There seems to be a common theme throughout the blogosphere surrounding the celebration of Valentine’s Day. And until I re-read my thoughts and deleted the 500 + words I had written on the subject of the commercialism of the day I would have written an entire post about the monetary veil that looms over this auspicious holiday. But something changed. The words I had composed left a bitter taste in my mouth and what I had written felt inappropriate in relation to the manifestation of my tumultuous emotions.
(image courtesy of Google)
Don’t get me wrong…..I don’t hate Valentine’s Day. I, like so many of you, don’t believe in the hype of all the industry propagation that surrounds it. Candy manufacturers and card makers jump at the chance to cover their windows with hearts and arrows to remind people to spend, spend, spend for their loved ones and money is discarded on items littered with hearts and oozing with sentiment written by the prolific writing staff at Hallmark.
In a moment of what can only be described as lucidity, I realized that there are many people walking the face of this planet who are unable to show their emotion as easily as I do. There are many who do not feel as comfortable with the phrase ‘I love you’ and cannot utter it as often as they feel it is deserved and wanted. In that moment, I understood that Valentine’s Day may be the one day that they can express their love through cards and flowers. They are able to show the love they feel on a daily basis but are unable to articulate as often as they would like. After years of being disgusted by the store displays enticing people to spend money, I got it. Maybe the cards and candy hearts are the only way some can divulge their feelings without suffering the spontaneous embarrassment or discomfort of uttering those three words aloud. Because I feel so comfortable sharing the emotion I have, it never dawned on me that others do not share that luxury and perhaps this day is their moment to shine.
Many people I know are far more fortunate and have displays of love bestowed on them quite frequently. Ironically, Valentine’s Day is hijacked by those fortunate souls and held hostage with threats if they are not bathed in ornate displays of store-bought compensation. They reside on a pedestal, but still hold their partner accountable for lavish gifts and dinner, negating the fact that they see more affection in a year than others are only privy to on a day that comes once a year.
I was watching Anderson Cooper last night and his co-host told a story that brought me to tears. She read on the internet about a woman from Houston, TX who had been married for 46 years had always received a bouquet of flowers from her husband with a card that simply read “My love for you grows”. Her husband passed away and the following Valentine’s Day, the first one she would spend alone, she received a bouquet of flowers. She was angry at first and called the florist to ask about the delivery and was told her husband had prepaid for that same bouquet to be delivered on Valentine’s Day for several years to come. When she opened the card it read “My love for you is eternal”. (yes, I’m crying)
Maybe I’m getting older, maybe I’m getting wiser or perhaps I had that moment where the lightbulb finally shone brighter than it ever has in regards to Valentine’s Day. Whatever the case may be, these words from Henry David Thoreau ring true today ~ It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all of the people in my life. Whether in person or in words, you all inspire me.
A touching story on the flowers, I personally hate to commercialism of valentines days for pretty much the same reasons as you state, but I am a sheep and my mrs doesnt feel the same way, so I get the card etc etc, baaaahh
I try to treat my loved ones as though every day is Valentine’s Day. Love is the greatest gift to receive and to give and best of all, it’s free! Happy Valentine’s Day!
That’s the way it should be done! Happy Valentine’s Day to you too!
Note to self: Set up future flower deliveries. That’ll teach any future suitors!
It was a brilliant thing for him to do!
Love is love – and to celebrate love is lovely ~ it doesn’t have to come with Hallmark – it just has to come from the heart.
And we should celebrate it as often as possible.
That’s a beautiful story!
My objection to it is that many feel forced into getting the lavish gifts, or doing something htat isn’t really them, or that they particularly want to do, and wouldn’t if there weren’t so much hoopla.
On the bright side, hopefully there will be fewer jane seymour jewelry commercials starting tomorrow…
Haha….that is an excellent point. And I have friends who will not speak to their husbands if they are not taken out for a fancy dinner. It takes all of the focus off the love they get every other day and it makes me shake my head!
Hope you and TMWGITU have a lovely Valentine’s Day!!
I never celebrate it….way too much hype!! Although I’m treating myself to a nice steak and the good wine. I’m THAT special!!
That sounds good.
And much cheaper than spending the average Valentine’s Day spend of $175.00, or whatever ridiculous number it was….holy crap! My original post was quite a rant….but then I would have just sounded like a bitter, single woman, which I’m really not, so I rewrote it.
Reblogged this on polysyllabic profundities and commented:
I have never been a big fan and I was getting ready to write my rant about Valentine’s Day. Something in the back of my mind urged me to revisit the post I wrote last year and I’m glad I did. It reminded me of the epiphany I had last year and quelled the desire to spew anything negative about the day of love. I hope you take a moment to read the ‘A-ha’ moment I had last Valentine’s Day.
Happy hearts and flowers day on Friday!!
That is a nice story. Love should be celebrated. Yes, the commercialism is annoying. But I can deal with that, it’s no worse than any other holiday. It’s a day entirely dedicated to people you love, and that’s what I like about it.
I feel like I should print my post and put it on my fridge so next year I remember!!
We got married on the 20th, and by mutual compact we don’t do anything for Valentine’s Day.
A wise post. Thank you. I found the third paragraph especially insightful. 🙂
beautiful story–wonderful insight
Thank you. I’m so glad I had the foresight to read last year’s post and remember that frame of mind.
“I love you” is a sentiment stated extremely frequently in my house. I believe Valentines Day should be every day and for the most part it is in my house. My 11 year old son says it continuously throughout the day and will text it to me at recess. One day he explained his reasoning to me, he said “I don’t feel like I tell you that enough for everything you do.”. I had to fight tears. I get constant hugs from him as well. My husband says he loves us and gives hugs too, but it is the little things that shows be loves us.
I am sure I throw many of my friends off because I tell them I love them too, not just my family.
Love is important and as you said has been more materialized just like all other occasions. You are right, sometimes people feel help is needed to convey proper feelings.
You’ve raised a great kid!! My nephews still tell me they love me and that means the world to me!
I completely endorse your views.
Love is a celebration in itself. One who is really in love just can not stop himself from dancing. One day dedicated to love or a week or month that brings in the dollars is just an economic endeavor.