Will Call: Spread the love
Few holidays breed resentment and discontent like Valentine’s Day.
Sure, there are a few scrooges at Christmas, occasional eye rolls on the Fourth of July, and folks who go too far with April Fool’s Day. Other annual events are geared strongly toward one demographic — often children — and can fall a bit flat for those not included.
Valentine’s Day, however, is awkward from the start.
If your school was anything like mine, you were probably required to bring a valentine for everyone in your class.
This had the advantage of keeping anyone from feeling left out, but couldn’t help but cheapen the impact of each cartoon themed card you received. Perhaps you took a little extra effort with your friends or tried to send your crush a secret message in candy hearts, but for the most part the whole thing felt forced.
That tradition began to go away right around the same time as co-ed sleepovers. Romance began to take on a new dimension, and if you got a valentine, it meant something. It also meant something if you didn’t.
I suspect that for many of us, middle school was when Valentine’s Day started to become Single’s Awareness Day. It can be rough for the unintentionally unpaired to find themselves surrounded by happy couples.
Being far too shy to ask anyone out, I did my fair share of pouting before I finally decided to reinvent the holiday.
Romance, I posited, is just one of many forms of love in our lives, many of which go uncelebrated. I began giving out flowers — first to pretty girls, next to others I appreciated, and finally to anyone who seemed to need it.
In many ways, it was a return to the elementary school approach, but without the mandate it felt far more natural. I fought to keep the tradition even when I stopped being single, and for the last couple of years my girlfriend has even joined me in handing out roses.
I’m not specifically advocating that you do the same, though I think almost everyone — men included — deserve to get flowers now and again.
Rather, I encourage those of who find Valentine’s Day to be a downer to find ways of cheering each other up.
Go out with your single friends. Get a card for someone you appreciate. Supply your coworkers with chocolate. Maybe, in the process, you’ll make it better for yourself, too.
Will Grandbois would apologize to folks who can’t stand this kind of lovey dovey crap, but they probably won’t read this far. He can be reached at 384-9105 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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