“A bell is no bell ’til you ring it,
A song is no song ’til you sing it,
And love in your heart
Wasn’t put there to stay –
Love isn’t love
‘Til you give it away.”
~Oscar Hammerstein, Sound of Music, “You Are Sixteen (Reprise)”
Ahhhh. ‘Tis the season for romance, right? Chocolate hearts, teddy bears, lovey-dovey sweet nothings….
I know, I know…I’m very happily in love and should be happy about Valentine’s Day, right? Well, I am happy that I’m in a relationship with such a wonderful, amazing man. Don’t get me wrong. But the idea that it should all be centered around one day? Eh. Pardon my French here, but I just think that’s a bunch of BS.
And besides, I haven’t always been deliriously happy on Valentine’s Day. As some of you may remember, this wasn’t the case for me last year. Richard and I had split up. (And, believe me, Richard just loooooves when I bring this up….). I wrote a blog (a year ago today actually) about how I had attempted to see Valentine’s Day in a different light that year. And it worked for a while. It really did. But then, a few days later, you’ll see the blog I wrote on the day after Valentine’s Day. (Aptly titled “The Day After Valentine’s Day…” Man, I was creative back in the old days…) I had psyched myself to get through that day, and then felt the sadness all over again once it was over.
So, again, yes, I am much much happier this year. I’m so grateful that Richard and I made it through the hurt and sadness and found our way back to each other. But regardless of my status this or any year, I still hate the thought of the turmoil that Valentine’s Day puts people through. I know many people who are recently single who are bracing themselves for the dreaded V-Day just as I had to do last year. And why is that? Isn’t every day hard enough on the brokenhearted as it is without having to rub their faces in it once a year? And if you’re not amongst the brokenhearted and are in a loving relationship now like I am, should you really need one particular day a year to remind you to be good to the one you love? And do you really need to be pressured into buying expensive gifts to prove said love?
Well, I certainly don’t think so.
So…with that rant out of the way…let’s get to the point of this particular blog. I decided that maybe I should do a Valentine’s Day give-away of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book that my story is in. While, yes, it is a book filled with happy love stories, it’s also a book filled with real love stories. And some of them, just like real life, don’t necessarily have such happy endings. The book is divided into subject headings and one of them is entitled “Let’s Forget this Ever Happened.” Another is called “It’s Not Me, It’s You” and contains a story called “Worst Date Ever.” Anyway, you catch my drift right? These stories are real. And I think it’s important for us all to remember that there are a variety of “statuses” out there on stupid stinky ole Valentine’s Day. If you’re not one of the ones in a happy relationship, don’t sweat it. When we’re in a place of sadness, it’s easy to get it into our head that we’re the only one feeling this way. That everyone out there has a partner and we’re the only one who is alone. Well, you’re not alone. Ever. And here’s how I want to show you that.
If you read this blog, I want you to comment below. (If you’re reading this on Facebook, you’re welcome to comment there too if you can’t figure out how to comment on the actual blog site). I want you to tell me what your relationship status is, and how you plan to ‘celebrate’ Valentine’s Day. And I want all the stories. From the good to the bad to the ugly. If you’re happily in love and plan the sweetest V-Day on the planet, go ahead and tell us about it. We’ll try not to gag. And if you’re miserable and hateful and spiteful and grumpy – I want to hear your thoughts too. Really.
Why am I doing this? I want people to read the variety of answers that I hope to get. I want people to see that in the answers to this question, there probably lies someone out there in the same position you’re in…as is always the case, no matter the circumstance. We are just never ever alone. Really. We’re not. Will my plan work? Eh, I don’t know. But I’m willing to bet that if people participate, it’s at least going to be entertaining to read, don’t ya think!? And keep in mind, I don’t want an essay or anything. Just one sentence will do. Whether it’s “I’m single and I plan to curl in a ball and cry into the wee hours of the morn,” or “I’m deliriously in love and plan to chronicle ever single moment of my dinner/dancing/smooching lovefest on Facebook for all the world to see,” we want to read them all. Well. Sort of. 😉
And, then, on the dreaded V-Day, I will put all of the commenters names in a hat (or bowl or scattered all the floor, whatever) and I will draw a name at random at 3:00 p.m. and will send the winner an autographed copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dating Game. Check back here on my blog for the winner’s name and instructions on how to claim your prize. If you’ve already purchased a book from me, enter anyway! You can give it as a gift, maybe even with a copy of this blog so they know why you’re giving it to them. Or, you may even opt to participate but not accept the prize and allow me to draw another name. Either way – you’re a winner. Right? Let’s spread the love, people. (And if I wasn’t a struggling, broke wannabe writer, I’d give you something better than a book, but hey – you can only give what ya got, right?…)
So. We good? You understand the rules? Ok, then. Let’s do this. Ready, set….comment.
Seriously. Show someone they’re not alone this Valentine’s Day. That may just be all one person out there needs to know.
“If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love.”
– Maya Angelou