Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day, I Guess

by Olivia Cunning

Valentine's Day is not my favorite holiday.

I know, I know. A romance author should probably keep such things to herself. The idea behind the holiday is nice, but shouldn't we be celebrating love everyday, not just one day out of the year?

I don't hate Valentine's Day, but it has seldom been kind to me. It started in elementary school.

Was I the only one who didn't want to give a Valentine to every jerk in my elementary class?

Of course, there was the secret crush whose card I carefully selected (from a box of 32 similar cards). That Super-Friends card  was so heartfelt. And will you just look at the darling heart-shape I used to dot the "i" in my secret crush's name. sigh... Finally, he will know my true feelings. We will live happily ever after. (Yes, I was nine, so what?) But what about the mean kid who eats his boogers and pushed me off the monkey bars? Why did I have to give him a card? I sure didn't want him to be my valentine and there isn't a card in my Super-Friends box that says "Stay away from me, jerk.", though I'm pretty sure that's exactly what Wonder Woman would have said in this situation. Then came the heartbreak of discovering the card I received from my secret crush wasn't nearly as carefully selected and heartfelt as the one I delivered to the "mailbox/paper bag" on his desk, but was, in fact, the same GI Joe card he gave to the booger-eating meanie. And my name was written on the envelope in his mother's handwriting! Does that mean he didn't even select the card recipients himself? Ah, the emotional scars of childhood.

In high school, everyone scrambled to find a boyfriend before V-day. And he better buy a rose from the student council and have it delivered during class or he was in big trouble. This was a great way to make the girls without boyfriends feel like total losers. Cheerleaders-3 roses each. The rest of us-0. The only thing that could possibly be worse is if your parents took pity on you and sent you flowers at school. The horror! I did have a boyfriend in high school, but he went to a different school, so I was stuck in loser-dom on Valentine's Day with no rose.

When I was married, Valentine's Day was expected and more of a chore than a joy and now that I'm single again, it's a big reminder that I'm well... single. I'm convinced that this day was invented to torture me. I have had some nice Valentine's Days. They haven't all been bad. I'm sure some people love this holiday. I'm not one of them.

So Happy Valentine's Day, I guess. What's your favorite thing about this holiday?

Mine's the chocolate that goes on sale for half-price tomorrow. I am not too proud to eat chocolate out of a gaudy red heart that I bought for myself at a discount. No, I am not.

I did promise my fans a Valentine's Day short story, which I posted this morning. It's called Be Mine<--click here to read it for free.
Warning: If you haven't read this book,

the short story has some spoilers.
And if you have... well, these two always make me teary-eyed, so I needed tissue when I wrote it.


  1. Happy Valentine's Day! Nothing too crazy for V-Day. My husband and I nearly always go to a nice restaurant and exchange cards. Just a nice night out.

  2. Happy Valentine's Day! My favorite thing about Valentine's Day is that my kids always remember to get me somthing....:)

  3. Valentine's Day was always a bust when I was a kid. I didn't have a decent Feb 14th until I met my future husband, who is still my husband after almost thirty-three years. Unfortunately, today, I'm in Gatlinburg and he's back home in Indiana! We exchanged our Valentines before I left, but if I'd been home, we'd have probably gone out to dinner together.
    Loved the story!

  4. My kids always think about me, though this year my poor son is at survival training and not thinking of much else but getting through it!!!

  5. Single again is really hard at first, but then... it has its charms, my friend. Lots and lots of charms, charms everywhere you look, after a while.
    That said, I think of the widows and widowers today. We know the first anniversary is hard for them, the first Christmas, etc., but this one has to be right up there too.

  6. Husband seldom remembers Valentine's Day. He did write a poem just for me once...

    Valentine, my Valentine
    You make me drunk like new made wine
    A smile from you makes my heart soar
    Like fluffy clouds in pale blue skies.
    But should you speak in harsh rebuke
    I'd stagger off somewhere and puke!

    But right now he's washing dishes and doing laundry. That's pretty darn romantic in comparison to the poetry!

  7. Tracey- I hope you have a lovely time with your Valentine and a yummy meal.

    Abigail- Aren't your kids sweet? Be sure to tell them how much that means to you.

    Cheryl- 33 years? He must be a spectacular Valentine. You'll have to have a belated Valentine's dinner. And thanks for reading!

    Terry- I might have to work on Valentine's day this year, but at least I'm not in survival training. Sounds difficult!

    Grace- I like being single. And I'm a hopeless romantic. Not sure why Valentine's day brings out the cynic in me. But it is a difficult day for those who've loved and lost.

    Carolyn- That's a fabulous poem. Give the guy a break, it's hard to find a good word that rhymes with rebuke. ;-)

  8. Happy Valentine's day! Valentines day has never really been kind to me either. Yeah I go for the half price candy after the holiday.

  9. Mark and I are going out for pizza for Valentines Day - but later this week, because neither of us has any patience with crowded restaurants.

    Romance at our house tends to be eminently practical. Tonight, I might ogle his jeans-clad butt as he checks the oil on my car.

  10. I can totally relate. It is no fun to be boyfriendless in high school and see everyone with hearts and flowers.

  11. I've managed to complicate Valentine's Day forever more because my ex and I were married on it back in '92. It packs the day with all sorts of subtext!

  12. Happy Valentine's Day! My favorite thing is my Hubby and me taking time out to celebrate our relationship. Sometimes in the midst of normal life, we forget to do that even though we do show our love for each other in myriad small ways day after day.

  13. My favorite thing about Valentine's Day? Conversation hearts!!

  14. Your post was hysterical! I was in the sane body throughout school. The first man to give me roses on Vday (other than my dad) was my husband

  15. Hubby got sick for Valentines day, so not so much loving happening here. Chocolate still works though, and I buy the discounted boxes too today. I mean, you can't let it go to waste!

  16. Yeah I hate V-day too. Waitaminute do I see a story about rock stars? ::perks up::