Valentine's Day is not a painful thing for me, anymore. It used to be. I used to HATE being single on Valentine's Day, and there's only been ONE that I wasn't. (That one, by the way, was fabulous... My boyfriend brought me flowers the day before because we weren't going to see each other on the day of, then he also brought me a HUGE bouquet of 5 dozen flowers and the movie "The Notebook" on V-day. Nice. Yeah, I'm a fan of the flowers thing. Must. Stop. Chasing. Bunnies. ) I would see all the hearts and flowers and fancy cards... the idea of being swooped up into a romance with some guy who would show up to pick me up for our fancy date in a stretch limo was just too much! I'd whine and moan about being single, and I'd get all sad and down when no mysterious gift from a secret admirer arrived.
The truth is that hearts and flowers and planned out scenes are not love. They're not even romance. They're the veneer of a contrived romance that we're supposed to accept as being the real thing, because Hollywood and the marketing industry can't replicate the real thing. This isn't one of those rants about the mass-marketing conspiracy theory of Valentine's Day, though. I think that hearts and flowers are sweet reminders of a romance-- they are not, however, the actual romance. I think that Valentine's Day is a good reminder to guys (who tend to be a little clueless in the romance department) that they might want to show their appreciation to the women in their lives, and an opportunity for women to feel a bit pampered, once a year. Ideally, relationships should have some romance in them without the reminder by Hallmark from mid-December through mid-February... (Seriously. I saw Valentine's stuff in one store BEFORE Christmas, this year!)
Beyond all that, I've finally gotten to the point in my life that I understand. All the misery I used to perpetuate on V-Day has been replaced with hope. Yes, ladies, I said hope. Not necessarily hope for romance, but hope for the future. I have finally begun to see the future as better than the past, and I'm looking expectantly into it. (Not LIVING in it, mind you, just looking into it.) So I hauled my cookies to the movie theater to watch a sweet little romantic comedy, and I left, not at all disillusioned or bitter over the on-screen romance. Maybe this is proof that I'm maturing. Who knows?