I have always hated Valentine’s Day.
When I was a little girl, it always embarrassed me that little boys never sent me any cards or candy grams or whatever it is they do in elementary school. My teeth were crooked, I was chubby, wore glasses, and was so awkward and loud that it was just plain painful. I was smart, and not athletic, which I think is beyond awesome now, but whatever. Anyway, all that stuff bothered me and it’s the same story of a million girls just like me. But none of it bothered me the way it did when my girl friends got flowers and candy from their Dad’s delivered to school.
Every. Single. Year. Every year, I told myself that I wouldn’t worry about it, or look forward to it, or wish for it. But, every year, I would sit and listen to them return to class and say, “it’s from my Dad” and it killed me a little bit inside. I felt left out when I was ignored by boys, but I felt deeply, irreparably broken when I didn’t feel relevant to my Dad.
Years later, I don’t hold any resentment toward my Dad for this, or for much of anything anymore. From time to time it strikes me how much I missed having a Dad in so many situations in my life, and while I sit up on this Friday night and scroll through pictures of flowers and candy, I can’t help but think about it. Valentine’s Day is stupid. It’s a ridiculous holiday, and I don’t have to get into all the reasons why. When I was single, everyone assumed I hated it because I was alone. Well, I’m married and I still think it’s super lame, so lame that Chad and I don’t even acknowledge or celebrate it. If you like it, I’m not yucking your yum, so don’t take it personally. I’m just telling you why I never have.
Even so, I can tell you the sweetest thing I ever got for Valentine’s Day. It’s not all a wash because nothing ever is. I got a heart shaped box of peanut M&M’s from my Papaw Doc when I was probably 6 or 7, and even though it wasn’t delivered to school, it made me feel so special that he thought of me. But, then again, when didn’t he? In all the places I looked for my Dad, my Papaw found a way to fill those cracks as best he could and it made me okay again. My Mama never forgot me, either. She knows I love the fruit flavored, cream filled chocolates and she was my Valentine for years. She still is. And you know, one time, a beautiful bearded fella showed up at my work with breakfast burritos.
So, yeah, it’s not all bad. For as much as something hurts, there are people who always fill those cracks and piece together your brokenness, and help you move forward. There are always days where you wish someone loved you the way you love them, and then you find someone who loves you in a way you never thought someone could. I’ve seen a lot of people proclaim “people who hate this holiday are just lonely” and that’s just not always the case.
I still don’t care for Valentine’s Day. Sometimes, I’m still a little girl waiting to be acknowledged by her Dad. Most of the time, I’m a woman who has moved on and built a nice life, who just doesn’t like the color pink or hearts. But, I will eat the life out of any cupcakes or candy, heart shaped or otherwise. Please believe that.