Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that people either Love, Love to Hate, or Love NOT to celebrate, am I right? While I am a lover of decorations and holidays, I can go either way with Valentine’s Day, usually leaning towards Love. While my husband was the best wooer I’ve ever had, and has given me some of the best homemade cards (aka “poems” on the back of his business cards😁), we are now at the point where “Hallmark Day” (aka Valentine’s Day) is best celebrated after the fact, when chocolates and flowers are 50% off and you can get a dinner reservation before 9:00 PM.
This year instead of turning to the Hallmark Channel, or a good RomCom to get me in the V-day spirit, I thought it would be fun to ask the MLN crew to share one of their best or worst Valentine’s Day experiences and as usual they did not disappoint! I hope that you enjoy their real-life stories as much as I did 😍.
Jackie – I am the Grinch in the room. Not a big holiday gal but I muddle through. As with my birthday, my expectations are low so that I am not disappointed with zero acknowledgement of said holiday. Valentine’s Day is at the top of this list. What girl doesn’t want flowers and candy to tell her she is loved? But if you do not receive them – ouch.
However, when you are surprised with a gift or act of kindness, it makes the acknowledgment more special. Such was the case my senior year in college. I was living in a run-down apartment with a gaggle of sorority sisters, but we loved the place and were having the best year of our lives. Valentine’s Day rolled around, and I was a bit nervous that I might be the only denizen not to receive a gift or a card, but my real-life sister came through. A sweet package arrived by mail with a pair of RED shoes inside. Not your Wizard of Oz flashy variety but a pair of sensible flats that any coed could wear around campus. I was delighted, tickled pink, if I may say. I immediately slipped into those shoes and wore them for the entire semester. Love is demonstrated in many ways, and my older, wiser sister showed me that I did not need a man to make me feel I mattered on this heart-filled day but that her love would be a constant.
She is still my go-to person to this day, even though she probably doesn’t remember the red shoes. I guess I will have to remind her and spread a little love.
Kim – I’m a holiday lover for sure, and love to do the little things like heart pancakes and that kind of stuff, but Valentine’s Day hasn’t ever been a holiday that I’ve had a REALLY good or bad experience.
That being said, my favorite Valentine’s Day was just two years ago. I was still pretty freshly divorced, and navigating single parenting and custody schedules. On Valentine’s Day 2020 my daughter was with her dad, and my son was with me. Trying to drum up a little bit of excitement about the day, I decided that he and I would go on a special date. After he got home from school (first grade), we got a little bit dressed up and walked up the street to Town Tap. As has become a tradition for us, we brought along a board game – chess. We sat in a front window seat, set up our chess board and shared appetizers and desserts. We stayed longer than we should have probably, but it was early so not super busy. We laughed over French fries, Shirley Temples and his uncanny ability to beat me in chess every time. It was simple, but it was special 😊.
Jane – Valentine’s Day held the most meaning for me when I was in my teens and didn’t have a Valentine of my own. I imagined I was missing out on something mysterious and romantic. Now that I’m part of a couple, I incorporate some of the Valentine’s Day elements like candles, flowers and dining room dinners occasionally into everyday life making Valentine’s Day out of a random weekday. These pop-up Valentine’s Day events may not be timed with a holiday or feel particularly mysterious like I imagined as a young adult. But they are spontaneous and always make my husband smile.
Kate – I remember my WORST Valentine’s Day like it was yesterday…back in high school I was crushing hard on a boy named Todd. I convinced myself that he felt the same way, and I was sure that he would show it at school, on Valentine’s Day. That morning I stood by my locker with a group of friends, fluffed my hair, touched up my makeup and waited. Eventually Todd approached with a bouquet of pink roses (my favorite!) in hand and a huge smile on his face. I watched in horror as he presented them to my BEST FRIEND! Oh, the humiliation (remember this was high school, friends). I walked to my first class empty-handed and spent the rest of the day cursing everything pink, red and floral.
Chris – My WORST and BEST Valentine’s Day happened the same year. I was set to be divorced from my “childhood sweetheart” just 4 days after Valentines Day, so the day was not looking too promising for me that year. At work, I had been calling Valentine’s Day a Bogus Holiday to try to hide my deep sadness and disappointment over my marriage ending. Luckily for me, I had this really great co-worker that I had been working with for about 5 months and who was in agreement with me about changing Valentines Day to “Bogus Holiday” Day. Thankfully, that same co-worker not only took me to dinner that ominous Valentine’s night, but sent me a dozen roses with a card that read, “Not such a bogus day after all”. What started out as a day full of heartache, ended with a full heart. Three Valentine’s days later, he asked me to marry him, and my faith in love was finally restored.
Whether you are you a lover, a hater, or a non-celebrator, I hope you have a wonderful day surrounded by the people that leave your heart feeling full 💖.
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