This morning I woke up to a few Valentine’s Day messages on WhatsApp. I responded to just one — mainly because the sender was all the way in London and still thought there was “no harm in wishing someone I care about” — and ignored all the others. And when people asked if I would be celebrating Valentine’s Day this year, I knitted my eyebrows, curled my lip and shook my head, all the better to make it known that I was not one of those girls.
The honest-to-goodness truth is that I’m not an anti-Valentine; I don’t dislike it the way I dislike weddings — although, come to think of it, it has its own level of circus mania. It just seems to me that over the years, something happened to take away the history and meaning behind the occasion, and now it’s become this giant pink (or red) octopus-like creature just waiting for its one day a year to rear its head, spread its tentacles far and wide and draw the unsuspecting lovestruck into its lair where the economy, apparently, knows no bounds. And even though I’ve never celebrated Valentine’s Day, I can somehow see where all the hype (emotional, not commercial) is coming from.
Because all cynicism and bitterness aside, Valentine’s Day is about love, whether celebrating it or acknowledging it, and all its forms. Whether or not we’re in a relationship, in love, or in limbo, we should take it for what it is and actually be glad that Valentine’s Day still exists, because it means that love — new, old or anywhere in between — is still alive and there is the hope that the glow of basking in the joy of love lingers among the few of us who still dare to believe in it.
I’m not a romantic person — although I’m bordering on idealistic — and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day in any way, shape or form. It doesn’t mean I don’t believe in love, which, in retrospect, is a bit of an irony for me, because after everything I’ve been through in the last decade of my life, the last thing I should believe in is love. But I know now that true love really does exist, and I have been fortunate enough to feel it for myself over the last two years. I also know that I do have the capacity to love somebody after all, so there is no reason for me to stop believing in love. I just have to stop believing that love will find me.
So Happy Valentine’s Day. You know I love you.