“Baby, we’re the new romantics. You can come along with me. Heartbreak is the national anthem. We sing it proudly.” ~Taylor Swift
In my entire adult life I’ve been single for technically only one Valentine’s Day so maybe I should have absolutely no clue how it feels to those who are single on this most “couple-ish” of holidays, but I think I can imagine it pretty well.
You see all these people going about in pairs, looking at each other with mooning eyes, and handing each other lavish chocolates and recently dying flowers that still maintain their vibrant red color. You pass by the entire wall’s worth of cards dedicated to the very concept of love, and you wish you had someone to share it with, but since you don’t you hate all of the sentiment attached to this “day of love.”
And at the same time I was the one buying those cherries, dipping them in chocolate (and doing it badly, mind you), and giving them to someone who didn’t care one way or another about the “things.” Because Valentine’s is supposed to be about showing love, not showing who can be the gaudiest, or about who has the funds to hire a Barbershop Quartet to serenade their girlfriend at work (luckily it falls on a Saturday this year – phew!), or even about which card sings and which card doesn’t (the difference is a whopping 8 bucks).
Showing love doesn’t mean buying things. It means spending time, which is why so many have co-opted the holiday to include things other than romantic love.
Good for you! Seriously, though, St. Valentine himself was all about love in all of its forms. Remember when you were in grade school and you loved the day because you got to hand out little cards and little candies to everyone in the class. You probably also hugged everyone like it was going out of style because love meant being there for each other, enjoying each others’ company. It meant spending the time together, laughing and having fun, and it should still mean the same even now that you’ve grown up.
Sure, your friends are now old like you, and maybe they don’t remember that feeling from grade school, but you do, and you can bring it back. Valentine’s doesn’t just have to be about those of us fogies who’ve been together with another fogie for an eternity. It can also be about bringing back familial love, agape love, the love of family and friends. Bring back those little cards and those cheap little chocolates, or at least the feeling that they brought, instead of hating on those people who can appreciate the other type of love, that romantic feeling that can fizzle and fade. Because remember — it’s your friends and family who have been there for you, and who will be there for you regardless of what goes on.
Oh, and I like Hershey’s chocolate bars best. Thanks for remembering.