What are your earliest memories of Valentine's Day? How did it become meaningful to you? When I was a wee lad, in first grade, my entire class gave out little Valentine's Day cards, typically from a boxed set. I fondly remember scribbling my to's and from's on tiny envelopes a few nights before the big day. When I was that young, having a crush was a big deal. Living on the edge meant writing, "I think you are really cool!" on her Valentine's Day card--such a bold move!
To this day, delicious heart shaped candies still haunt me with their fateful messages. Which heart speaks the truth? In the end, we spare ourselves the confusion by devouring every last one of them, ending the reign of their evil prophetic powers. A year later, they return, undaunted. The heart shaped candies know that we're helpless, having only one day to legitimately experience the joy of eating heart shaped things. After all, eating a heart shaped candy on any other day would be absurd! And why would I feel that way? I suspect that I may have learned more about appreciating consumerism than I did about history or math when I was in the first grade.
Despite being older and more skeptical, I still appreciate a few things about Valentine's Day. The thought of making a sincere romantic gesture on February 14th still makes sparks fly within me--just a revealing, creative note or poem, perhaps given anonymously. Why anonymously? Well, sometimes the subject of your adoration doesn't seem ready to consider a relationship, and you just want the pleasure of making her smile without creating tension. There are no strings attached to the anonymous poem; she smiles, I smile, and we both walk away unscathed.
If you're single and you want to celebrate February 14th in a different way, check out Singles Awareness Day. And if you really have a vendetta against Valentine's Day, check out these unwholesome mockeries of Valentine's Day cards. Also highly recommended (by me) is the watching of Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown. It can be a very cathartic experience, and Vince Guaraldi's music is brilliant. Happy Valentine's Day in advance, and feel free to leave comments with your V-Day thoughts and stories!