According to Wikipedia, February the 14th has been associated with romantic love since the middle ages, when the ideals of courtly love were popular and chivalry reigned. It didn’t start to become about gift-giving, though, until the 15th century, when lovers began offering each other flowers, candy, and handmade “valentines”–a tradition which Hallmark seems happy to have taken over in the form of mass-produced cards.
I’ve never been that into Valentine’s Day. Partly it’s because I hadn’t had a proper boyfriend until I met my husband, but even when I did get the occasional flower or card from a boy, it was never from the boy I wanted to be my valentine. One year when I was in high school, we had a Valentine’s Day dance at my church. THE boy, the one I had been secretly (or not so secretly) crushing on for years, asked me to dance. I think he was just being nice. We slow-danced to ‘In Your Eyes’ by Peter Gabriel, but mostly I remember how he was so much taller than me and I had to stretch my arms way up to reach around his neck. It wasn’t very comfortable.
When I met my husband, D., our first Valentine’s Day together was magical. We were so in love, and all we wanted was to be together. I had never felt that way about anyone before, but the holiday itself still didn’t really matter. In the years we’ve been together, we’ve never made a big deal out of it, and that’s fine with me. I mean, sure, I like romance as much as the next girl, but I prefer that it be spontaneous rather than an obligation because of a particular date on the calendar. Maybe I’m missing some Valentine’s Day chip or maybe it’s because I’m low maintenance, but I just can’t get into it.
All this to say that whether you’re in a relationship today or not, whether you’re pining after someone or maybe you’re the object of someone else’s unrequited love, don’t let the expectations of the day get you down. You deserve love as much as the next person, and ultimately it’s just another day, so enjoy it for what it is.
And here’s a virtual bouquet from me to you, because chances are if you read this blog, you’re probably someone who I think is pretty great. So Happy Valentine’s Day!