Thursday, February 14, 2008


There's something about Valentine's Day that always makes me soft and velvety inside. I've never had a Valentine in the traditional sense of the word... Mom always made us little baskets like Easter preludes with a few chocolate goodies (always a Reese heart for me) and a little gifty tidbit inside. Sometimes I got flowers... There was never anything big or striking or extravagant, just a sweet little day marked by pretty little things.

In my teenage years, there were several Valentines that I despised-- a season when everything about the American landmark day for romance repulsed me... Always a true romantic at heart, I was utterly disgusted by the realization that the candy hearts and paper cut-outs and pink-wrapped Hershey kisses mass-marketed and filling my local Target's shelves were being equated with the grandiose, epic, soul-stirring force that is Love. The fact that February 14th is essentially National Date Night, how every man in a romantic relationship is societally obligated to buy plastic-wrapped chocolates and red roses at Safeway before taking his partner out to a reserved dinner at Black Angus, or otherwise shuffle his feet to jump a set of hurdles pre-set, stirred a deep loathing in me.

Deep. Loathing.

Apparently it still does, because I'm getting pretty grossed out.

I always said I'd NEVER ask or expect my beloved to do anything for Valentine's Day. I considered it an aberration of true romance to celebrate this commercialized bastardization of love and affection. "No flowers and dinner for me, thank you! I'll take it any other day, but not THAT day! Not when everybody else is doing it just because they have to..."

But then something changed. I don't know when, but there has been a softening in my heart to this heart of all holidays. Sure it's cheap and commercialized and preys on the emotions and expectations of people in love (and I use that term lightly... I sometimes wonder how many couples I know are truly in love). But just because this day cheapens love for so many, doesn't mean it cheapens love itself.

I don't know if I'll ever celebrate Valentine's Day with a man I love besides my father. But I'd like to hope that it would be a warm, soft day, full of easy surprises and lots of kisses. Not because the day dictates we should, but because it reminds us of what we know already... That we love each other. And want to care for one another. And want to delight the other.

Until that day I will enjoy my soft, sweet times alone... With flowers from Dad and a quiet dinner for one at my favorite spot. I'll sit at my table, velvety pink scarf tucked around my neck, and wait. And in that waiting know that I am satisfied. I am at rest. I am loved. I will eat my dinner alone and know that it is enough. The love I have is enough.

Happy Valentine's Day.


Aubrey said...

yes you ARE loved! we'll have another dinner for 3 again soon!


A Fabulous Nanny said...

And don't you just love the fact that we are loved by LOVE itself?!

I, personally, got a gift from my Man when I woke up this morning. I really needed the girls to be on their best behavior, and voila- they were! This NEVER happens. Ahhh, God's such a romantic :)

A Fabulous Nanny said...

oh, and i changed my thing back to no longer afabnanny. :)

Mr. Fallon said...

You too.

Adric said...

Jessica, you're a truly inspired soul. This just made my day. Remind me, next time you're up north, to burn you the collection of v-day mixes i've made over the years for the express purpose of celebrating but not actually celebrating the holiday. I think you'd enjoy them.