February 14, 2010

Ode to Saint Valentine

Heed my words Saint Valentine
You'll never be a friend of mine
Disappointing is your day
Inspiring these words I say
A poet I will never be
A card of love I will not see
Now, if I could I'd find a dandy
And say "Give me chocolate candy"

I have never liked the "holiday" known as Valentine's Day.  It often seems to be a day filled with disappointment and unfulfilled expectations.  I was sitting in the cafe at Barnes and Nobel yesterday afternoon looking at fashion magazines (don't say it, don't even think it) when two young women sat down behind me and started talking.  Well, I just couldn't resist eavesdropping and here is some of what I heard.  Apparently, one of the women was questioning her relationship with some guy and seemed to be on the verge of breaking up with him.  The last statement I heard was "He even asked me what I wanted for Valentine's Day and I said he should be able to think of something.  And he'd better get the thing I want or that is the end".
To me, that is the most ludicrous statement that ever comes out of someone's mouth.  How in the world is that guy supposed to know what she wants?  He can't read her mind and she won't tell what she expects from him so he is thwarted before he even starts.
I used to work with a woman who got angry with her husband every year because he never got her what she wanted for Valentine's Day.  I asked her if she told him what she wanted and she said no and that he should KNOW what she wants.  One year they were in a shopping mall and she pointed to some teddy bear that she wanted and hinted that it would make a perfect VD present but on that Valentine's Day she was pissed again because he didn't get the EXACT bear she had pointed to.  Unbelievable.

I do have one positive VD story and it was in 1985 when I was in Oklahoma taking care of my mother as she was dying of cancer.  I was a long way from my home in Arizona and my ex (this is before we were married and subsequently divorced) made some hearts cut out of wood and painted them different colors and then painted "I love you" on them.  They were all different sizes and I loved them.  What a very sweet and appropriate gift for Valentine's Day, something homemade and from the heart.  My mother died a few months later and I went back to Arizona and married my ex the next year.  It was a wonderful time and I cherish the good memories.                              

Valentine's Day should be a day of celebrating love, not being disappointed by what didn't happen or by what material gift you didn't get.  Next year, skip the  crappy store bought card and make something meaningful.  Write a poem to your loved one.  Bake a cake or some other confection.  And whatever you do, say "I love you".


  1. Anonymous11:36 AM

    Remember the old days in Country Estates when we used to hand out those meaningless little valentines that your mother bought in bulk.

    We didn't really pay attention to what the valentine said but the fact that we got one. It was an innocent time and an innocent act of handing out valentines but I gotta say it was nice dragging them home for my parents to see. It amazing how a simple, routine act like that can stick in your memory.

    I wish YOU a Happy Valentine's Day, friend!

    Randy Roberts

  2. Anonymous11:45 AM

    I did what I thought was the adult thing and told the man I was seeing exactly what I needed and wanted for Valentine's Day and he ended it in an email. Just shoot me now. I can't win. Men are more trouble than they're worth and please let me be done!

    You're done, Karen's done and so many other women I know. I need that eternal flame of optimism to die! Give me strength to blow out the fire.


  3. Cousin3:32 PM

    Valentines Day took on a whole new meaning as a mother of an elementary-aged child. I was homeroom mother most years (by choice) and knowing that kids don't really want to express LOVE they just want candy and a reason to go ape for an extra hour. Had lots of fun making up games with prizes and doing something so the teacher would feel appreciated. My husband doesn't like surprises but he makes me think that getting "some" is a VD "given" (hey it's cheap and as the years go by it's getting quicker and easer) Anonymous Cousin entry ;-)


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