| || |
February 14, 2014 - Zach Baker
Valentine's Day has always been an odd holiday for me.
In elementary school everyone in class brought valentines for every person in class. If you had a crush on a girl, you'd read the card she gave you and analyze every word.
The scene played out something like this:
10-year-old Zach gets a valentine with a Smurf on it. If the card Jane gave him reads something like "Happy Valentine's Day, Zach!," he's just another kid on the playground.
But, if the card says "Have a really SPECIAL Valentine's Day, Zach!," it means she digs him.
If it says "Happy Valintine's Day!," it means she probably should stay after school with the English teacher.
As the kids get older, things change. By high school, kids could pay to get flowers sent to their sweethearts.
I never got a rose. And I probably let everyone know, because back then I not only wallowed in self pity, but wanted everyone see me do it.
Yeah, high school was a weird time for me in a lot of ways.
As an adult, it's easy to be cynical about this holiday.
It's easy to say it simply exists to sell cards, or stuffed bears or candy.
It's easy to put Eric Clapton's "Bad Love" on your iPod and keep replaying it, to rebel against the very idea of Valentine's Day.
And, had something not happened today, I might have written something about that.
But today when I went to Kroger to pick up some groceries, I saw something that altered my perspective.
I saw three middle-aged men -- one after the other -- carrying a bouquet.
That's when a conversation from many years ago returned.
My father was going out to buy a valentine for my mom, and I went along, going on to him about how the day was just about selling merchandise and had no real value.
My dad told me he agreed, but there was more to it than that: Valentine's Day is important because it's a reminder.
It reminds men and women — many of whom are not great at expressing themselves — to do something special for their significant other.
Maybe it's dinner. Maybe it's candy. Maybe it's just the right words said at the right time.
Finally, I understood.
It'd be nice if we all remembered to say the big things to the important people in our lives all the time. But the fact is, we usually don't.
Valentine's Day isn't for the card companies, the elementary students or the candy-aholics.
It's for people who feel something, who know something. Something special.
Valentine's Day is the reminder, the opportunity to let that person know what they mean to you.
To the readers who have someone like that in their lives, I hope they take advantage of this yearly opportunity to express their love and gratitude.
For that alone, this day is so important.
Happy Valentine's Day, everybody.
No comments posted for this article.
Post a Comment