Try to find a Valentine’s Day card for a man
On Valentine’s Day, my twenty-two-year-old daughter observed, “When I was at the store today, I was shocked by the lack of cards available for men. It made me sad to think about all of the guys who feel pressured and obligated every year to get stuff for their significant others.”
I’m not fond of creating expectations that prove love. Last week, for the first time in years, I tried to pick out a Valentine card. When I nearly hyperventilated, my twelve-year-old daughter offered to choose one for me, but I opted to skip it altogether. Standing there amongst all the people who were frantically trying to find just the right mass-produced words to express their love, simply because the calendar told them to, was too much for me. There was a time when I needed the affirmation of those annual words, but I don’t want to be back in that world.
As I left the store, my mind replayed scenes from when I have felt most loved. There was no obligation, and no card; just simple, humble actions.
There was love in the man on his knees cleaning up the Sprite I spilled in the kitchen floor when I just got home from the ER, and was completely overwhelmed.
There was love in the man who lit a fire in the fireplace of the guest room of his home, and left me there to sleep alone, and then brought breakfast the next morning all because he knew I’d been having a rough time.
There was love in the man who tucked me safely into his bed when I’d been drinking too much to safely drive home, and then slept in his own guest room.
There was love in the man who sat awake all night after my last major surgery so he could wake me for my meds, and help me walk periodically to prevent blood clots.
There was love in the man who first taught me what it meant to be valued, and took it upon himself to connect me with people that would further my purpose in life.
There was love in the man who took a job in another state, but postponed his starting date so that he could fulfill a commitment he’d made to me.
There was love in the man who messaged me from across the country at 5am on February 14th, and without any expectation at all said, “I’ve always thought that Valentine’s Day should be about love. It is unfair to people that aren’t currently “paired up”, because they are loved every day. They just may not hear it verbalized as often. You are absolutely one of my favorite and fascinating people. Just wanted to make sure that you know you are highly regarded on this day.”
I have been blessed with more expressions of love than I could have ever hoped, and it wasn’t forced because of a date on the calendar.
I have never been good at Valentine’s Day. It stresses me out. But I love loving and being loved. I recognize that everyone needs to celebrate the holiday in their own way, and I respect that. And some folks need to skip it altogether. I respect that too. But my daughter’s observations were valid. It’s important not to discount the hundreds of ways people show love each and every day of the year.
Syndicated columnist Ginger Claremohr is an author, motivational speaker, and mother of five. Follow her on Facebook, find her on the web: www.claremohr.com, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.