Valentine's Day: Not Just a Lover's Holiday
“Mooommmmmm!” Hilary screamed again, pedaling hard toward her mother.
Mom finally looked up from her conversation, worried by the desperate tone in her daughter’s voice. “What, what, hunny??” Hilary, still yards away, slowed down before reaching the carpet. She started to turn around carefully, toes bouncing on the floor for balance.
Hilary smiled at Mom—“I love you!”—and finished the turn.
“I love you too, sweetheart,” Mom shouted after her daughter. But Hilary’s back was already turned, heading down the tarmac at breakneck speed in the opposite direction.
Valentine’s Day is often touted as a day for lovers. Many hate the holiday for exactly that reason—why would anyone want to be so acutely reminded of their loneliness? And for couples…the pressure to do something romantic, something that lives up to their love for one another, often times renders it a day of nail-biting and potential disappointments rather than a day of affirmation. Probably the most unfortunate on this day are the “undecideds”—more pairs than couples, who have not yet declared their relationship one way or another. For these, the holiday can create extreme stress, as a “day for lovers” is thrust on them unwillingly. Are they lovers? Are they friends with benefits? Does he buy her flowers, or just text her “Happy Valentine’s Day!” and leave it at that?
Yes, yes, we’ve all heard these complaints and perhaps experienced them ourselves. What we haven’t done, is try to redefine the holiday. Valentine’s Day, like any day, is one hundred percent in our hands. It was created by humans, and can therefore be deconstructed and rebuilt by each one of us.
Let’s call it a day for love rather than “lovers.” Hilary, for instance, arguably loves her mother more than any other thing in the entire world. Is she barred from Valentine’s Day simply because she, at six years old, doesn’t have a “lover”? No. She goes to school on Valentine’s Day, makes a card out of doilies and pink construction paper, and brings it home for Mom. Maybe Dad left a card and a pink rose by Hilary’s bedside before he left for work that morning, and Mom greeted her off the bus with a bag of heart-shaped Dove chocolates. Or maybe Hilary left little Finding Nemo Valentine’s Day cards in each of her soccer teammates’ lockers, even the one who was mean to her at their last indoor soccer practice.
So why as we grow older do we forget that Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about having a lover? Why have we forgotten that once, as children, Valentine’s Day was about reminding yourself that you love and are loved?
On that note, I’ve asked a few random people to share with HooplaHa what they love most in the entire world….Here’s what they had to say:
“A really good book.”
“Homemade macaroni and cheese!”
“Oh wow, that’s a hard question… I don’t know!”
"Sharing a glass of wine with a good friend!"
"My kids, my wife and my family!"
"Music and dancing"
“Being with friends”
“Driving into work and seeing the Flatirons spread out before me while listening to John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High”
And me? I love PEOPLE more than anything in the entire world. They are the fabric of our memories, after all!