I hope that all is well with you, and you’re having fun. This week is the Valentine Lottery, so to speak, hoping you get cards, flowers, dinner, chocolates, and maybe even an engagement ring!! My first big Valentine disappointment was in third grade, when I was the only girl in class who didn’t get a Valentine, but I made up for it in later years, when I got two Valentine’s Day marriage proposals. One lasted for eighteen years, and the other one for eight. that’s pretty respectable by today’s standards, and the proposals were wonderfully romantic. And so were the weddings that resulted.
I’ve had some truly inglorious years with no flowers, no chocolates and no marriage proposals (although my children always come through for me and spoil me!! And I spoil them too). There is definitely something very exciting and romantic about Valentine gifts, but some men just aren’t into it, and consider it crass commercialism and avoid the date entirely. And I’ve given and received some outrageously funny Valentine cards, refusing to take the date seriously. That is definitely one way to handle the date. The worst possible way to handle the date is to sit at home, crying. I went to mass one year on Valentine’s Day, and the priest asked all couples to stand up so we could see them, and celebrate them and congratulate them. And then he asked all the single people to stand up, and I felt as though he were saying “We want to take a good look at you losers”. Standing up there alone, with people staring me was definitely a low point in my Valentine history.
There are such strong expectations on Valentine’s Day, if no one makes any romantic moves, and no one proposes, it definitely feels like you lost the Valentine lottery. The night before my first Valentine proposal, I gave a Valentine Dance that was a huge amount of fun, I wore a terrific red dress, and everything came together and my husband proposed. I don’t even know who I would invite to a Valentine Dance to today, although I love the idea, I love to dance, and I had a lot of fun at that dance, and the proposal came as a wonderful surprise!!! today, my friends have either settled into couples long since, or have parted company with their mates, or have settled into looser, more unofficial relationships that seem to work with them, and a few claim they are happier alone. There is not quite the feeling of expectation more typical in one’s twenties or thirties. But it’s never too late, and some couples find each other late in life (sometimes even a person they went to school with and have reconnected with, once they are free again.)
Many years ago, I gave a very funny Valentine dinner. I invited a group of people, I think a dozen of them, and each one had to bring someone that they were happy to introduce to others, thought they were a nice person, but had no interest in dating them. It was a fun evening, and I think four or five new couples resulted from it. It was a creative way to meet new people!!
This year, I am trying something different. I am having lunch with five friends whom I thoroughly enjoy and love dearly, and it will be a joy to have lunch with them. Two are married, one is separated, one is widowed, one divorced, and one is in a long term relationship. It will be warm and fun to be with them, we all know each other well and are good friends, and maybe the best way to spend a special day, if romance isn’t in the air, is to spend it with friends you love. And you just never know what surprises life will have in store for you next year!!! Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, with whoever you spend it with, a child, a friend, a spouse or a lover, and have a great week!!!
all my love, Danielle