February 6, 2013

Valentine's Day

To me, it seems as though there are two general reactions to the approach of Valentine's Day, both of which liberally invade our Facebook newsfeeds at this time of the year:

1. OMG I LUVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV MY BOYFRIEND/GIRLFRIEND/HUSBAND/WIFE/CONCUBINE, ETC. ETC. BECAUSE S/HE IS THE BEST THING EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (unless s/he forgets to buy me roses, in which case s/he is dead to me)

2. Who needs Singles' Awareness Day... I mean, Valentine's Day... anyway? Stupid commercialism. IT'S NOT LIKE WHO I AM IS DEFINED BY MY RELATIONSHIP STATUS, OK?!?!?! Give me a break. I don't need a lover to make me whole! I don't need flowers and chocolate to feel special! Besides, I can buy those myself on February 15th when they're way cheaper and, oh yeah, I'ma gonna cuddle with my dog because that's the best companion anyway, lol. So all you fools in love better stop foolin' yourselves because WHAT DOES HALLMARK KNOW ABOUT THE NUANCES OF OUR DEEPEST EMOTIONS? and like, whatever.

For some reason, people in that second category always seem to think that they have made a groundbreaking discovery or come to a clever counter-cultural conclusion by acting indifferent (which is just another way of saying jaded in this case). But when it comes down to it, they'll be a #1 next year or the year after or whenever they are finally in a relationship that survives the holidays and makes it to Valentine's Day to begin with. (Likewise, a lot of this year's #1s will be #2s for V-Day 2014. Sorry, folks. Circle of life.)

This is not to say there aren't exceptions. Take my friend Brynn, for example. She loves Valentine's Day because it's about love, and she loves love. Good enough for me. I have seen a few good examples of people who value early February as a time of showing an added measure of love and attentiveness to everyone they care about. That's sweet. I approve of that.

My approach this year is largely inspired by that whole idea, with a heart-y dash of oops, actually, maybe I'm desperately in love with the whole world and have no choice but to realize that my heart is going to shatter into a million pieces because everything is so beautiful. I'm not asking that you understand that whatsoever. Maybe the poet Mary Oliver will do a better job of summarizing my feelings, this poem being one of my favorite literary discoveries from the past year:

So every day  
I was surrounded by the beautiful crying forth
of the ideas of God, 

one of which was you.

If I can make someone—anyone—feel like that on Valentine's Day, I will consider it a success. If I can convince one person my little heart just wouldn't be the same without them, it will be a sweet occasion.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice way to look at it. Everyone could use a Valentine :)