Of all American holidays, none seems to receive a wider spectrum of observation than Valentine’s Day. Some people dread it, some people forget about it, and some people plan for months in anticipation of it. Very few are complacent about it.
You won’t find too many holiday-themed posts on my blog, but I’ll make an exception today, in order to predict what sort of Valentine’s Day you’ve had.
For the most part, people fall into one of four categories on the day of love, and I think the kind of day you have on February 14 is predicted with some accuracy by these categories. So here goes…
1. You love nobody, and nobody loves you: UNHAPPY; BITTER
2. You love somebody, but they don’t love you back: UNHAPPY; FRUSTRATED
3. Somebody loves you, but you don’t love them back: UNHAPPY; ANNOYED
4. You love somebody, and they do love you back: HAPPY!
V-day may be recognized as an opportunity to celebrate love, and spread it all around, but it seems that the only people who enjoy the holiday are those who receiving love from a specific person. The unrequited lover isn’t celebrating. The adoring parent, child, sibling or friend might be feeling left out as well.
So it would seem that the measure of Valentine’s Day doesn’t have anything to do with LOVING, after all. Rather it has everything to do with being adequately desired by the individual of one’s choice. Which begs the question: Where does actual Love come into all this?
I’ve seen a few interesting solutions to the “problem” of mid-February solitude: “Stupid Cupid” parties, girls/guys nights out, speed-dating, etc. But all of these, in my opinion, either miss the point, or stomp on it. The fact is, no matter what your romantic situation may be, you can celebrate love. Namely, by loving.
The key to this is to realize that the man/woman of your dreams is almost certainly not the person who is most in need of your love. Rather, it is the child living in a broken home, the widow in assisted living, the forgotten co-worker or student or neighbor. What if Valentine’s Day were seized as a revolution of real love, and the revolutionaries who seize it are the ones normally left behind by the commercial spectacle?
Because it may be that the happiness you seek is nothing, compared to the happiness you are capable of giving away.