Will I Be Your Valentine?

by Una A. Slater

The answer is a resounding, YES.

There are two crowds gathering this week, those who will be celebrating Valentine’s Day in the typical manner, and then those who either mock it or find ways to beat it to death, kick it in the butt or ignore it entirely. Then there might be that not-so-noisy third group, slipping quietly between the pro and con.

There is no getting around it. I’ve seen enough pink and red this month to last a year or more. Each tribute by way of card, gift, commercial or event designed to squeeze another extra few quarters and nickels and dimes from our pockets, to force us into acknowledging a holiday, or being shamed into solitude for being brazen enough to dismiss it.

For relationships, it seems the tension about what to do, how to make it somehow unique from what others are doing, and somehow significant, seems to be far more important than ensuring that you’re actually expressing a true emotion that you’re currently feeling.

With the “other” L-word in overdrive this week, what are you supposed to do if you’re actually idling comfortably in “like” with no urgency to drive faster or slower?

Are you any more or less romantic based on the actions you take on the 14th of February? Does the activity on that specific occasion matter any more or less than your deeds and sincere thoughts on any other day? Does your ability to “outwit, outlast and outplay” (thanks, Survivor, for the basic rules of existence made marketable) your fellow man or woman truly make you the most suitable candidate for the title of “Valentine’s Day Achiever?”

Sure, most of us will smirk and say, “of course not.” But underneath that polished exterior of the correct sayings and logical interpretations of what the day is and isn’t, are we truly convinced?

Many of us make Valentine’s Day a measure of worth, no matter how we rationalize otherwise. We either run around openly shooting arrows into the air, or grumbling and sniping at invisible cupids from dark, dank bunkers.

But no matter which angle we overtly or subconsciously subscribe to, we’re feeling something. A fear that we’re not loved, or worse, not lovable. A panic that we will cease to be relevant if we lose the love we believe we have today. An anger that, somehow, the love we have isn’t the love we wanted.

I say take all of those weathered, beaten and mangled ideologies and burn them in the nearest pyre—because none of that matters. And it’s only as true as you make it. Love yourself on February 14th, with as much passion and commitment as you can possibly manifest, and watch those monsters vaporize before your eyes.

I am single this February 14th. But I don’t dread this February 14th at all. On that morning, I won’t wake up to breakfast in bed, or be surprised by roses at the door, but I won’t secretly loathe anyone who is. Have fun with it and enjoy it however you see fit, I say.

My Valentine is my very life and all of the true, sincere, giving, strong, wise, courageous, insightful and beautiful interactions I experience with you. Yes, you. As Bjork would say, “all is full of love.” And I mean to experience every drop—not just when cupid says, but every day.