i remember the devastation of adolescence where, each and every valentines day in high school found me, ridiculously, longing to have my name called as cupid’s volunteers hand-delivered single stem carnations to the lucky ones in my classrooms.
i have to laugh: i couldn’t get a date in high school if my life depended on it. why on earth did i presume that, on this bright pink day, a mysterious secret casanova would suddenly appear to woo me? so, rubbing my bruised heart strings, i’d just get through the day as speedily and less dejectedly as i possibly could. i remember that craving to know what the heck love felt like. who really likes cheesy carnations anyway?!? crazy.
a particularly wonderful year in college, i got my revenge on cupid’s coldhearted passing me by years earlier when i was treated to a madcap mountain of flowers: my room mate and i comically managing the que of suitors, coming in one door, up the stairs, buzzing me from the lobby: ah the feeling was sweet for sure, if not certainly fleeting. none of that year’s swains was able to capture my heart, but at least it was a hell of a better way to spend the day than in years past.
since then, i’ve had feast or famine, both deserts and tsunamis of blooming champagne feasts. i know all too well both the parts of meg ryan bounding towards tom hanks, or bridget jones bounding towards chocolate, the telly and some cabernet. i know why cupid carries an arrow: you really do spend the day acutely aware of that darn arrow and it’s potential to sting.
decades have passed since those sad little days in high school, my dan fogelberg records worn thin from overplay. but what buoys me up, scouts honor, then and to this day is my realization that since valentines day is all about love, i’m good to go: i’ve been swallowed up, surrounded, basked and warmed by a life brimming with amazing, wonderful, constant, loyal, tingly, hilarious love.
there’s a stack of diaries to testify to plenty of romantic playing footsie since high school; there’s that cool thing called my amazing true-blue family; there’s a life spent with the dearest, kookiest friends imaginable, and (drum roll please) the sprinkling of yumminess sweet enough to last a lifetime: the best love of all embodied in the goofy, heart-bursting warmth of my children’s smiles.
happy valentines day indeed: no matter what it looks like, love does make the world go round. and boy, does it feel good.