Though some people think Valentines Day is a commercial racket invented by the greeting card, floral and chocolate conglomerate, I think it’s great to devote an entire day to the celebration of love. Plus, February needs a happy holiday since Presidents Day is becoming less and less of a reason to celebrate.
Romantic love is intoxicating as proven by the fact that it is the most common theme in literature, music, movies and tweet topics. While I do enjoy a good chick flick, I am somewhat bothered by the fact that most romantic stories focus on the “falling in love” part of the relationship: how they meet, first glances, touches and kisses, the butterflies in the stomach, the lightheadedness and cluelessness. We’re enthralled by it because it is the most exciting part and, if all goes well, ends with a big, beautiful wedding to be the envy of all of Pinterest. As the lovers ride off into the sunset the rest of the story is covered by the blanket statement of “And they lived happily every after,” which is purposefully vague.
On the backside of the sunset there are bills, laundry, in-laws, potty training, conflicts and colonoscopies. That’s why Disney’s attempt at a Cinderella sequel was a direct-to-video flop. We don’t really like to think about the reality after the fluff and fireworks. But while the underbelly of “happily ever after” is not as charming or marketable as “once upon a time,” it can be very rewarding if you’re willing work at it.
This Valentines Day is the 23rd for my sweetheart and me. Our first Valentines Day together was actually our second date. I’d recently gone through a relationship impasse of a mutual “let’s see other people,” so when a tall, dark and handsome art major asked me to a USU fraternity Valentine’s dance, I accepted. That night up Logan Canyon at Zanavoo, we danced and held hands for the first time. I felt tingly inside. I didn’t know then that tingling would eventually become three children, a mortgage and an onslaught of medical expenses, but I did know it was the beginning of something wonderful.
What movies and vampire romance novels don’t portray often enough is how fulfilling it is to go through real life with another human and create a meaningful and messy happiness together. That’s why I wanted to commemorate this Valentines Day with a thoughtful gift to show my love I’m glad we’re still in the thick of it together.
A few weeks ago I came across an embroidered message pattern in one of my favorite local fabric shops that I knew would be the perfect Valentine for my sweetie. I bought the pattern and proceeded to madly stitch and sew in the days before V-day to finish. I framed it up last night and placed it out where he’d find it first thing this morning—in the bathroom. (Real life, remember.) The stitched saying reads, “Love isn’t something you fall into, it’s something you grow forever.”
While the thrill of the falling is fun, it’s the grit in the growing that makes it last.
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! <3