Today the world (okay, maybe just the U.S.) celebrates romantic love, the color red, chocolate, and presents. Even though it feels like a Hallmark Holiday, it’s actually a very old celebration dating to Roman times (when St. Valentine was beheaded on Feb. 14 for secretly marrying couples against the emperor’s ban on marriages).
For the last month, escalating last week, we’ve been bombarded by ads from jewelry store and florists, Hallmark and candy companies. Stores are packed with stuffed animals holding little red “I Love You” hearts, bags of Hershey’s kisses and heart-shaped boxes full of chocolates, pink or red sappy sweet cards, and red roses. I noticed yesterday, though, that those are moving to the Clearance section to make room for sparkly green St. Patrick’s Day stuff.
But many of us would rather skip this day. I’m not presuming that all single people don’t like it, but I don’t, and I know plenty of others for whom the celebration is more proforma than real. The love of my life is a cat and she cares for crunchies, catnip, and mommy. No cards, no chocolate, no red. I’m happy staying home quietly with her and not being out and about having Valentine’s Day slammed in my face. And no, I’m not a crazy cat lady. I’m a middle-aged single woman with a cat; big difference.
If you are lucky enough to have a love of your life who isn’t four-footed and furry, may this be a happy day full of shared love with or without the flowers, candy, jewelry, or red presents. If not, love yourself enough to celebrate anyway, doing something you enjoy and makes you feel as special as you are.