My daughter made homemade Valentine’s Day cards for every single one of her 4th grade classmates. We went to Michael’s this weekend and prowled the aisles looking for just the right paper, sparkly stickers and paints. I definitely spent more than it would have cost to buy the box cards but it was worth it to indulge her artistic fervor. Her intensity to craft a unique design for every friend based on their personality, was admirable. And as I watched her paint, cut and paste the cards, I asked her why she wanted to do this project. She said, “I want to give each of them something special. A real valentine comes from the heart and not just something I’m gonna buy you.” Wow. I guess my husband and I are doing something right. I was totally impressed with her desire to express to each of her friends just how much they mean to her. We certainly don’t do this enough in our everyday life.
I’m starting to have a change of heart about this holiday. I have had this very jaded view of Valentine’s Day for a long time. I think it started in elementary school. The teachers weren’t as vigilant about giving out the class list to make sure everyone got a valentine. I would compare how many cards I got with the most popular girls in class. I always felt insecure since I wasn’t very popular or pretty. I wore thick glasses, was super skinny and had prominent Italian features I always tried to hide.
It was the same type of torture in high school. You could order candy grams for your friends that got delivered to homeroom. Some people would get tons of candy while others didn’t. It was just depressing to have this Hallmark event lorded over us during our torturous adolescent years. As I got older, this holiday didn’t become more fun. When I was single, I felt even more single. When I was dating someone, the perpetual questions such as, is he going to get me a gift and should I get him something? And in the gift exchange or lack thereof, what exactly did that mean about the budding relationship? The complications of these questions just sucked.
Now that I am married, my husband and I have just agreed not to exchange presents. We share the same opinion that Valentine’s Day seems to be a very superficial holiday. But this year my daughter has renewed a little faith in me that the intent of this holiday could still be pure. Heck, my dad says it’s the busiest holiday of the year in the erotic industry so maybe it’s not so bad. So…Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! There…. I finally said it with a hearty intention after all these years. For those of you I know and love, you’re all truly special to me.