Valentine’s Day. A day – growing up – that I’d look forward to with such anticipation I couldn’t even bare it. A day where I could hand deliver a specially chosen card (from the four options provided in a pre-boxed card set) to one of my crushes and use my way with words to flirt and make feelings known (all with this to-be-expected hand delivery of a heart shaped envelope). A day which allowed me the ability to put a scoop into a container of bulk candy and I could get all my favourite flavours (red, pink and white) without having to pick the colours of gummies I want one by one, as my picky self wouldn’t dare eat a green, yellow or black. A day in which I’d awake to red balloons, streamers, a heart shaped cookie saying ‘We Love You’ on it (which I got to eat with my siblings and parents for breakfast), gifts and goodies and cards and love. Above everything love. As I think of this day, I am overcome with a feeling of warmth, of affection, of love.
For it wasn’t about the taste of the cupcakes, or the stuffed animals or the actual material items I was all so spoiled with, but instead with the thought, effort, planning and love that went into it. That even then I was ever so aware of. Of my sister on a flight home from Florida having to hold a balloon with a not-so-mini Minnie Mouse stuffed animal inside, in which she had to hold in the uncomfortableness that is airplane seats, the entire flight. But she did it just because she wanted to see the reaction on her baby sisters face. My memory isn’t the mug my brother bought for me – his green tea obsessed sister – but the fact that he searched for just the perfect one, and I knew that just from seeing his choice. I can picture him asking friends for reco’s of where to get a large mug with this particular design on it and I smile at the gesture. Of my dad – just last year making me, his baby, a heart shaped chocolate chip cookie with pink icing, quite the feat for the man who – under normal circumstances – wouldn’t be caught dead in the kitchen.
Valentine’s Day is not just any day, but it’s one that has allowed me to celebrate the love I have in my life from my family, and from friends and to give it in return. Because – as Dave Matthews Band ‘Ant’s Marching‘ lyrics suggest – we often don’t take the time to let people know how we feel. To stop. To give. To receive. To appreciate. To be.
Growing up and being awarded the most delightful of goodies and jewelery on this day didn’t make me have any sorts of expectations for Valentine’s Days’ to come, but instead allowed me see (and be reminded) about what I have. How often we dismiss a kind gesture, often only appreciating it in the moment that it is presented to us, only to forget it as we anticipate the next ‘item’ or ‘thought’ or ‘sentiment’ from someone. The makings of a ‘What’s next?’ mentality. Back then Valentine’s Day (and the accompanied hope we had to get cards from the boys we were crushing on ) was what it was; now it’s about ‘what’s next’ and ‘that’s it?’ I find that V-day as we know it in our twentysomethings seem to have more to do with ‘what makes a good story’ as our subconciously competitive selves try to one up our friends. Being concerned with and expecting a cliche and unnatural way of being from our partners on each February 14th that comes our way, is to not appreciate or be a part of what this day is all about.
Sometimes it’s tough for people to share their feelings. Sometimes it takes days such as birthdays or a holiday or an anniversary to act as a push for people to open up. Sometimes the men in our lives want to go above and beyond in their own special ways, that may not result in a five-course dinner with wine pairings and a little turquoise box. Let’s not do ourselves the disfavour of looking into and judging our mans feelings for us based on what he does and doesn’t do come V-day. Instead be aware of his presence, your hand in his, the smile he put on your face from yet another adorable joke he uttered, and just be. To experience and enjoy a day of love, is to let love and good will into your life.
– Jenny Jen
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