It is that time of year when I see everything in black and white with only a few shades of gray thrown in. It is cold and the outside world seems really stark. We are smack dab in the middle of winter and all I do is long for spring. Yesterday and the couple of days prior were a teaser of things to come (warm temps and sun) but they were all too fleeting and on their heels is clouds, cold, and what one weather source claimed would be the worst snow/ice storm and cold spell since 2008. Since I don't remember the winter of 2008 right off the top of my head...I don't know for sure just what we are in for, but I am thinking if they are making comparisons.....it can't be good. So here I am......cold, black and white with only a shade or two of gray...longing for spring.
Soon though....we will be in February and although often times in the Midwest this is the worst part of winter.....it also has its positives. The first positive is, it is the last month before we actually start seeing real signs of spring and also the month that leads us into storm season. Storm season is my absolute favorite time of year.....but as usual....I digress. Probably the best thing about February (this year anyway) is.....Valentines Day. To give you my mental visual of Valentines day....it is a cold, stark grayish photo with a colorized heart thrown in the middle. In other words.....Valentines will be the only bright spot in the dead of winter.
Now many cringe at the thought of Valentines. Mostly men who have no idea what to get or do for the woman in their life, and those who aren't currently attached. To them....the date is just a way to exploit their cash flow or make glaringly obvious the fact that they have no one to celebrate the holiday with.
In the last decade....Valentines has meant absolutely nothing to me. I purchased the obligatory small heart shaped boxes of chocolates for my kids, helped them address the age appropriate valentines cards for their classmates and other than that....ignored the holiday all together. Why??? Because when you lose the one who holds your heart completely......you also lose your desire to celebrate a holiday in which most people celebrate with a sense of obligation (because the calendar and their significant other say they should) and who have no real understanding or appreciation of what the holiday actually means.
This year though is different for me. Maybe because it has been a decade since last I truly acknowledged the day and it is time to allow a little colorization in or maybe because I have several people in my life who think my 2011 won't be complete unless little candy hearts and visions of romance are oozing from my pores. Whatever the case....Valentine's Day is coming and maybe this year....I don't want to let it (or at least the thought of it) pass me by.
All of this is a actually a moot point as I have no "special" someone to share it with. Back when I was young...you could grab someone the day before the "big" day, announce to the world you were going together and were madly in love.....and there you go......you had a Valentine. Forget the fact that more than likely....the day after you would be broken up. Now though having a real Valentine in my opinion takes a little more commitment than a 48 hour relationship.....and romance has a little different meaning too. Back in the day.....romance was physical attraction with the hopes of ending the date with a fantastic kiss. Now a days though....romance goes a little deeper. Emotional attraction trumps the heck out of pure physical attraction. Granted you still want someone who looks like he showered (at least for your date) and who is acquainted with a toothbrush.....but can he make you laugh? Can you sit down and carry on a conversation about anything from diapers to car parts and kids to hockey and still be interested in each other? Can you look at each other with honest eyes and realize that neither of you is 20 and both of you have lived lives that have brought on gray hair, no hair, hair in places hair shouldn't be, lines on your face, calluses on both your hands and your hearts, body parts that creek, and body parts that have expanded.......and still find things to laugh about? If the answer is yes.....then that my friends is the kind of romance I am looking for. Now don't get me wrong.....I am all for the hand holding, the kissing and the candy and flowers, but without true emotional romance....the rest is just smoke and mirrors.
Now I maybe old(er) but I am not delusional. The romance I speak of takes time to cultivate and with the life I lead.....would take an exceptional kind of guy to sign on for.....and with just about two weeks until the big day, I am thinking Mr. Exceptional is not suddenly going to appear and make up for lost time. Nor do I think that I am going to be bombarded with roses and candy when the 14th rears its red little heart just because many are in love with my charm, personality and the catchy way I write a blog. In fact....I am pretty darn sure that this Valentine's will come and go just as uneventfully as those of the last decade.....with one small exception. This year I actually acknowledge it. This year my heart is starting to open to the possibilities and this year even though the day might not be full of hearts and flowers.....it will be full of hope. Hope for Valentine's days to come.
So this year when I hear others say the words Will you be my Valentine, I don't think I will cringe, throw up in my mouth or worse....... simply just ignore it all. On the contrary.....I think I just might smile.....maybe even laugh...... and just sit back and enjoy..... the colorization of Valentine's Day.