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Don't Expect a Valentine

By Lynda Kerr

I feel slightly sorry for people who expect something for Valentine’s Day or who get depressed because they are not "with someone". I’m much happier being "with myself" than being with Mr. Not-Right, and I certainly don't want to get things because I expect them! Where’s the surprise, the spontaneity, the true meaning of a gift when you receive something because you expect it?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a true romantic. Candlelight, flowers, looking deep into someone’s eyes, soulful dancing with the feel of a body close, oil massages, passion…ahem…yes, all very important but we’re talking about a commercialized day. It was designed to create profit for Hallmark, Purdy’s, the florist companies and nearly every fine restaurant in the free world! Many people have been convinced that it’s a must to receive those dozen roses, the big diamond or the mushiest card on Valentine’s Day or they don’t feel….what? Loved? Last year I knew someone who was very upset because she didn't get what she wanted for Valentine’s Day. Her big commercial expectations ruined her whole week. Do any of those card or flower company's profits go toward the psychiatric bills or the anti-depressant costs of the lovelorn victims of a supposed Valentine's-Day-gone-wrong? Not!

The way I see it you don’t have to play the commercial Valentine’s game. You can make many people happy with the use of your heart and imagination. Give a poem, a quote or a joke; give a compliment or a thank-you; call up a friend or two or a relative and tell them you love them. You could give an apple (it’s red); cut out heart-shaped paper, write “I’m Loved” on them and pin them on people; wear red and say “Happy Valentine’s Day” to everyone you see; or just bake something heart-shaped. Remember when we were in school and the teachers made us include everyone in our giving of Valentines? Well, they certainly had the right idea. Why not spread the good word of appreciation so that there are less broken hearts in the world?

Two years ago, my friend Jim & I decided that since we were both single that we would go out together for dinner on Valentine's Day. We dressed up and went to Anton's and toasted ourselves and each other and had a wonderful time. Last year we invited our friend Marie to join us. This year, Jim has a new love and Marie may be occupied. My daughter's boyfriend is not going to be in town so she decided I should take her out for dinner! And whoever wants to join us is welcome.

Valentine’s Day is just another day to give love and expect nothing in return. Each day is an opportunity to show love and we shouldn’t need a special occasion to tell us to do that. It’s kind of like only giving at Christmas time…but what about the rest of the year? Give some love, give nice thoughts or give some laughter. For an extra Valentine’s challenge – surprise someone with a love gift on any day but February 14th.

Lynda Kerr is a number-cruncher in Burnaby BC

Lynda’s friend emailed Discover Fun with these additional comments:

Valentines seems to have various layers of meaning for people. For some it is about giving to others. For some it brings home the fact that they have no lover. For others yet, it is a measuring stick of how much they are loved. Valentines is a great time to give valentines, cinnamon hearts and chocolate to friends and family. Do I crave to be on the receiving end? No. I don't need anyone "special" to show me how much they love me.

A few years ago I decided that I wanted to see if I could make every day a great day. Obviously the law of averages says I am going to have crap days, but I was going to give every day my undivided attention. I was going to make it count. I was going to make people feel good without expecting anything in return.

The results have been incredible. I love my life. I don't look forward to weekends because every day is as good as a weekend. I have more friends than I ever had. I am involved in more activities than ever before. What has this got to do with Valentines? Well, Valentines is a fun day but it is just one out of a year of fun days.

As for me, I think I have all my bases covered. I will give valentines to my loved ones. Since I have adopted this way of living I haven't lacked for lovers. I really don't care whether or not whether or not I will receive valentines. The odd thing of it all is that the more this attitude takes root in my being, the more people seem drawn to me. Go figure!

Marie de la Ronde




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