Yes VALENTINE, where were you going with that!? Sorry, we’re that friend everyone loves to hate around this time of year, you know the one, gently reminding you that the day of love is just around the corner. Slowly your weekly CVS run starts being filled with tacky white teddy bears, cheap candy, and life-sized cards…haven’t you missed this time of year?!
I can honestly say yes, I really really have. Not because I’m fond of large teddy bears or cheap candy though. Valentine’s Day symbolizes different things for different people, clearly, whether it’s solidifying your “steady” boyfriend as a 6th grader, a reminder you might missing the other piece to your puzzle in your late-twenties (cue depressing Buzzfeed post about 5 reasons to be glad you’re single), or the fact you and your husband always “over-look” the holiday because he thinks it’s corny. Whatever it is, everyone celebrates the day in different ways.
For me, Valentine’s Day has always had a soft spot in my heart – single or taken, a boy really hasn’t ever had an effect on the holiday for me. Ever since elementary school when we were asked to decorate tiny shoe boxes with Valentine’s themed items (aka doily everything), and whatever else Valentine’s themed we could get our tiny paws on, then haul them to school so our classmates could drop miniature candies and homemade cards in them with itty bitty chicken-scratch written inside (or for those of you whose moms made your classmate’s Valentines…I remember you).
Decorating the coveted Valentine’s box for school was always such a special time for my mom and I, it was always a “how can we top last year’s and be more creative, more pink…more everything.” I’m talking this box needed to be oozing in Valentine’s goods when it was all said and done if I was going to put my name to it. I can remember spending hours working on the box and having my dad cut the slit in the top (with some tool only Dad’s know the name of), so my classmates would be able to drop in their Valentine’s notes.
On the big day I’d race home from school and scatter out my goods on my living room floor, carefully sorting what candy I’d give to my little brother (tootsie rolls, gag), and what I’d stash for myself. More importantly I can remember reading all of the notes and feeling so incredibly loved, I’m not kidding, as a twenty-something young woman I remember the way these tiny cards made me feel. They were the ultimate sign of thoughtful for me. You heard from everyone in your class this day, even the kid in the back of the class who smelled like waffles (pretty sure he’s a billionaire now). We were literally forced to hear from everyone, but it was such a great thing, and something I so fondly remember.
Okay so, you get it. Valentine’s has a special spot in my heart not because of my relationship status, but because it’s a chance to make someone (yes, a stranger or a friend) feel something. It’s not every day you can do that you know? So my suggestion for you is start prepping. You have one month to think of someone you want to show love to, whether it be your closest girlfriend, the coworker you have to pretend to like, your boyfriend…you name it. Be their thoughtful someone-you have one month! Go!