When I was partnered, we called Valentine’s Day, “VD”. So, I never have been a fan of Hallmark holidays and the pressure it puts on lovers.
Nonetheless, I was a victim of the desire for something surprising and sweet. Flowers. Candles. Chocolate. Strawberries and that awesome sour cream/brown sugar combo. Words of appreciation. Little things that said, “I will try to give you what you want from love.” (Though I wouldn’t have said no to a trip to Venice, just saying.)
I learned to make sure my needs were met because life is taxing, it’s just a Hallmark holiday anyway – right – and no one can meet your needs completely. (Every woman learns to do this – and perhaps men do too.) If beauty is what you crave, you find some flowers for your table. Chocolate? Frans has a great sale the day after! We lay our hearts down for love – and disappointment is a real thing, no matter how much sweetness you see on your FB wall today. I was blessed. I have some very sweet memories of loving and being loved – so I guess I need to make my peace with VD. We know that no one person can fill your deepest longings. But we still hope for it. So much of love is about giving and appreciating and letting go. The letting go is such hard work.
The Christian tradition of Ash Wednesday makes a perfect pairing with Valentine’s Day. We are always on the verge of death. Love shows us this. And so does our very existence. The stardust that spun the universe into being is in our atoms. We come from dust and return to it.
So Happy Valentine’s Day. And welcome to your mortality, those who are willing to embrace it. Scoop up some dust (or mud) today and live well.