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Valentine’s Day isn’t always hearts and roses

by Anthonette Klinkerman

Valentine’s Day is this month, in case you haven’t noticed. You didn’t make dinner reservations back in 2009? Or pick out heart-felt cards by the fourth day of January? Or order roses, select chocolates, or purchase a spa gift certificate for your sweetheart?

Valentine’s Day has taken on tones of America’s favorite past-time, competition. Faster, bigger, glitterier… No doubt someone worried his card was not glittery enough and turned to performance-enhancing sprinkles.

While I like the notion behind Valentine’s Day, I do not appreciate its contrived gestures. Commercials hawking mass-produced jewelry in “keepsake boxes” annoy me, and I’ll add that no sane woman appreciates itchy, ridiculous lingerie as a gift.

Before Victoria’s Secret gets its little panties in a wad, they need to recognize that most women on earth are not Amazonian equivalents of angels. We’re more like the pudgy background cherubs.

Signs everywhere denote the approaching deadline. However, expressing your love for someone should be daily, not one mandated day a year.

Don’t get me wrong – I get weepy at the appropriate times watching Sleepless in Seattle. And we have already established that I love dark chocolate.

My affinity for Valentine’s Day proper is low because I had the worst one in history as a 20 year old. It may have had something to do with being in a doctor’s office and told I had a pre-cancerous condition. Someone didn’t tell the doc that you don’t give bad news on Valentine’s Day. Just fluffy pink, red, and white things, thank you.

My car had been broken into the night before while I was at a job interview. The car was in the shop, and I had ridden a bus to the appointment because they wouldn’t tell me over the phone.

Fortunately, everything turned out well, but this took off some of the luster of the day for me.

These days, my daughter and I pick boxes of Valentines with cute kittens and stickers to seal the tiny notes for 30 kids each year. We frost cookies pink and white, eat chalky candy hearts, and, in the process, soften the edges of my memories.

For those waiting for the boy du jour to deliver on February 14, go easy on them. Like every normal-shaped mom out there, I’m hopeful they forego the scheduled performance and demonstrate their love every day.



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