Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Valentine Post

Remember that Simpsons episode when Lisa gave Ralph a card that read, “I choo-choo-choose you”? It’s actually an old valentine from the 1930s, and I found a picture of the card online last week. It reminded me of when I was in elementary school everyone in class gave Valentine’s Day cards and candies to celebrate. It was a big deal, at least to me, to pick out the right cards. They always came in boxes with a cartoon character theme: Disney (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, etc.), Garfield, Snoopy, Hello Kitty, or Strawberry Shortcake. And I always gave away the candy hearts that said “be mine” or “cutie” or “you’re sweet” or Hershey kisses.

I haven’t given out Valentine cards since junior high school, and by then I was more selective about who I gave them out to. Mostly, I gave them out to my friends. I was far too shy to talk to my junior high crushes, let alone give them a Valentine’s Day card. That would mean that I was interested in them, and my junior high school self would not be able to deal with it. I was afraid that actually talking to my crushes would leave me so tongue-tied and red in the face that I wouldn’t be able to say anything coherent. I was afraid that if they actually did talk to me they’d think I was an idiot, so I didn’t even risk the possibility of conversation.

I still think of myself as a shy person, but I try not to let it debilitate me like it did back in junior high. Now I try to find a common interest or point of view and start a conversation. I’ve found that breaking the ice is the hardest part, and it’s pretty easy from that point on. Even if the conversation doesn’t pan out or you just don’t gel with the person you wanted to get to know, it’s nice to know that at least you made the effort.

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How do you feel about Valentine’s Day? Do you feel that it’s a special day, a celebration of love with your significant other that requires flowers, chocolates and dinner reservations? Or do you feel like it’s a made-up holiday used by retailers as a means to get you to spend money?


I’m in between. I do think that it’s important to celebrate your love but I don’t think you need flowers and chocolates and a fancy dinner to make your point. I also think it’s a personal occasion that should be celebrated throughout the year, not just during this holiday.


1 comment:

Genevieve said...

For a long time I really, really hated Valentine's Day. I call it "National Singles Awareness Day" because its the day that most single people are aware of being single. Even now that I have a boyfriend I still hate the holiday. Damn Hallmark!