Happy belated birthday, Abraham Lincoln!

image courtesy of photobucket.com

February 12 was Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. It’s also my mom’s birthday. Today is February 14, known in some circles as Valentine’s Day.

I myself don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. Oh, sure–I purchase the mandatory 22 or 23 valentines for my daughter’s classmates. I don’t want her to be outcast from her classmates. But that’s the extent of the festivities. I suppose the fact that my wedding anniversary is four days before February 14 has something to do with my non-celebration, but then I purposely planned a February wedding so that our anniversary would overshadow Valentine’s Day.

Why the disdain for this most romantic of holidays? Because in my experience, it’s always felt manipulative. You may have wonderful Valentine’s Day experiences and memories. I think that’s wonderful. I’m not trying to poo-poo on your fun. But I spent 29 Valentine’s Days as a single person, and these are some of the observations I have made:

  • If you’re single, February 14th may make you more painfully aware of your singleness.
  • Valentine’s Day typically means much more to women than it does to men. It’s sort of a litmus test for men to try and prove their devotion to their significant other based upon how much (or how little) thought went into selecting the gift. I think we put too much pressure on the guys in our lives. Especially on Valentine’s Day.
  • Having worked in an office for several years, it’s been my experience that the majority of my female coworkers would prefer flowers be delivered to the office than have them presented by their husbands or boyfriends at home. That always bugged me. It’s like it’s not enough to show the woman how much she is loved. A man is expected to show everyone else as well.
  • People spend millions of dollars each year on flowers, cards, candy and other gifts meant to express our affection for those we love. I just think that money could be better spent throughout the year.

Yes, I’m horribly unromantic and jaded when it comes to Valentine’s Day, and I know it doesn’t have to be all about romantic love, but all kinds of love. I just hate how commercial it is. Having said that, I do adore a handmade card made with love. Regardless of the occasion:

Thank you, my friend! You made my day.

So to all you hopeless romantics out there, Happy February 14th! Don’t let me spoil your fun! And to all my single friends out there, I send out this long distance dedication:

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