From a young age, we are exposed to the idea that the more candy attached to cards with your name in a mom’s handwriting you have in your sticker covered paper bag, the better. And then as we get older, anonymous ‘candy grams’ will be sent to you in fifth period and the feeling of only getting one from your best friend was the pits. Now, getting flowers at work is the ultimate badge of honor, unless you are me and your dad is the one who always sends them. I think it’s the best, but the looks of judgement say otherwise.
Ya, you guess it. It’s that time of year again ladies. The much anticipated and even more loathed Valentine’s Day is here. I am sure those two words bring on two very distinct reactions.
one) butterflies, anticipation and excitement.
two) dread and loathing.
I’ve agreed with the cliche that most pesimistic or sarcastic women spew to their girlfriends over wine and pizza in their sweats. The movies have ruined us. Life and relationships are nothing like The Notebook. Blah blah blah. Frankly, I am bored with it. I just don’t think one day should be the narrative for a relationship.
Truthfully, I fall somewhere in the middle of it all. I don’t love the Hallmark holiday and I don’t hate it either. I have never had a bad Valentine’s Day really. In my twenty eight years, I have had what I consider three serious relationships. Number one in high school that lasted about six months and February was not included. Number two was an eight and a half year relationship that had a few great ones and a few ones that felt forced. But there was always a sense of effort. The third, is relationship number one revisited. That high school boy who was my first love and my first terrible heartbreak is now the one I love again. This particular one makes me feel a small amount of those butterflies.
The best part of Valentine’s day past are the not so perfect gifts. One time, I was sent a potted plant with a lady bug sleeve made of felt wrapped around it. Another, I was given two t-shirts, one small and one large because he was unsure of my size (MEDIUM?!) The best part? One of the shirts was this.
Do you recognize it? Yup, it’s form the Hills. But then again, considering the leg stands and jello shots being consumed during my life at that time, it was probably perfect with just enough room for my beer belly to fit under. These still make me laugh, they are the best part of the holiday’s past.
Anyways, back to my real dilemma lies. And I use the word ‘dilemma’ very lightly. I like to play the cool girl role. The “I don’t care about this holiday, don’t worry about it”. Secretly, I want it all. I have found myself feeling this need for the big romantic gestures. The candlelit dinners and amazing, over the top gifts. Maybe because I am happy in what I have, I want that movie scene to be my own. But really, does a Valentine’s Day dictate it all?
I don’t think so. I think the little things like a reach for your hand in a movie or the belly laughing over the stupid things is what counts. So that is where my focus has been turned to. It’s not an easy task. We are in a world where comparison, envy and gloating are king. Even as I write this, I have read and re-read every sentence to make sure it doesn’t sound like any of those adjectives. I believe true happiness lies within the little things. The happiness that you have in your day to day encounters. Everything else is just icing the proverbial cake. Am I perfect in my practice of these preaches? Not one single bit. But this is my new mantra. With that said, I hope your Valentine’s Days are full with girlfriends, wine and laughter or the grand gestures that make your heart flutter.