Happy Valentine’s Day or Not
Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day with cards and candy? Do you receive a romantic dinner, flowers, hot sex, and a poem from a loved one? Do you dream about being a special someone’s Valentine and receiving one or all these gifts?
I have experienced all the above – celebrating with a special lover, giving and receiving flowers, candy, cards, dinner and hot sex. I’ve never received a poem.
One of my favorite Valentine surprises was a dozen tangerine colored roses on a cold February day when I was living in Northern New Mexico. I was dating a man who lived 55 miles on the other side of the mountain, and he hadn’t mentioned Valentine’s Day, much less celebrating together.
I was sitting in my office when the receptionist came breathlessly in and asked me to come to the lobby. Much to my surprise and delight there sat a vase of gorgeous tangerine roses with a note saying, “Happy Valentine’s Day, Sunshine. xxoo Jim.” For that moment I knew I was cherished and adored by this man. Oh yeah, that Valentine’s Day was spectacular.
Fast forward 6 years. I was living in Texas and was dating a man who lived in a neighboring state. We had spent the weekend together before Valentine’s Day and I offered to drive the three hours to spend Valentine’s Day with him.
Not only was he not interested in spending Valentine’s Day with me, he told me he had plans with his daughters. I did not feel cherished or adored. If only I had stepped out of denial of his lack of attention to me, I would have saved myself loads of pain. That Valentine’s Day was very troubling and sad for me.
My father’s birthday was on February 14 and I would give him a card that had wishes for both “Happy Birthday” and “Happy Valentine’s Day.” When I was younger I would buy him candy, a tie, or some such gift. On a few occasions I sent flowers. I loved celebrating his Valentine’s Birthday with him.
Do you remember the Valentine boxes we made in elementary school that either sat on our desk or along the counters under the windows? Our names were proudly written on the decorated boxes, and each child was to place a card in each box. There was a boy in the second grade that I adored and the thought of writing his name on an envelope and signing my name on the back of the card made my heart palpitate and palms sweat. I gave him a card along with all the other children and he never knew my true intentions.
I’ve read all the tips on celebrating Valentine’s Day as a single woman. All I can say is “really?” Do I really want to send myself flowers? Buy a piece of jewelry as my own lover? Gift myself with a day at the spa? None of that takes the place of a lover putting his arms around me and pressing really close with his lips on my ear, whispering “I’m yours.” Just writing that made my heart start palpitating. My hands got sweaty, just as they did in the second grade before I dropped the card in “his” Valentine card box.
However you choose to spend Valentine’s Day – with your loved one, alone, in a candy store, day at the spa, and room-mother with cupcakes at your child’s school – it’s a lot like Christmas. There is so much commercial hype that it has lost much of its luster and lust. If your lover doesn’t spend $100-200 on a dozen roses, $10.00 on a special card, $200.00 on dinner – then he hasn’t shown his undying love you. Not to mention what she does for him. Hum, could it be I’m just a bit envious of women on the receiving end of these gifts?
Now that my father is dead and I have no lover today I am going to spend Valentine’s Day just like any other. I’ll have a bit of angst about my father’s passing, a shallow thought of jealousy for my girlfriends whose lover or spouse will shower them with gifts. Then I will pop out of bed and dance to the kitchen for my first cup of strong, hot, bold coffee!
Happy Valentine’s Day – or not!
Judith Pepper is an author, transformational speaker, coach and sage who guides women after 40 to ask and explore the question “Now, What About ME?” She is the author of The Age of Sage: Extraordinary Advice for Extraordinary Women, a selection of narratives, formulas and ideas on how women can reframe negative thoughts into positive beliefs, so they can build their momentum to live life as fully and wildly as they desire.
Judith is also an expert public speaker on the subject of life transformation after 40. She’s addressed audiences of hundreds of women all over the US. She has won numerous awards in everything from community leadership to pecan pie baking! She firmly believes any woman can reap extraordinary success and pleasure, regardless of what she does for a living or where she is in life.