Always Send Me Flowers (In Defense of Valentine's Day)
Valentine's Day gets such a bad rap, because as human beings we have become so jaded and bitter, that if we aren't actually in a relationship ourselves, we stick our noses up at all of the photos of chocolates and candy and flowers and cards, along with the public professions of love on someone's Facebook profile. Not to mention the lovey dovey Valentine's Day photos that get shoved down our throats like we were a German Shepard taking a vitamin.
When I was a child, I loved Valentine's Day. I thought it was so much fun to have my mother take me to Rose's to get a box of valentine cards to make for all of my classmates, especially the one that I happened to have the biggest crush on that week. I always hoped for something special from a "special someone", but that never happened. We were really too young.
In high school in the 80s, the big thing for Valentine's Day was to order a red, white, or pink carnation and have it hand delivered during class to your friend, crush, or main squeeze. Sadly, I don't think I ever got a carnation that wasn't just from a friend, but that's okay.
When I started dating my husband, I would get flowers and cards for no reason whatsoever!! It was the BEST! Once the kids arrived, Valentine's became about the family. Any gifts I got were from "Dan, Chris, and Katie" and started with something like, "We love you, Mom." Now don't get me wrong, I loved this, and the kids had a blast picking out cards and signing them. I treasure every single one. At some point, though, I remember being a little sad that the holiday was no longer about us as a couple.
Now I'm divorced, my children are grown, and I don't have anyone special in my life. Not in that way. But here's the thing. Just like kids believe in Santa Clause, I still believe in Valentine's Day. I mean, think about it. After all that people our age have been through, all the love and loss, marriage and divorce, and babies leaving the nest, to be able to keep looking at Valentine's Day through rose-colored glasses says to me that there is still hope in this world. Hope that two people, whether it be man and woman, man and man, woman and woman, can meet, fall in love, and put in the work to keep that love going for the rest of their lives. I have that hope.
Last Valentine's Day, I remember a physical therapist making a mockery of the flowers that one of the employees had just received from her husband. She said, "I tell my husband never to get me flowers. They're just not practical." Well, Nurse Ratched, I've got news for you - LOVE ISN'T PRACTICAL!! And what's more, it shouldn't be. Love makes us stupid, crazy, silly, it makes us lose sleep, and to agree to go to events we normally wouldn't be caught dead at simply because the one we love enjoys it. And let me tell you something, after all I've been through, I'm still 100% here for it.
ALWAYS buy me flowers.