“Happy Valentine’s Day!” It’s funny how today is supposed to be about joy but makes so many people feel like crap! Throughout my career as a woman looking for love in all the wrong places, my most notable Valentine’s Day wasn’t because of some guy. It was because of my father. I was working 9-5 at a Chicago investment firm in marketing. It was my first job post-college and my dad sent me roses. I was hibernated in my little cubicle and the receptionist called to tell me I had something waiting at the front desk. If you have worked in an office, you know the feeling and the ritual. Something intimate and cool is delivered and everyone crowds around to oooh and ahh at reception, either out of shared joy, or being nosy, or taking any possible reason to get up from their desk. For the first time, it had been my time at reception. I felt so special. So loved.
We’ve come to label today a “Hallmark holiday“. It is set up to celebrate something, but if you don’t have the something, you feel terrible. So, just like Daylight Savings Day, I think we need to do away with this commercial approach to the joy. Folkx in my degreed profession of marketing and advertising need to step up their game because this stuff is starting to suck. Thanksgiving is hard for those alone. President’s Day is hard for those who don’t like our President. Mother’s Day is hard for the non-mothers (cue my sad IG post from a few months ago). Let’s just celebrate moms everyday – they freaking deserve it. Plus, when our own moms are gone, we won’t need this day to remind us she’s gone!
But what about that love stuff? What about that joy that we do want to celebrate?
Back in 2016 I spoke to an assembly at the American School of the Hague in the Netherlands. I spoke to them about being great, and the pressures it takes to be great. These were high-performing students, and the woman who hired me, Ms. Karla, a joyful woman who was a teacher at my junior high school, told me the kids were on edge — IB exams, auditions, etc. In my speech to these juniors and seniors, I told them of how I was the senior speaker in college and the week or so before I was to speak, I lost my voice. Just in time, I got it back. The stress of being great had gotten to me. I told them I saw them, I understood, to just breathe and that they were gonna be ok. As a thank you, Ms. Karla brought flowers to me on stage in front of everyone. Once again, I felt so very special. I went to the mic and asked if there was anyone who shared a November birthday with me. A young girl squealed (as did I) and she ran to the stage. I pulled a flower from my bouquet and gave it to her. I wanted her to feel the love I was feeling.
Many of you know Soraci and I eloped this past New Year’s Eve. We love each other. It’s official now. I felt so special on that day. It is actually a little hard to explain why, honestly. Because we eloped, I know it wasn’t due to 150 people telling me so. I think I felt special because during the ceremony, I knew I was in the right place at the right time doing what I was supposed to be doing. (Almost like Dr. Who, perhaps?) It felt really good.
Because we felt really good and we were missing the many people we wanted to share our love with, we made some videos of those special moments at weddings that everyone misses. The cake cutting, the first dance, the bouquet toss, you know the drill.
So, I want to share something with you. If you’re feeling crappy today because some guy or girl or someone didn’t send you anything, or didn’t tell you I love you, I am here to tell you: I love you. I really do. I love you.
One more thing. One of the first people I told I was getting married was Silvia, a lovely woman at Josie’s, our local florist. I walked into the cozy store that smelled of roses. It was just me and Silvia and her little dog. There, alone (without bridesmaids, a bestie or a mom), I had to say out loud for the first time, “I’m getting married tomorrow.” The reality of it all really hit me in that moment. I started to cry and she did too. I told her I didn’t know what I wanted; I didn’t have colors or anything. She told me, “You need something bold.” She chose these beautiful orangey, yellowey gold, roses. I wasn’t going to get a bouquet. I didn’t think it was all that important, considering I wasn’t having the type of wedding we see on The Knot; the type Soraci and I had sorta planned for November 2020. But you know what guys, I’m sure glad I did, because it did make me feel special. Really special.
For those looking for love, those who feel lonely and sad and angry that The One hasn’t come, I’m here to tell you it’s gonna be ok. Just breathe. And come here, I have a little something for you. Some love from The Soraci’s to you.
(Now, watch this video. It’s funny.)