Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine Radicals

Happy Valentine's Day! 

Is Valentine's Day a big deal for you?  I heard that question being asked on a talk show yesterday.  They were expecting the answer to be "no" for men and "yes" for women.  They were surprised when some of the women were answering that it was NOT a big deal for them.  I laughed, then, when the same women went on to say they'd be very upset if their boyfriend or husband forgot Valentine's Day.

My first reaction to that question was that Valentine's Day was not important to me at all.  I think it is the western, independent attitude in me that makes me want to reject the day.  I don't like to be told what day of the year we are supposed to celebrate our love.  On the other hand, I guess a day that reminds us to celebrate our love is not necessarily a bad thing.

Yesterday Mike and I decided to celebrate early.  How's that for independence?  We rejected the idea of trying to go out for dinner on a night when the restaurants would no doubt be full.  Instead, we decided to go out for BREAKFAST and to do it a day early.  We're radicals, I'm just saying...

Early on in our relationship I think Valentine's Day was more important to me.  Our very first one was in 1976 and I hope I am remembering it right.   Mike was in a basketball tournament in Havre, MT and I was there with the Pep Club.   I didn't see much of him, actually, as he was pretty busy.  In between basketball games he was resting at his aunt and uncle's house.  We found out later that he had mononucleosis.  Nevertheless, I received a flower from him.  I was so excited!  I'm sure it was the first time anyone sent me a flower and I loved knowing that he was thinking of me.  I hate to admit it but I am sure I also loved getting it in front of the other girls sharing the hotel room.




I also remember 1977's Valentine's Day.  Mike was going to college in Moorhead, MN and I had moved out there to be near him.  It was a bitterly cold winter and before Mike left his dorm's parking lot he'd had to squirt that stuff at the carburetor ( I think) to help get his car started.  During his efforts, a flame had flashed up at him.  He wasn't hurt, though, and he did get his car started.  When he arrived at my apartment the first thing I noticed was that the top of his head was covered with sawdust...then I noticed an awful smell!  It turns out that he'd burned the tips of his hair!  If you've never smelled burned hair, I will tell you that it is NOT a nice Valentiney smell.  I was thrilled that he'd made such an effort to take me on a date that night, though.   I tried to help him get rid of the "sawdust" from his head but I'm sure he was still a bit smelly when we went out for dinner.

 All these years later, I'm still grateful for the love we share.  I am well aware that not everyone has that same blessing.  I know that not everyone has a romantic love in their lives, but who says Valentine's Day is just about the romance?  I don't know anyone who is without love in their lives, be it the love of parents, children or friends.  Best of all, we have available to us the pure love of God.

I am still not sure that Valentine's Day is a big deal to me.  It seems like it puts a lot of pressure on people.  However, love IS a big deal (if you follow that link, click on the song, It's About Love).  So I'm celebrating that!