So, as I’m sure you’re aware, there’s this little holiday known as “Valentine’s Day” just around the corner.
I am always a tad abashed to admit that I am really quite fond of it. I truly appreciate the current aesthetic - the cartoonish cards with puns proclaiming one’s affection for another, the chocolate I can take or leave, the flowers, eh, but heart decorations, HELLO, yes.
My adoration of this holiday waxed and waned as a child - I remember being fervently hopeful that my crush would include a special message for me in the obligatory cards that we all exchanged in class only to be sorely disappointed when there was a generic TO/FROM on the back.
One year, after receiving another set of cards with zero personalization, I was grumpily stuffing a cupcake into my mouth when exiting the car and I accidentally crushed my thumb between the body and door. That nail eventually turned black and fell off later (I still bear the marks of the moment with a split lunaula). That year I decided I HATED Valentines day. Spoiler, that sentiment didn’t last long.
But it’s so weird to me that, despite knowing nothing of the history of the holiday, I had grasped at a very young age that this holiday was for romantic (aka physically intimate) relationships and took it personally when such a thing didn’t manifest.
On a side note, I don’t know if you’ve ever really delved into the history how this day and time of year was celebrated, but there was some very interesting practices that have since gone by the wayside with the more commercial reimagining of the Sainthood of Valentine - it’s origins are often attributed to the Roman holiday of Lupercalia which was celebrated on Feb15th and per this history channel article “...Lupercalia was a bloody, violent and sexually-charged celebration awash with animal sacrifice, random matchmaking and coupling in the hopes of warding off evil spirits and infertility”
Circling back around…I am grateful that each year of my childhood I would wake to find a themed basket containing sweet treats, a toy or plushy and a very lovely little card that my mother would give me on Valentine’s day. This was the beginning of my growing awareness that helped me to realize that Valentine’s day doesn’t need to focus solely on Romantic Love, but one in which we can and should celebrate the love you carry for another however the relationship is defined.
Acts of endearment can showered upon many people in a myriad of ways. One of my very favorite poems by Lora Mathis that I return to around this time of year which encapsulates my feelings so perfectly:
KISS YOUR FRIENDS’ FACES MOREDESTROY THE BELIEF THAT
INTIMACY MUST BE RESERVED FOR
BE MORE LOVING
EMBRACE PLATONIC INTIMACY
USE EMOTIONALITY AS A
RADICAL TACTIC AGAINST A
SOCIETY WHICH TEACHES YOU
ARE A SIGN OF WEAKNESS
TELL MORE PEOPLE
YOU CARE ABOUT THEM
HOLD THEIR HANDS
TELL OTHERS YOU
ARE PROUD OF THEM
OFFER SUPPORT READILY
TAKE CARE OF THE
PEOPLE AROUND YOU
Valentine’s day just is an annual reminder and reason to celebrate so many that I love, romance need not be limited!
That said, you are most appreciated, my dears - Happy Valentine’s Day to you <3