VD anyone?

In honor of this most auspicious holiday, Valentine's Day, I figured I'd throw in my nickel's worth.
So, let's get this out there. It's a holiday which, like all others, started out as pagan and ended up with a Saint involved. And while it has good intentions, for some those are very hard to find. So hopefully today's blog will inspire those who have a hard time with it it to experience their own joy on this day, regardless of whether they have a personal valentine in their life. And hopefully carry that joy onward, so every day you find a little something to celebrate.

Full disclosure requires me to admit that my first 24 Valentine's Days sucked. Well, ok, as an infant and toddler, you could say I sensed a vibe going on around me, just not through me.

In grade school, everyone gets valentines. It's a rule. Knowing that, there were always those girls who got special secret valentines slipped to them at recess. Or left in their lunchbox. These were the special girls. The ones who understood at an early age what adoration is about.

So not me. Never got anything. Then there was Junior High. No more valentines for all. Instead, it was about getting someone to "go out" over that crucial holiday. Didn't matter if you were going out with someone the week before or the week after (most relationships had a time limit back then), Valentines Day was the measure of your success in the land of hormonal chaos.

High school. Oh that was fun. Everywhere you look PDA was in your face. We had a special word reserved for those who flaunted their VD status. Sluts.

Then graduation. College. Party city, right? Well we were certainly kidding ourselves there. In the days of clubbing and discos and greek life, VD was sacred. No date, no getting past the bouncer. Unless it was a pick up bar or frat house, in which case you knew precisely what kind of people you would find. Drunk, stupid and horny.

So that was the first 24 years. And then I met hubby. I remember our first Valentine's Day so vividly.
2-14-86. Woke up full of anticipation and expectation.  And yes, I got the flowers. I got the present. I got the all important card.

But ironically, I found VD just wasn't so special after all. Now don't misunderstand. I liked the flowers. I liked getting the card. But not nearly as much as I liked being with him. And I realized February 14th was just that. February 14th. It didn't transform me. I didn't blossom like Toula in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  The next morning I was still me. And the next day too. I didn't go buy a new wardrobe and have my brows waxed. I didn't twirl in the street like Mary Tyler Moore. I didn't sparkle and shine and become a new woman.

But my first real Valentine's Day celebration did change me. It grounded me. I discovered that love is about every day life. Not holidays. And not just about romance. It's about all types of love and affection. Your friends. Your Family. Your Children. And it is so much sweeter that way.
It's a simple reminder to appreciate what we have in our lives. While we can.

So here's my suggestion for this year. If there is anyone in your life that you love, value and respect, let them know it. Don't wait for Valentine's Day. Or any other holiday. Don't wait  for a birthday, Or celebrity fight night. Don't wait until you hear from them. Don't wait until you have a little time for a phone call. Don't wait until the next commercial. If, at any moment, the thought pops in your head that your best friend a zillion miles away is someone you really appreciate in your life, than text em. Tweet em. Send an email. Find them on Facebook.

Doesn't matter what you say. Just say hello. It's enough. And, if Karma has its way, you will be on the receiving end of some of those shout outs. When you least expect it your day will be that much better.

And Valentine's Day will be nothing more than red ink on a calendar. You can put When Harry Met Sally back on the shelf, next to Terms of Endearment and An Officer and a Gentleman. Or for those of you who can still go braless, The Notebook, Pearl Harbor and Jerry Maguire.

Treat Valentine's Day as you would any other day. Only how about from now on, make every day something special for someone. Merely by remembering they are there.

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