Christmas is barely over these days when the retail industry starts reminding us that the next big gift/card giving holiday is right around the corner. Even I'm a wee bit guilty of this myself when it comes to designing, but that's mostly because it's just plain fun to create cute & sweet designs.
The night before Valentine's Day you'd be at the kitchen table with the list of student's names your teacher had sent home, and your box of cards that your mom meticulously selected just for you (that oddly enough looked almost identical to all the other cards available). One by one you'd address your cutesie-poo little cards (even to the boys, UGH!) and then stuff them into their tiny little envelope. You always saved the "teacher" card for last, and in your very very very best handwriting would address it and sign it.
Off you'd go to school the next day all excited about the party in the class. The whole class had made construction paper heart shaped envelopes and taped them to the front of their desks, so when it was time to deliver the cards it was as simple as dropping them into the hearts. Some of the mothers of the students sent along cookies, cupcakes and fruit punch and inevitably those nasty little candy hearts with "love u" and "be mine" would always show up. I'm pretty sure no one really brought them, it's just a paranormal event that happens on February 14th where they just... appear. In any event, the party was always a hit, with snacks and drinks and a chance to skip math or social studies, talk with your friends and go through the cutesie-poo little cards in your heart shaped envelope. This is what Valentine's Day means to a kid. Fun, sweets and socializing with friends.
And then... you grow up. Suddenly it doesn't mean that anymore. Suddenly it means having a date, going to dinner, giving or receiving sparkly things, chocolates in heart shaped boxes and flowers with an I Love You card from the most awesome person ever. Or, if you're single, it doesn't mean any of those things and somehow you think you're missing out. Or, if you're married but not to Most Romantic Person Ever it definitely doesn't mean those things. Or, if you simply hate the idea of forced romance, you ignore the stupid day as much as you can. It seems when you're a kid it's just a simple, fun thing to do and it pretty much means the same to every kid, but then when you're an adult it becomes all complicated and emotional. It's really too bad we can't keep the simple things simple, isn't it?
Well, I'm definitely not married to The Most Romantic Person Ever (although to his credit, he does try) and I don't even think I'd want to be. I'm too much of a smarty pants and I'd just end up laughing at him sooner or later and hurt his feelings and all that. I'm also not one of those women who thinks if her husband doesn't bring home flowers and chocolates he's forgotten her or doesn't care. He totally cares, it's why he goes to work every day and doesn't buy all the things he wants to buy come pay day. Truth be told, at the beginning of every day my only prayer is that God keep him safe and bring him home safely. So all I really want, all that really matters to me is that he comes home every night. Sure, a box of chocolates are always yummy, and fresh flowers are always pretty and smell nice, but those things are just things. Things I can buy for myself if I want to. Things I don't actually need, to know he loves me and cares for me.
I just wish (as I sit around wishing for things - we all do that, don't we?) that we could somehow transplant some of those simple, uncomplicated things from childhood into our adult thinking. That would sure be nice, wouldn't it?