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That Hallmark-est of Days

2e8c7c82c835c99dc3fb10d06a7e231aI’m all for couples celebrating their love on Valentine’s Day. Dine, enjoy your ro$e$, and eat chocolate to your heart’s content. But every year my heart feels sad when I think about the flip-side of this day.

Despite determination not to, hopes often  run unreasonably high. Hopes of adolescence, young adulthood, the unattached, unhappily attached, or completely detached — hopes for an unexpected surprise, no matter how remote the odds. Even for couples who have agreed in advance to ignore the day and its overpriced commerce, the anticipation is often there.

The thing that bothers me most about such an over-hyped day is this: in a country that embraces inclusion from sea to shining sea, Valentine’s Day is highly exclusive.

The smallest children have it right. Everyone gets a card. Everyone gets to be someone’s Valentine. And there are enough homemade, heart-decorated cupcakes to go around.

I wonder if, in a twist on former President Bush’s education act, No Child Left Behind, our goal could be, “No heart left behind”.

Who can you encourage by asking, “Will you be my Valentine?” and then celebrating the day with that friend. The bottom line is this: with whomever and however you choose to celebrate, do it your  own way. No card required.


Phyllis writes words: words for stories, and words for books. Phyllis writes words for blogs too.

12 thoughts on “That Hallmark-est of Days

  1. I love your ideas. Valentine’s Day is a day of too many expectations. People like my husband who is simply not a romantic often ends up feeling bad for not being as “good” as others are at expressing his love for me. As I told him the other day, his love and loyalty are enough for me. No one’s perfect. One of the children’s pastors at our church suggested sending your kids to school with a bag of candy to hand out to anyone that looks like they need a little love. She also suggested giving them a word of encouragement with the candy. I’m going to have my kids try that very thing next year.

  2. Well said, Phyllis! I do agree. My mom always made heart shaped sugar cookies complete with icing and cinammon hearts for all of us as long as she could. Now I am making them and taking them to her, and keeping up the fun tradition with our own kids too. However, I am one of those romantic types…I do like flowers – at any time of the year, and a little chocolate doesn’t hurt either!

  3. The romance is nice….but I look at it as a way to brighten up the month of February. The winter is seeming long at this point, and I enjoy all the pretty lace, splashes of red/pink everywhere
    , hearts and flowers!!! Like any other holiday, (or celebration), it is good to be mindful of those who may be alone, or sad for some reason. I usually try to send greetings to all of my friends, and family, couples or single, to let them know that they hold a special place in my world. Not tooting my own horn, just saying, I am sure there are other people who do likewise. Thanks for shining the light on what can be a lonely day for some. 🙂

  4. A better way to brighten up February is to celebrate the lunar New Year. We usually go out to do that, but this year we had all the family to our house. For a few bucks we decorated our house with red lanterns, did take out from the best Chinese/Indian restaurant in the country, had home made hot and sour soup as well as dumplings, and everybody was in a good mood. We all agreed it was a nice day in the middle of tiresome winter.

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