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It’s Valentine’s Day.

It’s Valentine’s Day, which means little to me except there will be a lot of red and pink chocolate on sale tomorrow. I’ve never been a lover of Valentine’s Day. Sure, when I was a kid it was something to get excited about. Making a box to take to school was a fun, creative outlet for the energy that had built up in anticipation of notes and chocolate. I worked hard to cover every inch of my shoebox in red construction paper. Giving Valentines was genuinely fun too. I took writing them very seriously, especially for the one or two boys I inevitably had a crush on. I remember a boy named Chad gave me a special Valentine in 2nd grade and I was elated. Unfortunately, he also gave an identical one to my best friend. That stung.
 
In my 20s Valentine’s Day only served as another reminder that I was not in love and all of my friends were. Most of my friends were married by the age of 25. So my early and mid-20s were full of close friends getting boyfriends who turned into fiancees who turned into husbands. That was years of everyone falling in love and talking about it and celebrating it and me just eating chocolate, becoming sad, angry, and exhausted. Eventually I tuned it out and February 14th became just another day on the calendar.
 
This is my first Valentine’s Day as a married woman. When my husband mentioned it I think I said something like, “barf.” Romantic, huh? Now that I’m older Valentine’s Day makes me think more about how other people feel instead of how I feel. I hate that single people everywhere might feel a little sadder and a little more alone today. I hate that anyone is at the store on their lunch break buying something cliche so they don’t feel guilty when they go home. I hate the expectations that accompany a day like today. Right now someone is reading a Valentine signed “from” instead of “love” and their heart is breaking.
 
You know what though? My Valentine is at the store buying me diet coke right now because he loves me. If I’m lucky he’ll bring home some of that overpriced chocolate too. And I will love it.
 

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