and over hiding all of the above
(which was making me kind of weird).
Emotions were all in excess, which was hard to handle.
Today is Valentine’s Day, in case you somehow have been in a coma the past few weeks and failed to see the barrage of Hallmark pink and red hung in every possible doorway.
When you’re a kid, Valentine’s Day is about giggling. It’s about slipping a Valentine’s card into the handmade pocket hung on the front of every desk, the Valentine consisting of a stiff glossy paper Winne-the-Pooh, Strawberry Shortcake, or Snoopy and Woodstock, all with perforations down three sides and the “To” and “From” written in silly red ink. Valentine’s as a kid tastes like candy hearts, whose messages you would go through until you found the one you wanted, making your fingertips chalky and your tongue would feel like you licked the top of a pottery wheel. You counted your Valentine’s and wondered if there was hidden meaning in any of them (usually there wasn’t). It was all very exciting.
As a teenager, Valentine’s Day changed a bit. Instead of punched out Valentine’s Day cards your guy or girl you were “going with” would casually hand you a cassette labelled in black Sharpie. It would invariably be some compilation that they made for you of “songs that meant something to us”, and you’d listen to it with religious fervour every day, or at least until you broke up, at which point the tape would get chucked and every song on there would mean something bad to you from then on (my list includes Always Something There To Remind Me by Naked Eyes and Can’t Fight This Feeling by REO Speedwagon. What can I say, I’m a Gen X-er?)
As an adult Valentine’s Day takes on a special meaning. It’s the day where you don’t want to be single so you’ll suck it up with Mr. Wrong just to have a Mr. Right Now. If your failing Mr. Right Now relationship made it past Christmas it’ll creak past Valentine’s Day, at which point there’s no amount of bailing you can do as that ship will sink. You have inflated meaning in the day, and everyone walks around with eyes looking slightly strung out. Men seem miserable. Women seem over-expectant. Peoples would have you believe it’s a day where every woman who is properly loved gets diamonds.
For me, Valentine’s Day has stretched and changed. I am a believer in Valentine’s Day, I admit, simply because I do think that some people need a reminder that every once in a while, the person that they’re with likes a day to feel truly loved. Maybe I’m all jaded that way, I’ve had people in my past that needed a reminder, but there’s nothing wrong with a little pink Post-It note reminder sometimes in the shape of a Hallmark holiday.
Valentine’s Day isn’t about chocolates and red construction paper. To me, Valentine’s Day as a grown up should be about letting the other person know that no matter what, regardless of the years or arguments or resentment or work life or problems or hassle or how did the vacuum cleaner get broken discussions, you’d fall in love with that person all over again if you could. Valentine’s Day is the romantic way of shouting “Do over!” in the playground and looking up and still finding that person to be absolutely amazing. Valentine’s Day is the day when you find that when you look at that person you still feel that fluttery feeling in the top of your stomach. That’s the ideal Valentine’s Day to me (and I do know that I’m being an idealist on this one), letting the other person know that you don’t regret a moment of the falling in love with them, and that you wouldn’t hesitate to do it all over again. It’s not about presents or chocolate or those chalky candy hearts (although I do like those too).
In just 5 weeks my husband and I will be on our way to Secrets Capri located in the Riviera Maya. I look forward to the beach. I want to park myself on a lounger, listen to the sound of the waves and try every yummy, tropical drink and enjoy real mexican guacamole.