Feb 1, 2019

I sighed, the reminders are telling me Valentine’s Day is coming. The biggest sign is The Hallmark Channel’s countdown by showing romance movies with a Valentine’s theme.

Let the joy begin! Not!

Is Valentine’s Day an actual holiday? A product of our culture to sell cards, jewelry, flowers, and candy? The advertisers start their campaign as soon as Christmas is over. This year right after Christmas, retail stores made room for Valentine’s merchandise. I moaned. The closer February 14 comes, there’s an increase of love songs on the radio. Then everyone is discussing their plans for love day. They ask me, what I am doing. I am like… well, staying home with my cat and watching an action-pack movie where everything blows up. No one asked me anymore.

I have a love/dislike for Valentines started in grade school. It didn’t take me long to figure out my ranking on the popularity scale.

Even as a child, I dreaded this day with cutout pink hearts and cupids with red arrows plastered on classroom walls. Art class, I sat at my desk decorating a small paper bag with hearts and other Valentine theme to prepare for the party.

A small decorated paper bag hung on the wall or at my desk in hopes of cards delivered by my classmates.

I hoped my popularity would improve each year. False hope was never my friend, and I learned it was better to live in reality.

As I got older false hope faded.

I remembered, secretly desire a cold because I didn’t want to attend the classroom party. It didn’t happen.

Sometimes, a teacher mandated everyone would receive a card. One classmate discovered a loophole. She delivered the first round and proceeded by handing out two more rounds for her friends. Her friends did the same.

She counted her cards out loud for everyone to hear. They bragged about how many cards they received. The wisdom of youth.

I am thankful my parents made Valentines’ day special for me. I’m not sure, if they understood what I went through at school. If they sensed, it wasn’t easy for me.

The lesson I learned you can’t force people to like you or buy love. It must come willingly from another person. The second lesson it is okay to be by yourself.

Not to be in a wrong relationship will create more invisible scars on my tender heart because it only hurts me.

The most important lesson I learned to be surrounded by people that love me.

So, I’ll spend Valentines with the people I loved.

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