This originally posted last year on Valentines….I thought I would repost it for anyone who missed it.
I stopped by Walgreens today to purchase some Caritin or Walitin (Walgreen’s Brand). Usually, Walgreens is a pop-in, pop-out store. I am boycotting HEB’s version of Calitin because the packaging is TOO childproof, I always break the pills before I get them out of that little package. So I stop in Walgreens and notice there is quiet a crowd, on the card aisle. Then I remembered why, this week is Valentines Day. Since I was there, I decided to get a card.
This opinion maybe a result of being single for so long but I think Valentines is kind of a crock. It’s a “Halmark”, “American Greetings”, “Russel Stovers” holiday. In other words, it’s a lot of hype to get people to buy greeting cards and chocolate. The Woman in me loves the idea of a holiday centered around chocolate….I especially wouldn’t mind some of those chocolate covered strawberries from Lamb’s Candies (hint, hint). But in general, it’s really not THAT big of a deal.
When I was single, it was always a big deal. I wish it hadn’t been. If you were dating someone, there was all this pressure to get the appropriate gift. It was really a “Define the Relationship” holiday. Is this guy going to get me something romantic like jewlery or roses? Or will it be a little stuffed animal and a “funny” card? And more importantly, what message am I going to send to him? Do I get a serious card or keep it lite with a funny card? EEEK!! Do I cook a romantic dinner? Will we take a walk on the beach. Maybe this will be the opportunity for a friendship to develop into something more…maybe he will hold my hand or kiss me. Good grief! Just thinking about this makes me thank God for Dennis!!! It also made me think of the two best Valentines gifts I received.
The first of the most memorable gifts I received was from a very good friend who is actually very romantic, but only if you looked closely. I had been dating a guy for a short time who broke things off in December…by February, I was still a little sensitive about it (in hindsight I wish I had just “gotten over it”). I had a best friend at the time who was a guy. We spent alot of time together but we were “just friends”. We would frequently visit Mozart’s (fabulous coffee shop on Lake Austin, best desserts) and the adjoining bookstore. There was a book I really wanted called “The Path”. This bookstore was not Barnes and Nobel, their books were full price, which means that little hardback book was $20 or something. I just didn’t have the cash (I guess if I hadn’t been eating $5 cake, I would have been able to afford the book). So my friend surprised me for Valentines with the book and a very nice card. On the surface, a book may not seem like a romantic gift but it was because he was paying attention. He bought me something he knew I wanted rather giving me all the “traditional” Valentines gifts.
The second most memorable Valentines Day gift came from my friend Alice. Alice is one of the most incredible women I know. I admire her so much. She is a chemical engineer who works in the gas and oil industry (which means she usually wears coveralls and primarily works with men). I stopped by her apartment one day and she answered the door wearing her normal sweatpants and a tiara…yes, a crown. This cracked me up. Did I mention that Alice is also gorgeous? Apparently, Alice was the homecoming queen and prom queen at her highschool. Not something she tells just everyone. She told me when she is feeling a little blue, she just puts on one of her tiaras. She says that it is hard to be sad when you are wearing a tiara. Alice is pretty funny too. Well, after hearing that, I decided I needed a tiara. I had been a little blue. She did let me wear one of hers while I was visiting her that day but she wouldn’t let me take it home. Several weeks later, Valentines rolled around. My friend and roommate, Angela found ourselves without plans so we were sitting around at home, probably watching Friends (one of our favorite past times). Alice called and asked if we were at home and could she stop by. Alice arrives with an enormous basket, inside were two tiaras, chocolate, roses, and a ton of other gifts. We had so much fun that night, hanging out, wearing our tiaras and laughing! Alice knows Valentines Day. That was just the perk we needed.
So whether you are single or married, remember Valentines isn’t about the card or the chocolate or the flowers. It’s really just another day. Have fun, spend the day with people you genuinely like. Don’t try to generate “love”. Don’t be depressed if you don’t “have someone”. What the media defines as romance isn’t really romance. Romance is the first time you hold hands; it is the good night kiss standing out on the porch while it is raining. Love is all those perfect memories with the people who have made your life better. Cherish the people you love, whether they are “just friends” or something more. Remember, today’s friend may be next year’s true love.