Valentine’s Day is Looming

by Cindy Drummond

I’m not afraid to admit that I despise February 14th. It’s a day that has caused me anxiety since grade school. I remember begging my mom to take me to the drug store so I could purchase the 24 pack of Valentine cards with matching envelopes and shiny pink stickers. I painstakingly wrote out cards for all of boys and girls in my classroom, sealed the envelopes and snuck them into the brown paper bags or card board boxes we decorated as makeshift Valentine’s Day mailboxes.

We weren’t allowed to peek into our mailboxes until the end of the day on February 14th. When given the go-ahead, we scrambled to grab our boxes and dumped them on our desks to see how many cards we had collected.

Hmmm! Something didn’t add up. There were 22 kids in my class, but I only had received 13 Valentine Day cards. “What could have happened?” I wondered. “Did someone forget to do their cards?” I looked around the classroom and to my dismay, I saw that a few of my classmates had more than a dozen cards on their desks and there were a few kids who actually had less cards then me. I went home from school that day feeling terribly sad and confused.

Years later, I was in my first serious relationship and we had been dating for about seven months when Valentine’s Day rolled around. My boyfriend asked me to dinner at a prestigious steak house in town and I was over the moon. I bought a new dress and even had my hair done. I felt extremely grown up.

When we arrived to the restaurant, we were seated at a cozy table for two in the middle of the upscale dining room. The tables on either side of us were less than 12 inches away. I felt like we had been crammed our space as an afterthought.

I was glancing over the menu when our waiter appeared at our table.

“Oh,” he said with a smirk. “We won’t be offering anything from our regular menu this evening. You must choose something from our set menu.”

I had no idea that many restaurants don’t want to burdened with all of the choices that come from the full menu, so they insist that the patrons choose from a limited menu that likely includes an appetizer, two or three dinner entrees and dessert.

I felt more than a little let down.

Over the years, I have come to dread Valentine’s Day. I don’t need cards, candy, or other more elaborate gifts on this Hallmark Holiday, but I always felt like I had to justify why or why not my boyfriends or husbands bought me a gift.

I won’t be buying any gifts this year. I won’t be going out to dinner and I won’t be sending any cards.

I will use the other 364 days to express my feelings of love and adoration to everyone in my world because those are the days when no one expects it.

Just a thought!

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