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.