I read a post this morning by David Snape titled “The Great Valentines Myth” which says:
“Here we go again. Another Valentine’s Day or as I call it a day for SUCKERS. Valentine’s Day is a day for some women to hold men hostage for “A RING”. A few women will receive roses, that will dry up and die just like the relationship they are in. The majority of women who get excited on Valentine’s Day, due so because this is the only day out of an entire year when their partner will express love towards them.
My hope for women on this Valentine’s Day is for them to know their own worth, and stop measuring how someone else sees their value. Women of all ages must understand the value of self-love rather than waiting for someone to show love to them. You are more precious than any DIAMOND RING. You have a beauty that Surpasses the life of any ROSE. Don’t buy into the myth that Valentine’s Day is that one special day to show your loved. The Bible says that” Love is patient, Love is kind, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hope, always perverse. ( 1 Corn 13:4-7) NIV. LOVE DOESN’T LAST JUST FOR ONE DAY. “
I couldn’t completely disagree with his words… but I couldn’t agree either.
Maybe it was because I was a girl. A girl that had been conditioned since the second grade to expect something special on this holiday of love. Back when us girls would furiously dig through our heart shaped mail boxes that sat on our school desks searching for that one little store bought card from our crushes.
“We’ll be pals to the end, Friend,” would echo through our minds until the next holiday of love rolled around and we’d furiously dig for another card from another crush and the whole spectacle would begin again.
By the time sixth grade rolled around, store bought cards were a thing of the past. Now we sat at our desks anxiously waiting for the nerdy kid at the door passing out the roses to call our names. Of course, I didn’t really care. Who wanted a rose that would shrivel up and die in a week anyway? But deep down, I kind of did want my name to be called too.
One year my name finally did get called. Oh it was wonderful. Sure, the rose was white and already a little bit on the shriveling side. None the less, it was a rose that the guy I was dating had probably got me. I didn’t even really like the guy much, but it was cool because my name had gotten called. Later that day the guy dumped me. Come to find out it was my best friend who had gotten me the rose. And thus another Valentine’s Day came and went.
A few weeks later the same guy dumped his next girlfriend on her birthday. It became a running joke through our school to steer clear of the dude around holidays. So, it probably wasn’t me….
As I aged and the years sped past like a speeding train, I got my good share of boxes of chocolates, cards, teddy bears, and flowers. Slowly but surely I turned into one of those girls that would walk into a store moments after it opened on New Years day rolling her eyes at the huge displays of Valentines gear that was littering the display shelves.
Over the years I had gotten my children the chocolates and the teddy bears and the flowers, always tucking in a Valentine designed lottery ticket somewhere among the gift. They never won much. I think one time one child won an entire dollar. Well, other than the year I got hoax tickets and tens of thousands of dollars were “won”. Regardless, they felt special scratching that little ticket, and that’s what the holiday was about.
It was about making the people you love feel special.
One year, many many moons ago, my husband still fell into the Hallmark trap of Valentine’s Day. Most of the day had went by and I had figured it’d go by like most similar holidays… non-existent. Then he ran into town to grab me some, uhhh, girly things, as such things are sometimes spontaneously needed. On his return he handed me a coffee mug full of butterscotch candy. The kids consumed the candy before my hand had fully grasped the handle of the mug… but it was a beautiful mug. Not because it was nearly double the size of a regular coffee mug, which was nice. Or because it was decorated in ridiculously obnoxious red and pink overlapping hearts, which I could have done without. It was because he had gotten it for me. Just a small token on a small day that was meant to make whom he loved feel special.
I drank out of that mug for years. Let me rephrase that… I possessively drank out of that mug for years. Yes, if you were caught using my mug you would surely get the stink eye, for days! Then one day it broke… and the sadness that filled me was more real than you would think for such a ridiculously obnoxious item, but it was there.
Many moons later Valentine’s Day passed through my husband’s and my relationship like any other day of the year. Sure, it was important that we love each other all days, not just this one. And we did. Each morning as I awaken to a pot of fresh coffee he had made for me, I knew he loved me. Every time my car broke down and he fixed it, despite being so sick of fixing my car he’d like to watch it being crushed into a little cube at the junk yard, he still fixed it every time. When we sat and talked about our hopes and dreams and plans for the future… I knew he loved me.
When Valentines Day rolled around. When I watched our children smile over the chocolates and teddy bears, flowers and lottery tickets we had gotten them I knew he loved me but… I still felt like that seventh grade girl anxiously waiting for the nerdy kid passing out flowers to call my name, and it never got called.
So many other days of the year I knew my husband loved me… why couldn’t he love me this day too?
Sure, the whole Valentine’s Day is a trap of forcing our money out of our pockets, forcing our love into the hands of a whiny little girl that left you no choice to do otherwise. In a way, I totally agree with you guys on this one. You shouldn’t ever feel like you HAVE to show love towards someone else. And those girls out there that beg and whine and stomp their feet because you WILL get them a ring on Valentine’s Day really do ruin it for the rest of us. But, so do you guys. The guys that stubbornly refuse to participate because Hallmark said you HAVE to. Who’s more important to prove your point to; Hallmark, or that girl that walks beside you through the tests and trials of life?
It may be stupid, a myth, an annoying Hallmark holiday… but every girl out there just wants her name to be called. And really, I think most guys do too. ‘Cause love goes both ways, and it’s actually okay to love each other on Valentine’s Day too.