Valentine’s Day: A Lesson in Extremes

Before we know it the New Year is well on its way and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. People’s experiences and opinions about this day are a lesson in extremes, much like our mountain weather.

I once had a co-worker who religiously hosted an Anti-Valentine’s Day party every year. If you attended you were required to wear all black, participate in games like destroying the black, heart-shaped piñata, and not use any Valentine’s words—heart, love, red, pink, happy, couple. She passed out a vocabulary list at the door to make sure you were forewarned, although she was always a bit vague on the consequences.

Some people speak of Valentine’s Day as being created by the card and flower industry. There’s a lot of time between Christmas and Easter, so they needed to pick one holiday and create lots of excitement to make a profit. In a capitalist society such as ours, even relationships and feelings are up for sale.

At the other end of spectrum some couples start planning for the special day the beginning of January. What gifts to buy? What special flowers to order that will convey the perfect message? They agonize over reservations at a fancy restaurant or creating an elaborate meal at home. Every detail must be perfect to create that unforgettable romantic moment.

Finally there’s the agony of first love that accompanies every elementary school Valentine’s Day party. How do you demonstrate your love for that special someone without being too obvious? What if they don’t even know you exist? Or worse, what if they like you too?

The reality of Valentine’s Day of course is all of these experiences, and so much more. May your Valentine’s Day this year be one that fits who you are and all that you hope to be.