Monday, February 14, 2011

Puppy Love on Valentine's Day

Today is Valentine’s Day. That’s pretty much the extent of my acknowledgment. It’s a day where there are lots of pink hearts, red roses and love in the air.

My two valentines are furry, black and have four legs. They can’t send a card nor send me flowers but in their own puppy way, they can tell me they love me. It can be as simple as the lifting of the blankets in the night and feeling the little warm body curl up next to mine so that when I wake up, there’s a puppy nose only inches from mine. It’s in the wagging tails and excited greetings I get when I get home at night. It’s sitting on the sofa on a cold winter night and having two dogs sleeping splayed on their backs, feet in the air and letting me know they trust me absolutely.

I’ve never been much of a Valentines girl. We never really did the card exchange in school in England the way that kids here in the States do it. We occasionally used to make heart cards for our mums and dads but that was it. When I got older, it was always whispering and giggling to see if anyone would get a Valentines card. There were maybe a couple of girls who did but that was about it.

In high school when I moved to the states, it was all about carnations. For $1, you could choose a white carnation (meaning friendship), a pink carnation (indicating someone liked you) or a red one to say that someone loved you. I got white ones. I think I even got a pink one once. That was exciting. Granted it was from my boyfriend at the time but it was still quite nice to get a carnation even if I didn’t like the boy much. College was nice because I did have a boyfriend for a couple of Valentines’ Days. He was generous and always got me roses or a CD or something he knew I’d like. But…that was it. I think I went through the embittered period of resenting the holiday because I didn’t have anyone to share it with. It was a Hallmark holiday, designed for people to spend money.

I don’t think like that anymore. I’m not sure when it happened. I think even last year, I was wistful and a little sad that, yet again, I didn’t have a real Valentine.

This year…I don’t really mind at all. It’s a nice holiday for those that celebrate it romantically. It’s also a nice holiday to just celebrate love in general. Granted, we shouldn’t need a holiday for that but, well, we have one. It’s just like when people say we shouldn’t have to wait until Christmas to give gifts. I agree with that which is why I, personally, accept gifts year-round. However, I also think it’s rather nice to have a day that’s slightly different from every other day, a day which is dedicated to something.

It’s like birthdays, really. Why choose to celebrate the day as a particular anniversary, to say, “I have been on this earth X years!?. Sure, that’s nice but we can do that every day, right? I mean, today, I can say, “Today, I have been on this planet for 36 years, 1 month and 4 days!” Of course, they don’t make cards for that. It’d take up a lot more room that “Happy 30th birthday!” wouldn’t it?

So, regardless of whether you think we need a holiday to celebrate love, we have one. It’s called Valentine’s Day. I know there’s that whole “Sweetest Day” thingy too but that one is completely made up by Hallmark and doesn’t really exist. It’s not even on the calendar. Most people don’t really know when that day is. I’m sure almost everyone knows that today is Valentine’s Day.

I’m not planning on doing much to commemorate the day. I’ll probably give the puppies a cuddle but I’d do that anyway. They don’t know the difference between today and any other day so, to them, it’s just business as usual. This means foraging in the garden for treasures, sniffing for bunnies and digging the odd hole in the ground which is finally starting to thaw. It also means squabbling about who gets to sit on my lap (if it’s Rory, this means Sookie will sit away from us, staring balefully at me as though I’ve wronged her. Whereas if Sookie gets to sit on my lap, Rory grabs a toy, starts grumbling at it and nipping it.)

But I can’t complain. It’s nice to be squabbled over, even if it is by my four legged friends. It makes me feel very loved and when you feel that way, who needs a card or flowers to prove it?

Happy Valentine’s Day! (And Happy Tuesday too!)

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