By Erin Knightley
I have a confession to make.
It’s kinda embarrassing, what with me being a romance writer and all. And a romance reader. And sappy-movie lover. And a part time worker in a jewelry store where love seems to always be in the air.
Okay. Here it is. *breathes deeply*
I hate Valentine’s Day.
*Cringes, waiting for startled gasps and accusing stares* I know, I know, it doesn’t seem to make sense. Why would a lover of all things having to do with love feel so strongly in the negative about a day devoted to love?
Honestly, I think it started in middle school, when people could buy carnations to be handed out to their sweethearts throughout the day. Every time the door opened in class, and the designated delivery person would prance in and hand out flowers to a handful of ‘lucky’ recipients, I would look on anxiously, dreading people getting their feelings hurt when they were left empty handed.
On the years that I received a flower, I was almost always embarrassed. On the years that I didn’t, I was left with an odd feeling of shame, as if I somehow wasn’t good enough or no one liked me. No matter what, it was a no win situation, and I wanted nothing more than for the day to go away, and for people to be free to express their like or love in their own time, in their own way.
The problem, I suppose, is that it is just feels so manufactured. Walk into any store and you will see a proliferation of red and pink boxes, stuffed animals, cards, fake roses, lingerie, plastic hearts, goofy ties, cheap trinkets, and just about anything else that would hold the red dye.
Is there anything wrong with giving each other these little baubles? Certainly not, especially if it makes people happy.
But for me, it rankles that this is the day that someone else decided I must show or be shown love. It goes against the way I like to think of love: something that is a constant presence in life. I want my loved ones to show love when they decide, not when it is decreed that they do so. I must be the only woman on earth who forbids her husband to get her anything on Valentine's day! I much prefer he surprise me on a random Tuesday, just because he was thinking of me.
I guess that’s one of the reasons I love romance novels so much. The love is there, everyday, available to anyone and everyone that wishes to enjoy it. If you are already in love, it reminds you of how great a thing it is, not to be taken for granted. If you are still waiting for the right person to come along, it fills the heart in more ways than one—allowing you to experience the characters’ love right along with them, and indulging one’s sense of optimism for when the day comes that love does find you.
So there you have it. My shocking secret, outed for all the world to see and judge. So what do you think – am I a certified old fuddy-duddy? Who out there loves V-day, and who is happy to let the day slide by unnoticed?
(Though I will admit, I do love shopping the clearance racks for chocolate and candy the day after. What? It’s not Valentine’s Day goodies anymore—it’s just cheap red and pink candy! ;-) )