It's Valentine's Day, and you know what that means! It means that thousands, nay tens of thousands, of people are placing unreasonable expectations on their significant others to fulfill some requirement of romantic love driven by an unnamed corporation's need to sell candy, flowers and cards.
We don't go out of our way to celebrate Valentine's Day - but we don't completely neglect it either. The boys got some candy and action figures along with their usual allotment of annoying hugs and kisses from their mother. Dr. SmartyPants and I exchanged cards, and I gave him the box of turtles he bought for himself the other night. Surprise!
Now, I'm not bragging, but to us? Valentine's Day is just another day to show each other how much we love each other. We do it every way - in little ways - in little acts of kindness and service and mercy...
- in the way the doctor makes my coffee every morning and brings it to me while we watch the morning news.
- in the way I wash and iron his shirts for work.
- in the way he stops by and picks up Japanese food for me on a day when my oldest child has exploded in anger and left a trail for me to clean up after him.
- in the way I proofread his papers, even when I'm not entirely sure what they mean.
- in the way he brings me my retainer at night when I'm already in bed and have forgotten it (ew.)
- in the way I cook fettucine alfredo for him, just the way he likes it...with extra parmesan.
I think Valentine's Day has good intentions, but it seems to me to be a cruel holiday - one that exploits the lovers and alienates the singles. I feel that way about all the commercial, card-company holidays - Mother's Day, Father's Day, Grandparent's Day - for those who have or are mothers, fathers and grandparents, it's fine, but for those who don't or who aren't, it can be a painful reminder of that fact.
So here's my recommendation...don't wait for a holiday to love your people, whoever they are. Love notes, flowers and candy are readily available any time of year. Just listen to James...he knows what he's talkin' about...
Love and Kisses to all of you fine people...