Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Valentines: Red Hot or Humbug Blue?

by Marjorie Brody

The day for expressing love is just around the corner. Do you look forward to it with glee? Eager to plan what you will do to make the love-of-your-life feel special? Or is your reaction one of a modern day Valentine Scroogette?

Bah, humbug. What’s with Valentine’s Day anyway? Why should we need a special day to show people we care about them? Oh, sure, a kid might have fun that day. She can give out cards to everyone in the class and keep her fingers crossed no one forgets to bring her one. She can give the boy who sits across the aisle and draws Superman pictures he slips to the prettiest girl in the class whenever Mrs. Thomas turns her back, a special card with a lollipop in it. But of course, he'll give the lollipop to her pretty rival. Or, she can eat the chocolates Dad brings home for Mom because he had to work late again even though he promised to make it home in time for dinner and the dinner’s ruined so Mom throws it in the trash and shoves the box at her and tells her she can eat the whole thing herself for all she cares. Phew.

Poor Scroogette. Her experiences with Valentine’s Day are so unlike my own--except that Matthew McCawley did slip me Superman drawings, and I did put a lollipop in his Valentine card.

Actually, my Mom and Dad always sent each other beautiful Valentine cards with sentimental handwritten notes prefacing their signatures. And sometimes gifts. But they’d do the I-love-you cards and gift thing on non-special days, too. Like for an un-birthday. Their motto was to show (and for writers, we know the heightened value of “showing” rather than just “telling”) each other how much they loved each other. Daily. So, Valentine’s Day was only a smidge more special than any other day.

This Valentine’s Day, my husband and I are going to babysit so our son and his wife can have a nice, quiet, romantic dinner alone. We’ll play with the babies and hold them in our laps and tell them stories, and after they are tucked in their beds, my husband and I will cuddle on the couch, and think about the non-Hallmark Valentines we’ve delivered to those we love.

How will you show your love and caring?

Marjorie Brody is an award-winning author and Pushcart Prize Nominee. Her short fiction has appeared on stage, in literary magazines, and in three volumes of the Short Story America Anthology. Her psychological suspense, TWISTED, received an Honorable Mention at the Great Midwest Book Festival and won the Texas Association of Authors 2014 Best Young Adult Fiction Award.

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