Dear Loud One,
It’s Valentine’s Day Night and millions of people are putting roses in vases right now and cramming into crowded restaurants to whisper things like “I’m so happy you’re my Valentine this year!” and “This has been the best year month week of my life! I will love you forever!” and exchanging heart-shaped boxes of calories that the girl will probably end up devouring the following weekend when the guy tells her that he just needs some space and that “it’s not HER, it’s him” which we all know is a BIG LIE but when you’re hearing it, you manage to convince yourself that this may actually be the ONE TIME that line has been said in total and complete honesty and…
Loud One, here’s the thing. Valentine’s Day is a hyped-up, sort-of-fake holiday that has gained momentum over the years thanks to Hallmark, Russell Stover and Tiffany. (And Kay’s but only because we simply cannot avoid those commercials with the stupid jingle Every kiss begins with Kay’s, even thought we have a DVR. How do they do that?)
BUT. You will not be immune to Cupid’s charms. There will come a time when you yearn for the mushy cards, the heart-shaped boxes and the little blue magic box. These desires may pass; they may not. Regardless, there are a few things I want you to remember about this “holiday” and the person you choose to spend it with.
1. Your Valentine of the future MUST treat you well on this day (and all days, but that’s obvious) unless it’s been mutually agreed upon ahead of time that you will just ignore the hype and not buy any presents (in which case, he should still get you a tiny, little something anyway because you’re the best and he couldn’t resist.)
Side note: Most boys DO NOT understand that last part. Take my advice and tell them up front that what you meant by “Let’s not exchange gifts,” was really, “Why don’t you just buy me a little something?” They’re boys, honey; they can’t help it.)
2. Don’t ever settle to be anyone’s second choice Valentine. If you’re not somebody’s OBVIOUS first choice, than grab a few of your kick-ass girlfriends and open a bottle of wine/soda/chocolate milk/juice box (depending on how old you are) and celebrate your independence. This won’t always feel easy. Sometimes it will feel sad, but you’ll obviously have Ben & Jerry’s there to cheer you up because let me tell you LO, those boys will ALWAYS be there for you during the rough times. And just know… this too shall pass.
3. Don’t give your heart out to just anyone who will take it. You know how you brought 21 Valentine’s hearts to school today? And you gave one to everyone including the boy who’s not always that nice? And then everyone just stuffed them in their homemade heart boxes and some of those kids didn’t even say thank you? Well, that’s PERFECT for 1st grade; that’s exactly what is supposed to happen when you’re six years old.
But when you get older, you should save your Valentine’s heart for that one special person who’s going to open it, love it, appreciate it and not squish it into any box. They may even want to keep it pressed between two pages of a heavy dictionary or encyclopedia to protect it and take it out years later and remember how special it made them feel. (“What’s an encyclopedia?” you ask? Hmmm… it’s like a written version of the Internet.)
4. On the other hand, don’t hold back either. Always be confident that your Valentine’s heart is special and worthy. Sometimes you’ll have to take a risk and a deep breath and hold it out unsure of how it will be received. If it’s taken and appreciated, exhale and smile.
And if not? Call me immediately. You can cry and I’ll remind you that sometimes love sucks and also, because I’m your mother, I’ll probably say that he’s an asshole and doesn’t deserve someone like you. And then I MIGHT, without you knowing, find him and just hurt him a little bit.
5. Lastly, keep the faith. You’ll spend many Valentine’s wishing you were with someone… or someone else. But on some February 14th far in the future, you’ll end up on the couch, eating take-out and watching Mad Men (or some show set in the 90s) next to the Valentine with whom you were always meant to be.
Just like me and Dad.
You’ll always be MY special Valentine, LO.
PS. To the Nibbit and Happy Dude, I have some Valentine’s advice for you guys, too. Don’t eff it up. Treat girls well. Buy teddy bears if their age ends in “-teen” and jewelry if not. And if they tell you that you’re “not exchanging gifts this year,” get them a little something anyway. It doesn’t take much boys; man up.