Last night, while watching the (crazy, whacked out) Grammy Awards, I started sifting through my Twitter timeline. And it was already turning sour.
Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day and that brings out the Negative Nancys and the Donnie Downers. “It’s a made up holiday.” “I don’t have a Valentine.” “I don’t need a corporate day to tell someone I love them.” Blah, blah, blah. Yadda, yadda, yadda.
I have always loved Valentine’s Day. From the time I could hold a crayon, I’ve worked diligently to produce Valentine’s for all my closest friends and family. My mom even invented a fictitious character, The Valentine Monkey, who is, as one would expect, a giant monkey that brings Valentine goodies to good little girls. I always imagined him in a bell-hop costume with the little hat..and later on in life I’ve wondered why she didn’t just say Cupid was bringing me presents…I digress.
Now, just because growing up I got amazing boxes of chocolate or cute little stuffed animals on February 14 doesn’t mean I haven’t had my share of shitty Valentine evenings. In fact, I’ve had more than one Valentine’s Day that would be enough to turn me to the bitter, dark side that gnashes teeth and forbids pink hearts within 500 feet. Yes, I spent a Valentine’s night waiting for someone to pick me up, and they never showed. I’m sorry, they did show up, at midnight, fresh from a date. And I spent another Valentine’s Day planning an awesome date for myself, and oops! he ended up taking someone else on my dream evening. It’s hard to come back from nights like that, but somehow, I’ve trudged on.
Despite those two terrible Valentine’s Days in a row, I still buy the boxes of chocolate, the cards, the stuffed animals. The Valentine Monkey always comes to visit me and my mom now. I spent last week writing out Valentine’s to nearly 30 people in my office, and attaching boxes of candies. I worked hard this year to find a Valentine appropriate for my too-hip-for-me younger cousin, because I think she deserves to know that I value our newfound closeness.
Yes, I keep giving out Valentine’s despite the fact that I don’t have a “Valentine” to speak of. I think I keep going, keep loving Valentine’s Day, keep wanting to give things to friends, because for me…Valentine’s Day has always been more about celebrating the relationships I have than telling a specific person “I Love You.” You naysayers are right; I don’t need a day to remind me that I love someone, be it a boyfriend, a best friend, or a family member. I can and should be doing that every day. No, Valentine’s Day is more about saying “What we’ve got is pretty special!” and that goes for friends and lovers. I always look at February 14 as a day that celebrates connections.
I know what you’re thinking. “Blonde, your hair looks great today” –and it does. But I also know that you’re thinking “Blonde, you’re crazy. How can I celebrate a relationship that I don’t have?”
It’s not just about boyfriends, girlfriends, fiancée, husbands, wives. It’s about friends, it’s about coworkers that make it easier to be at your job 40 hours a week. It’s about neighbors who get your mail while you’re out-of-town. It’s about your parents who will always be your Valentine. Maybe it’s about your dog or cat. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just about your relationship with yourself?
If you’re sitting there, hating Valentine’s Day I just want you to know that I’d send you a great big heart-shaped piece of construction paper that says “You’re Special” if I could. Everybody deserves a visit from the Valentine Monkey. And if you’re still pouting and not into the idea…why don’t you write yourself a valentine? I did.
Happy Valentine’s Day to each and every one of you.
xoxo The Blonde