Oh dear, here it comes again….another one of those MAJOR days (though not as major as some) that requires some thought about how to deal with it, and is something of a personal challenge. On Thanksgiving, we get to worry about who to spend it with, or will we be alone, or do you gather lonely friends around the table, and make it a holiday about friendship, if one has no family close at hand. And then there is Christmas so full of cheer and joy and hope for some, and lonely for others, and will it live up to our expectations….New Year’s eve and who to spend it with, if there is no special someone in your life (or several special someones—that can be dicey too!!). And then there is Valentine’s Day, which is supposed to be filled with romance, flowers and candy, or maybe even a proposal (I got engaged to John, my husband for 18 years, on Valentine’s Day. Now THAT was romantic!!!!)—-but what if there is no candidate for high romance in your life, and here comes Valentine’s Day? Halloween seems so much easier when all you have to decide is if you want to wear a costume, and if so, who or what do you want to be. There are no high expectations attached to Halloween, which makes it soooo much easier. It’s the holidays that are so linked to expectations (of family, romance, or wonderful gifts, our children close at hand, and the people we love dealing with the day in all the ways we hope)—-it’s those expectations we all have that make some holidays a real challenge. And Valentine’s Day is one of them. It may seem childish, but there is a child in all of us, that hopes all our dreams will come true, at any age. So here comes Valentine’s Day again. And as I’ve said to all of you before, I’ve had some great ones and some really lousy ones. And some Valentine’s Days that just limped along.
The obvious dilemma about Valentine’s Day is that you need to be part of a couple, in some form, to really get the most out of it. A pretty dress, a glass of champagne, flowers from someone you love, a romantic dinner, a tender kiss…..a wonderful, romantic gift. It all sounds so perfect, but sometimes reality is a lonnnnnnggggg way from that as we all know. Men or women who let us down, husbands who forget the date, or no one in our life at that moment to fulfill the Prince or Princess Charming role. Then what? Who do you spend it with? What do you do? You chalk it up to one of those off years, and hope the next one will be better. It’s not a great feeling when you’re the odd man out in the game of romantic musical chairs, and you know you won’t be doing anything special this year on Valentine’s Day. When you’re alone, or not involved with anyone, it feels like the entire world is in couples, and you’ve been left out. We all assume, or most of us do, that people in couples share something really special——although that’s not always true. Some couples are living a life that none of us would want, and not everyone in partnership is happy. Sometimes, we’re actually better off alone than with a partner who doesn’t suit us, or in a relationship that doesn’t work. But it’s hard to remember that at times when it feels like the whole world is staring into each other’s eyes, and whispering sweet nothings. Only a lucky few are that happy, and I have been in my life at times…..at other times we all lead mundane lives, and romance may not be part of the picture, and Valentine’s Day is just another day, to pick up groceries, unstop the sink, or walk the dog. How’s that for romantic? Not very. But not every year can be the best Valentine’s Day of your life.
For me, I think I have the eternally hopeful attitude that love can happen at any age. The French say “Love has no age”. I like that. (And Valentine’s Day is certainly not reserved for only the young). We all hear about people who meet in their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s or 80’s and fall in love. Why not? You don’t have to be 18 or 25 or 30 to fall in love. It can happen any time, to anyone. I like keeping that door open, and see what life will bring. We have different charms that appeal to different people at every age. And whatever age you are, love may be just around the corner. There are plenty of young people these days who find it hard to meet people, and haven’t met the love of their life yet. Maybe you haven’t either. And if you have, Bravo for you!!! That’s something to celebrate. And you just never know what life has in store, the perfect person for you may be heading your way, and you just haven’t noticed, or met him or her yet. A mediocre Valentine’s Day, or the lack of a partner today is no reason to lose hope!!! Someone special may be thinking of you right now, or destiny may be about to send someone wonderful your way.
In the meantime, what do you do if this Valentine’s Day isn’t looking too hopeful? If dinner plans are not in the offing, and you’re not likely to be getting candy, flowers or a proposal by Thursday? Maybe all we can do in that case is be philosophical, and have a sense of humor about it, and find something else to do. My solution to things like that is to keep busy and work. I’ll be writing on Valentine’s Day. And I’ve had my share of relationships and romance, so I can’t complain. I’ve had some wonderful people in my life, and some not so wonderful people. And for the moment, I have friends, kids, dogs, and work. That’s not so bad. And you just don’t know what will happen in life. Maybe a cherished friend you’ve enjoyed for years will suddenly fall in love with you, or you with them, that’s not a bad way to start a lifelong romance!!! Or maybe someone new will come along, and you’ll be getting all the romance you want next year. Or maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who’ll be out to dinner on Valentine’s Day staring into someone’s eyes. If not, there’s always next year, and a whole lot could change by then. My best times have always come after my worst times, and life is full of surprises. So don’t give up on love. And if this Valentine’s Day doesn’t look like it will be exciting, maybe next year will be a whole different story, with the love of your life. I hope so, for you.
I send you a big hug on Valentine’s Day, as always, and all my hopes that your dreams will come true. Don’t give up your dreams. And I hope that whatever you do this year, that Valentine’s Day turns out to be a lovely day. I wish you flowers and candy, and true love, whenever it happens, this year, or next year, or anytime in between…..have a terrific day!!!!