Thursday, February 14, 2013


Valentine's Day. Like many other occasions - birthdays, Christmas, new years - it comes with the baggage of memories and dreams. Perhaps somehow, more so, because of what the day itself signifies. Love.

For as long as I've known, I've been a big contender in the "hopeless romantic" category. Love, in all its glory has been something I have fallen for from a very young age. All that it signifies, companionship, friendship, togetherness, understanding, ... that which goes way, way, beyond words ... has remained embedded in me even at the times I denounced it.

My first memories of Valentine's is of elementary school. Buying those ready-made cards with animated characters on them, and filling them out carefully with every classmates name. Choosing special cards for those special friends, or ahem, crushes. Of course, it was something everyone did, and as such it wasn't really a very romantic thing. But there was a specialness in knowing you were giving something, something from yourself, something maybe from your heart, and as such it was giving a part of yourself and that in it's pure essence was something beautiful and amazing.

Then there was the receiving part. Overall, I know that I've always been more of a giving person than a receiving or taking person. And so, those little piles of red and pink cards, the little candies that came in our special "Valentine" boxes or bags were so precious. Thrilling to be remembered and thought of. A feeling of belonging, of friendship.

High-school. Valentines never meant romance. This was the transition between childhood and puberty, and beyond. The moment when little crushes suddenly felt like it was the real thing, when obviously wasn't. Valentine in high-school meant planning out the school rose-o-gram program myself, making daily PA announcements, designing and printing out the advertisements and finally selling our roses and persuading every guy to show his love for his girlfriend and buy a rose, or two, or three....For someone who did a good job at persuading, I was absolutely zero at seducing. I didn't expect anyone to be buying me roses. I bought roses anonymously for a migrant teacher who was having a very hard time with the students and school. I bought roses for all my friends, anonymously, to make them think they were loved by a secret admirer. As social convenor of the prefects, I was in charge of Valentines program, because who else was such a die-hard fan of love? My best memory was being pleasantly surprised by an assortment of roses waiting for me when I was done the whole program. From my guy friends "thanks for the homework notes", "thanks for helping me in class", "thanks for being a superstar!"... SIGH.

Then...somehow I just went off of Valentines. I don't remember University being special for Valentines. In fact, I remember being anti-love and anti-valentines, and proud of it, and meeting one of my best friends (who remains one) all those years ago, just because we shared that antipathy. So, I guess if anything special came out of Valentines, it was being anti-Valentine then....

Working, all I remember through those years is always helping my friends choose the right card or gift. And, and here I am.

And while I made a secret resolution to myself that I would treat the day like any other, I can say that I'm loving this year's Valentine's Day! And that's a wrap... Ok, someone just messaged me right this very second "No hanky panky" LOL.

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