Please welcome author Heidi Marshall to Romance Week. Heidi has graciously offered to do a guest post about love and Valentine's Day. As well she has offered up a giveaway for a FREE download of her ebook, MORE, to 10 lucky winners.
I Love Us
Every year, I have to force myself to love Valentine's Day.
It's not that I'm bitter. In fact, I love love. Heck, I'm a romance writer. It's in my blood. I think it's fantastic that we have a day in our culture set apart to make people feel special and loved. But when you're single on Valentine's Day, as I almost always am, you have to make a conscious choice to not be a miserable spinster on February 14.
I employ a variety of anti-spinster initiatives. For example, on Valentine's Day I will put on a pretty pink shirt instead of wearing my typical black. Yes, I will forgo the magically slimming qualities of a black garment just to prove that I support love and those who have it. One year, I made chocolate covered pretzels and strawberries sprinkled with tiny heart shaped candies and brought them to work to share. A bitter woman wouldn't do that, right? And as a rule, I never, EVER, refer to Valentine's Day as "Singleness Awareness Day".
But even with all of my efforts, I am always bombarded with reasons to feel sorry for myself. I'll be working hard in my office (ok fine, I'll be online shopping in my office) and I'll hear the squeal of a coworker down the hall as she receives roses from her loving and thoughtful husband. Or I'll walk to the break room to get a cup of water, only to encounter another coworker talking about the restaurant her boyfriend is taking her to tonight and what she's going to wear and how she thinks it's about time for him to pop the question, but it couldn't possibly be tonight because he's not that cliché. And as I hide my grimace, I think about how my plans for the evening consist of a cheap bottle of white wine, a block a cheese, and a movie that I know will most definitely torture me, like Sabrina or Notting Hill or When Harry Met Sally.
The other day I saw a Hallmark commercial. It followed couples doing various fun couple-y things, like cheering at a hockey game, watching TV, holding hands while taking the dog for a walk, and going bowling. The tagline is something like "Valentine's Day isn't about saying I love you - it's about saying I love us." When I saw this commercial, I cursed at my television.
Then I saw another Hallmark commercial that made me have a completely different reaction. It follows a mom as she creeps around her house early in the morning while her daughters are still sleeping. She sets a little Valentine's gift beside each of their beds, and it just makes you think about how when these girls wake up, the first thought they are going to have is that they are loved. And...I started crying.
Talk about bipolar.
So here's my choice - I can choose to curse at the happy couples, or I can celebrate the love that I am blessed with. We all have an us. Lots of us-es, actually. I love the us of my Game Night group crying with laughter over a game of Catch Phrase. I love the us of my mother sending me a card to say she loves me just because. I love the us of going out to eat with a dear friend and having a deep and vulnerable conversation. I have so much to love, and I am loved so much, and I choose to delight in those truths.
So this year on Valentine's Day, I'll put on a cheerful color. I'll make some tasty treats. I'll probably still go home, drink my cheap wine, eat my block of cheese, and shed a tear at a romantic movie. But, at the very core, I will be so thankful for every "us" I have in my life.
I'll probably still curse at the TV if I see that commercial again, though. It's just annoying.
Thank you so much for stopping by Romance Week and sharing with us your thoughts on Valentine's Day. I too have felt the exact same way and realized that Valentine's Day isn't just for couples anymore - it's about LOVE. So it was wonderful to see such a great write up about this topic.
Don't forget to check out my review of Heidi's book, More, which is up on the blog today too. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.
TO ENTER THE E-BOOK GIVEAWAY
Please leave a comment on this post to let us know:
What was the most fun thing you did on Valentine's Day when you were single (not in a relationship)?
Please include a way to contact you for example an email address, but please add a space into the email address like below to avoid being spammed by the email spam monsters out there.
chrystal.mclean (at) yahoo.ca
Contest ends midnight on February 18th. Winners to be announced February 19th.