love and I frankly don’t like the idea of “social life == attending parties!”. So yeah, I’m happy.

    Thanks for showing me that one can find good things in a relationship that used to be great but has since ended.

  4. Avatar of freckle [M]
    freckle [M]

    I told my parents I loved them in a very non-Valentine’s Dayish (Retro Space Comic Cover) card. And my boyfriend surprised me with not very Valentine’s but still much appreciated gifts. It’s about the thought, no matter what day. Right?

  5. Avatar of geek geek gal
    geek geek gal

    I like this article alot.  But I still hate Valentines day.  I like mother’s day because mother’s day! now THAT is about love :D

  6. Avatar of Hygeia
    Hygeia

    This is why I love Valentine’s Day too. I know we are supposed to show our love every day and not just on one holiday, but it’s nice to have a day to celebrate it! There are commercialized aspects that I don’t like, such as the message that a man has to give his significant other diamonds (from a mass marketed collection!!) or he fails at relationships. For me, it’s more about making sure I take some time out of my day to remind my friends and family that I love them. Plus, clearance candy day tomorrow!

  7. Avatar of GwenBear
    GwenBear

    I’m with you.  I’ve always liked Valentine’s Day, even when I’ve been single.  I used it as a chance to tell my friends I loved them, wear lots of red (my favorite color) and make construction paper hearts. I get how it can be upsetting – once in a while it hurt – but for some reason it never got to me on that level.

  8. Avatar of C. Marie
    C. Marie

    My brother’s birthday is on Valentine’s Day, so growing up the day was about him.  We would have a Valentine’s card exchange either the evening before or at breakfast before going into full-on Birthday Kid Gear.  Now, with the Mr, it’s last minute “Holy crap, I totally forgot so here’s this…thing!  Maybe a card…”  The best part about Valentine’s Day is waking up my brother with a long-distance phone call, making the extra effort to get home in time to call my parents (we’re a nine-hour difference), and an extra long hung from the Mr when we get home.  Ah, love!

    1. Avatar of MJ
      MJ

      One of my BFFs birthday is also today!  I’ve had more fun posting the funniest naked Cupid pics I could find all over his Facebook.  *lol*

      1. Avatar of C. Marie
        C. Marie

        LOL!  Naked cupids… sadly, doing that to my brother’s page would probably be seen as inappropriate.  (Not like this hasn’t stopped me before, but dangit, our mom checks his page!)

    2. Avatar of mxandb
      mxandb

      So… ah, today is my birthday.

      Thankfully, no one called at 5am. :) But I do expect a call from my mom around 3pm – the time I was born. I’m not sure who came up with it first but she and Lorelai Gilmore have very similar tactics. Thankfully, I was born in the afternoon so instead of a midnight story of “How I Was Born” – I get an afternoon call. :)

      1. Avatar of mxandb
        mxandb

        No, wait, she just called. :) This time she chose to call at the time that my dad told her it was time to leave. She didn’t want to go yet because she wanted to finish her lunch knowing that they wouldn’t feed her at the hospital. But at 12:15 he got too nervous and made her get in the car. She still wishes she had eaten more.

        I was born 2 hours after getting to the hospital. And yes, she did thank me for being so quick. :)

  9. Avatar of Alex
    Alex

    A few of my LGBT friends and I got together today to celebrate the fact that we can have a Valentine’s with the people we love, if we should choose to. Even though it was slightly depressing (we were focusing on the parts of the world where people can’t openly love the way they want to) it was also very motivating, and reminded us all to be thankful for being single with options.

    Of course, I’m 17, so who gives a shit about relationships? I’m just lucky I don’t hate everyone.

    1. Avatar of MJ
      MJ

      It’s slightly depressing to realize there are places like that right here in the US of A.  But, things are etting better, one step at a time.

      (I would say you do care about relationships, hence your celebration with your friends. Which is a relationship. Does that make me sound like your mother?  *lol*)

      1. Avatar of Alex
        Alex

        My mother would probably say “You don’t hate everyone?”

        But yes, you’re right. Also I’m now a Unicorn. I may stick at this rank.

  10. Avatar of Kristin Jeannie
    Kristin Jeannie

    I just posted something similar in the OT. My mom always gave us a card and a little gift when we were growing up, and my friends and I exchanged valentines even through high school, so I honestly never saw it as just a romantic holiday. I think it’s just a nice day to remind the people most important to you that you love them.

     

      1. Avatar of Bryn Donovan
        Bryn Donovan

        I was just saying this the other day…we (Hallmark) actually sell more non-romantic than romantic Valentine’s Day stuff…and therefore, we make more non-romantic than romantic stuff for the holiday. :)

        1. Avatar of MJ
          MJ

          Not that there’s anything wrong with Hallmark!  I still have a set of the kissing bears and I’m not giving them up!

  11. Avatar of mxandb
    mxandb

    No one says you have to give any thing to somebody today. But it sure is great to give someone the love they need.

    I have always rolled my eyes at those calling it a Hallmark holiday and hating the day all together. They don’t like Hallmark (or any of the other companies), sure. They don’t like the cards. That’s fine. But to put down the day simply because our capitalist culture (it’s not like this shit doesn’t pop up for Christmas, Thanksgiving or St Pat’s day) is injecting itself into our lives? You are not required to give cards or candy or flowers. But it is pretty great to tell someone, “Hey, Happy Valentine’s Day. I love you.” Try it. It feels wonderful. They feel wonderful. Not a penny was spent. Just love was shared.

    Though, I did get my office Valentine’s Day cards that are scratch-n-sniff. The box of 12 cost $1. And they are awesome. Everyone loves them. They feel special and I get to make them feel special for those few moments.

    It’s fun. And anyone who hates fun is no fun. But I’ll still give them a scratch-n-sniff card of chocolate cake. 

     

      1. Avatar of mxandb
        mxandb

        Oh, I’m sorry. :( I have one left over but it’s cherry candy scented. I gave my manager and supervisor the chocolate cake ones.

        (you can find them at the dollar store) :)

    1. Avatar of CijiTheGeek
      CijiTheGeek

      THIS! I was just saying that the cries of  “V-Day is a made up holiday!” were starting to grate my nerves. EVERY holiday is a ‘made up holiday”!  I don’t see anyone complaining about getting shit-faced on March 17th, eh?  And those folks shouting “if he loved you, he’d buy you roses the other 364 days!” Like, really?!  I dunno… I find most folks on my fb feed complaining about the capitalist nature of this day are cheap married men who hate being expected to do anything nice for their wives, like, ever.  I see you.

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