This week was Valentine’s Day. That one day a year that brings to mind roses, chocolates, wine and a special dinner out. The day when the one who loves you most is supposed to do something extra to let you know, and vice versa.
When I was a growing up, my siblings and I would spend hours shaping valentines out of colored paper or, if we were lucky, mom would buy us each a box of assorted cards made special just for school aged children to share. You remember, the ones with all those corny jokes only children find funny. We’d decorate shoe boxes, cut a slit in the top, and bring them to school in the hopes they would quickly fill with cards and heart-shaped candies from our classmates. Some teachers required that if you brought a card for one you had to bring a card for all, hoping to spare the less popular kids the heartbreak of receiving only a few, or maybe none.
As we got older, valentines became something we gave a special someone, not every friend or classmate, and receiving a valentine meant someone “loved” you. Not receiving a valentine meant you were sad and alone. You could tell just by the look on a girl’s face in the hall whether or not she’d received something. It was even better if it came anonymously. Girls would spend hours, days, with their girlfriends trying to guess who the secret admirer might be.
Even as adults, long-married and confident in the love of our spouse, we still like to have that little affirmation, some simple little gesture that says “I still love you and I am so blessed to have you in my life.” But should it have to be this way?
I don’t mean the gestures that speak of our love for each other. Everyone needs that from time to time. No one should feel like they’re anything but cherished. I’m talking about having a special day on the calendar specifically designated for saying I love you. Shouldn’t every day be Valentine’s Day? Why do we have to be reminded to do something special for someone? I recognize that we live in a very busy fast-paced world but it takes little time, and sometimes no money, to do for others. A nice dinner doesn’t have to be at an expensive restaurant. Cook dinner at home and use the good china, light a candle, pour some wine. And, for goodness sake, turn off the television and turn on some nice music. Talk to each other! If you have two left feet no one has to know if you dance at home. You could even try out some new risqué moves without fear of either making a club full of people ill or, on the other hand, getting arrested for indecent behavior. Perhaps later you can read aloud to each other from a favorite naughty romance book. If you need a few recommendations, just ask. I know some people.
The point is, there are all kinds of things you can do for your loved one any day of the week or year. Use your imagination. Have a little fun. Don’t wait for February 14th to show someone you love them. Surprise him or her when they’re least expecting.