As I sat down to write this post I wondered how my words for this year’s Valentines Day would differ from what I said last year, and the year before that, and so on. It took me a good 10 minutes to realize that playing some love songs was pertinent and persisted to pour myself another glass of red before I really dove down into the deep stuff. Is today a day meant for sighs and frowns and douchebags mentioning hallmark every chance they get? No. In a relationship or not, Valentines is a day to spread love (metaphorically) and show the people who mean the most to you that you’re here to stay.
I have always embraced this “holiday” wholeheartedly, whether I’m in a long distance relationship, recently cheated on, single as a stallion or in a fight with the man I love. I wear pink or red, I make vegan peanut butter cups, I text or call every person who passes through my cluttered mind, I buy heart shaped balloons, I hand out coffee to the homeless, and I sometimes even break out my old box of crayons to make some hack-ass homemade V-day cards with a meaningful word or two scribbled inside.
For those of you who disagree with me undoubtedly, cheers to you! Thank goodness this particular day of love falls on a friday and you can drink your face off without a judgment in the world from me. For everyone else, I hope that love to you means more than the relationship you’re in. It’s so easy to put up a forcefield and crawl inside yourself during the dark days of winter. Without the hot sun forcefully beating the happiness out of us, I find people choose to frown instead of smile or to look away instead of help.
In the wise words of Christopher McCandless (Alexander Supertramp) ‘Happiness is only real when shared’, and maybe Valentines falls in the middle of February as a little pick me up for all of us suffering from frost bite and Seasonal Affective disorder. Think about it, almost every recognizable inspirational quote relates how sadness can be cured with interaction. Misery in fact does love company, or more specifically, a drinking buddy, but that’s besides the point.
I’ve wracked my brain, dissected my relationships, and have come up with the three biggest things that Valentines Day means to me.
1. Allow yourself to be vulnerable.
Valentines Day is a dare. Its a spin- the- bottle, seven seconds in heaven, no shame sort of thing. Yeah you may get hurt. Yeah he might laugh at you or she may violently hurl in disgust, but at least you put yourself out there long enough to feel something. And if you get put in a position where you may, for one f*cking second, be out of your comfort zone, then embrace the detour from your regular, average, routinely boring life and live a little.
Ian McEwen says that “a person is, among all else, a material thing, easily torn and not easily mended.” But if you never put yourself out there, you wont allow yourself the opportunity to be fragile & potentially shatter, and thus, will never learn the lesson that eventually sews you back together stronger than before.
2. As soon as you wish to be happier, you are no longer happy.
Do not expect anything from today. No, you do not have a secret admirer who is going to send you sunflowers to your door or slip a box of Purdy’s chocolates into your mailbox. No, your boyfriend does not have anything special planned, and you realistically told him exactly what you wanted to do a few weeks ago. If he does surprise you, then you are LUCKY, and I better not hear even one complaint out of your lipstick stained mouth all day. As for the single ladies holding onto hope, STOP. Who cares if someone sends you something or surprises you? F*ck waiting and go surprise yourself. Write your own card. Buy yourself a $3 peanut butter & jelly Morocco chocolate and dig right in. Yeah it’s nice to be loved, but if you don’t love yourself first then looking beside you for fulfillment will always only bring disappointment.
3. Happiness is sublime, so self- evident, that it doesn’t require many words to describe it.
We spend every day of the year speaking bullsh*t, convincing others of our bullsh*t, and believing the bullsh*t others convince us of. Maybe today we can just relax on the speaking points and worry about our actions. Just buy that coffee for the man sitting on the corner of the streets & hand it to him with a smile, asking nothing in return. Slip an anonymous card under your neighbors door and walk away 007 style sans the explosion. Buy a bouquet of roses this morning and hand out individual ones to every person in your office. For one day, express what you feel by doing.
“You’re going to come across people in your life who will say all the right words at all the right times. But in the end, it’s always their actions you should judge them by. It’s actions, not words, that matter.
That being said, there is something so special in being able to lay down beside a person you feel so connected to and not have to speak. Where every adjustment you make is made sense of in their mind, and every touch of your fingers on their skin goes unnoticed but is missed when stopped. To be able to hold their head in your chest and know the exact moment they fall into sleep, trusting you to be there when they awake. To have a conversation with your eyes. To feel a pull in your heart when you’re not physically attached : legs intertwined, chest to chest, noses delicately pressed side by side. Breathing in their butterflies. Catching their electricity. An unwritten passion. An unspoken connection.
If you have this, nothing needs to be said.
Oh and finally, don’t dwell on your past relationships. Things end for a reason, I could write a whole book about this one. Lets make today NOT about you.
So, for this Valentines Day, me and my best friend will be headed to the gun range right after work to let out some anger before we munch heart shaped ravioli and drink incomprehensible amounts of liquor before crawling to the club. It might not be perfect but hey, we love each other.
Happy Valentine’s Day Toronto & cheers to wearing our hearts on our sleeves!