I have always loved Valentine's Day. When I was a kid, I loved getting the little cards from my friends and reading way, way too much into each one. I remember one time I got a card from a boy saying something about me being cute, and I seriously thought we.would.be.together.forever. Now, I'm pretty sure his mom just filled it out for him, and my love jones was strictly based on randomness. Since I also love chocolate (and have always had an affinity for the darkest stuff imaginable), my mom would always go buy me some truffles from this fancy store in the mall. I would sit on our big blue couch on Valentine's night and take tiny, tiny bites of them, trying to make them last forever. It is probably one of the best memories of my childhood.
Every year it bothers me more and more to hear so many people being anti-V-day. Yes, I get that it is commercialized. Yes, I get that it is winter and we are all in bad moods anyway and sure as hell don't need a fat kid in wings to make us feel inadequate in our love lives. But. It is a holiday that celebrates love. What is wrong with that? Love, while not being all we need (food, shelter, and a decent mascara stand up there as well), is, in a word, magical.
I don't consider myself an extremely romantic person. For instance, I didn't buy my husband a single thing for v-day, mostly because he said not to, and I knew that if there was something he wanted, he would just buy it for himself anyway. I asked him not to buy me anything, except for maybe a few truffles (!). However, I can't wait to get home. We are going to cook dinner together and share some wine and talk, sans TV, sans phone, sans children. My MIL is going to bring the kids home later, but for the moment, it will just be us, a time to celebrate our time together and the memories we have shared. No schlocky teddy bears, no Hallmark. Just time and slowness and love.
I encourage you to spend your day with the person (or persons) that you love. Even if it is not a spouse/significant other. Talk on the phone to your best friend, call your mom and laugh about the cards you used to give to people when you were a kid. Bake some brownies with a kid. Even if those people are fictional (Hey--I fucking love Law and Order and would gladly spend a holiday on the couch, celebrating my love for Lenny Briscoe) find someone whose face makes you happy and enjoy it. There is a lot of different kinds of love in this world, and it all makes the world go round. We should enjoy it, no matter what form it takes.
I have but one memory to share, something that is more funny than crazily romantic. The year that I met Matt, I was 15. We had just started dating on the 25th of January, and were still in that phase where every moment was spent in breathless anticipation of the other's next words. However, Matt also loved his trombone and was summoned away to a band concert/competition on Valentine's weekend. My mom tried to pick up the slack and took me out to get my hair cut and some other stuff. Turns out it was the worst.haircut.ever. I ended up with like this reverse mullett. And then, on the way home, I started hacking up a lung and developed what we would find out later was bronchitis. So, yeah, not my day. However, when we got home, Matt (or probably more appropriately, Matt's mom) had sent me a little bouquet with a teddy bear. It was the kind of thing you get when you are 15 and think you are the luckiest human being on the planet. I fell asleep that night, coughing crazily, wearing my Smashing Pumpkins "Zero" shirt and a pair of sweatpants, clutching the teddy bear like a 4 year old, my hair (which would be "repaired" two days later) in even worse tatters than before. My mom has the pictures to prove this.
I guess that's why I married the guy.