Friday, February 13, 2009

A Valentine's Day Reminder

Valentine's Day. It's about to dawn. Exactly 19 minutes from now, a day dedicated to celebrating love will arrive, wrapped in all its Cupid-themed regalia.

A few hours ago, I had a conversation with a friend where I mentioned that I was going to write tonight about all I despise about Valentines Day. You know, the standard rant about the over-commercialization, the aisles upon aisles of mass-produced folded contrivance, ready to be signed and stuffed into pink and red envelopes. A poem, a verse, a heartfelt expression duplicated en masse to tell those you love exactly how you feel. You've probably heard this before.

My friend's reaction surprised me. She was able to see what my cynicism hid from my view. To her, a simple card, a small box of chocolate, perhaps some flowers all represented something larger. That her significant other cared enough to take the time, make the effort to say I care.

I wanted to write tonight about how Valentine's Day is a cop out -- a way for us to put off showing our affection until Hallmark tells us it's time. I wanted to write that we think Valentine's Day gives us a free pass -- a way to erase all the hurtful things we've done to those close to us and make up for those days where our words sting and degrade instead of comfort and uplift.

But maybe that's not what Valentine's Day is all about. Maybe we need this reminder every year to open our eyes to how we treat our loved ones -- our lovers, our friends and our families.

And so, after standing a moment in someone else's shoes, I can see Valentine's Day for what it should be -- a day where we examine who we are and how we show our love. It should be that day each year when we make sure that we are sending the right message to those we love -- not just on this day, but on every day.

In this past year, I have been overwhelmed by the number of people with whom I have grown closer, creating new bonds and memories while rediscovering emotions and experiences from the past. Each one of you has taught me how to love in your own unique way. Each one of you occupies your own special corner of my soul -- a space that is yours forever.

Happy Valentine's Day, my friends.

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