February 11, 2011

Love and Friendship and Valentines Day


Valentine Candy Hearts

As we begin the big Weekend of Love, otherwise know as Valentine’s Day I definitely don’t feel the tug to buy flowers or candy or gifts or even go out to dinner. I’ve never been big on Valentine’s Day. Surprised, I’m sure! Not! Valentine’s Day is not a Jewish holiday, so we didn’t really celebrate in my house. Sure I got the dime store box of cards for the exchanges at school, but it wasn’t really a big deal. After all, it’s really a Christian celebration.

Unlike my friends, my parents didn’t make a big deal about Valentine’s Day. It wasn’t until I was in high school and it took on an entirely different meaning that I fully understood it’s importance as an American cultural phenomenon. It wasn’t so much about anything other than the grand commercialism of love and ‘the hook up’. You can tell I learned a lot in school.

The cool part was that my schools (I went to a few different high schools) all had some group selling Valentine greetings you could buy and have delivered to your friends. It wasn’t a love thing. It was actually kind of a popularity thing. And because I wasn’t one of the popular kids it was always a crap shoot. My mom would always give my brother and I money to buy one for each other and one for someone else. I think it was her way of making sure we weren’t left out since we moved schools quite a bit growing up. I would always buy one for my brother and put some lame message on it and sign it from some random person. Never myself. Because that’s lame to get a Valentine from your little sister. He, on the other hand, was all brother in his message. It usually included something about how great he is and that I was lucky to have him as my brother. And while I would roll my eyes, I knew what he really meant.

The other one though was a little bit harder. I never knew who to choose. I had plenty of friends so it was a matter of figuring out which one to send it to. Without hurting anyone else’s feelings. Sometimes I worried that I wouldn’t get one and would send it to myself. And there were years that had I not done that the only one I would get would be from my brother. And what’s more disheartening, only getting one Valentine and that being from your brother or sending one to yourself? I think I’d rather have had none because I could have said that my family didn’t celebrate. But with one from my brother, I needed a distraction.

As I got older and more settled in my school it was easier to send something to all my friends. We’d all send each other these little Valentines and laugh and giggle about it. But I knew that a few of these people were really my friends. People whom I would know as a grown up. And thanks to social networking and email it is a reality. Not just for me, but for so many too.

Valentines wasn’t a big deal in college. Sure CycleGuy and I dated. As poor college students though, it was hard to justify that big, fancy Valentine’s Day dinner. Besides, when the guy you’re dating knows you’ve got an eating disorder it’s just not as romantic as it sounds. And he was usually working anyway. We’d exchange cards since that’s what sappy college-love does. And I still have those cards. Because that’s what sappy grown up love does.

Fast forward 20 years and I have an even stronger belief in the love of friends that co-exists with the romantic love of Valentine’s Day. It’s a day I can be all syrupy and googly with my friends and embarrass them and myself with my goofy rhyming poems and haiku. But it’s important. It’s important that I let those people that matter to me know that I truly do love them and appreciate their friendship. Yes, I tell people all the time that they mean a lot to me. But it’s this one day, the day I often worried about whether people who were my friend could say so in front of others when I make sure to let those people who bring love and joy to my life know that I appreciate them.

I thank you, my dear reader, for coming here to read what I have to say. For commenting or emailing. For letting me know that you like me. My blog. Both. And while I can not send you a special Valentine message to homeroom or 3rd period, here is your virtual wish and one of the many quotes about friendship that I appreciate. You can always tell a real friend: when you’ve made a fool of yourself he doesn’t feel you’ve done a permanent job.

Happy Valentine’s Day my dear friends!



shifra February 11, 2011 at 9:05 am

touched by your heartfelt sentiments. i love you and treasure you and your blog every day of the year. you are so awesome! a true blessing in my life. i admire you and your bloggy, homeschooling, smart, and efficient ways!!!!

Lisa February 11, 2011 at 9:27 am

happy valentine’s day Sara – a dear friend who I don’t get to see often enough but who remains close in my heart! Reading your blog reminded me of the carnations in junior high that they’d sell to be delivered – same kind of deal as the valentine’s you remember- now, the school rule is if you’re giving valentine’s you have to give one to everyone in the class….

Carrie February 11, 2011 at 11:14 am

happy valentine’s day sara!

the boy and i are making a big thing of valentine’s day this year but only because i have never had a valentine before so it’s my first time! we’re driving down to harris ranch tomorrow for awesome steaks since we both have to work on monday.

Kate @ Songs Kate Sang February 11, 2011 at 7:42 pm

You made me smile. Thank you!

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