Valentine’s Day has always been a BIG deal in my life since it’s also my birthday. I don’t know why I’m such a birthday obsessed person; I guess it probably comes from enjoying a day being all about me, especially when it’s combined with a holiday that I personally think is one of the most lovely, happy ones.
I hate when people call Valentine’s Day “Singles Awareness Day,” because I think that it’s more about all different kinds of love. If your mom is the person you love most, then you should be celebrating your love for her on Valentine’s Day! Or your best friends, your coworkers, your neighbor who always shovels the snow off of your driveway for you – to me, it’s all about showing your love and appreciation for every single person in your life. If you have a significant other, of course it’s awesome to celebrate your love, but I just don’t understand why so many people think that that celebration is somehow to the detriment of people who are single!
So prepare for a sappy post, because I’m diving into why I love the holiday so much and why I’m so lucky to have a Valentine this year.
Three years ago today I went on my very first date with a boy I had been casually seeing for a few weeks. We went to an Italian chain restaurant, which was really difficult to get to due to our school’s policy against underclassmen having cars on campus.
I remember being so nervous that we would run out of things to talk about, ruining my riding boots from walking through the snow to the restaurant, and our long, fruitless wait for the cab we had called, followed by a mad rush through the snow (which ended with him having to piggy-back me over a mountain of it) to catch a random cab that was driving past, since ours never showed. After that, we were absolutely inseparable (case in point, I’m trying to write this and he’s distracting me by singing the genie’s song from Aladdin really loud).
He’s seen me through countless panic attacks, cumulating in a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder. He takes care of me when I’m sick or just when I’ve had a bad day, he cooks me dinner every single night (I know, right?!), he makes me laugh every five seconds (he’s currently dancing to Aladdin. It’s hilarious.), and he’s just my favorite person.
Joe will not be pleased that I’m making any of this public, but Valentine’s Day is all about sharing the love, and I’m feeling so, so lucky right now. Today we began our apartment search for after we graduate in May, and I honestly cannot imagine anything more exciting than the prospect of moving in with my very best friend. Of course, we’re looking at dog-friendly apartments only, which is another exciting thing that will hopefully happen within the next year!
As a kid, Valentine’s Day was always such a fun day at school. I always put way too much effort into picking the perfect pink and red outfit (not much has changed), and even more effort into deciding which of my Valentine cards was the most suitable for my current crush. It was such a big deal to see who would send you a “candy gram,” especially if you got one that was addressed from a “secret admirer.” I wish I could recreate that giddy feeling; it was such a rush.
In second grade, I remember every single girl in my grade had the biggest crush on the cutest guy in sixth grade, so we all sent him “secret admirer” candy grams. We had to dictate them to the teacher to write them out for us. I can only imagine how amused she must have been; I wish I could go back and see it as an adult. So funny. Side note, that cute sixth-grade guy that every girl was in love with grew up to be both very, very successful on Broadway and very, very gay.
When I was four or five, my grandmother bought me a cassette tape (it was pink, of course) with a special birthday song on it. It sounds like a rip-off version of the seven dwarves singing, and it has my name in it. It’s absolutely hilarious, and I’ve listened to it every single year on my birthday since then. My best friend thinks it so ridiculous, and she’s SO sick of the song after all these years, which just fuels my desire to make her listen to it a million more times. Every time I listen to it I think about all the most important people in my life who love me, and without fail, I will get so overwhelmed that I start crying. All because of squeaky-voiced elvish voices singing for me to “shake my bum” because it’s my birthday. God, I love it.
I love Valentine’s Day so much that when I was confirmed (I’m Catholic), I took “Valentine” as my confirmation name. It’s just my thing.
So whether you’re spending today with a special someone, with your best friends, or just being your own Valentine, I hope you have the most lovely, joyful, love-filled day.