Even before Modern Allie left her fantastic comment on my Monday post about Valentine's Day, I was still planning a preachy post about the day. Well, guess what? You get the preachy post anyway. Please note, you're allowed to disagree with me here.
So I should be complaining about the impending reminder that my boyfriend and I broke up and I'm lacking a bit in the romantic love department while every who isn't lacking puts their love on parade for me to see, right?
'Eh,' I say, while shrugging.
Once upon a time, I was all into bashing Valentine's Day -- or Singles' Awareness Day, as I so proudly proclaimed with the rest of my single brethren. The aforementioned high school sweetheart had dumped me like three days before V-Day, presumably so he wouldn't have to participate. 'Boys suck,' I said, declaring myself through with them for good. Glad that feeling didn't last too long.
But, I've learned a very important lesson about Valentine's Day in the years since. The years that I had a boyfriend to spend the day with, the celebration of Valentine's Day was usually just ok. A few years it was GREAT! But most of the time it was good but nothing special. Sure, it was nice to go out for a nice dinner or get pretty flowers, but I never felt any different about my loved one on that day compared to any other day of the year.
You know what Valentine's Days I remember most fondly? The one I spent with some of my best gal pals, eating Thai food and drinking ourselves silly. Or the one spent with the Wednesday Night Dinner group -- five gals and one guy (lucky him) -- spent eating good food and laughing our heads off. You know what Valentine's Day gift I've treasured most? The silly rainbow colored stuffed lion my mom gave me many years back that's still squished between the windshield and dashboard of my car.
And here's the lesson: Valentine's Day is best spent when it's celebrating just plain ol' love. Familial love, friendship, romantic love, the love I have for my Lucydog (I think that's what's called unconditional love?), whatever. Why should it be exclusive to romantic love and flowers? According to Wikipedia, it's Chaucer's fault for some reason, which is a shame because I love his work otherwise.
This year I'm celebrating the love everyone has shown me in the past two months when I've needed it the most, and I've had no problems getting into Valentine's Day. I had so much fun picking out a card for one of my single gal pals. I can't wait to open my mom's Valentine's goody box that just came in the mail today. Or the card that arrived bearing Lucy's name on the return address (she has mysteriously similar handwriting to my mother's -- and without thumbs!). And I'm spending Saturday evening, yes, with a guy friend so we can have some fun instead of moping about the fact that we're single. (Which, by the way, there were some great suggestions for activities. I appreciate all them all very much).
You know what all of that is a recipe for? A Valentine's Day that I might count among the most memorable.
There's also one other kind of love to remember on Valentine's Day. One that makes all those other kinds of loves possible. One that Modern Whitney proudly proclaimed as the greatest of all. Sing it with me now ...
Don't lie. You know you love that song.
Ok, I'm off my heart-shaped soapbox for now.