By Crystal Thompson
As this first month of 2001 winds down, time draws nearer to one of my favorite holidays: Valentine's Day. I've come to realize, as I travel the ever-enlightening road towards adulthood, (some may tell you that I took a wrong turn a few miles back), that many people do not consider Feb. 14 a holiday at all. This disturbs me.
I consider Valentine's Day a very important time of year. Certainly, as with all holidays, it has become cluttered with over-marketing meant to target the consumer's pocket book. However, I believe that somewhere under the pink teddy bears and the $19.95 economy-sized box of chocolates lies a very simple and heartfelt holiday.
Remember back in grade school when the teacher brought out the construction paper and shoe boxes and the whole class made valentine holders? I remember attaching the heart-covered box to my desk and peeking inside every day to see if it was filling up. I remember the joy of receiving those little cardboard valentines, and the excitement of seeing my crush's name on the "from" line. I remember the fun of picking out just the right valentine for my friends and leaving all the ugly ones for the boys I didn't like. It's that feeling of anticipation and innocent love that I cherish on Valentines Day.
I, being the ever-romantic lover of holidays that include chocolate, encourage my readers to do whatever it takes to actually celebrate Valentine's Day this year. I'm not talking about picking up the cheapest bouquet you can find on your way home from work, tossing it to your loved-one as you walk through the front door and muttering "Happy Valentine's Day" while flopping down on the couch and turning on the television. I am talking about truly enjoying this magical day, making it wonderful for yourself and your special someone. Whether that means going out for a night on the town, or staying at home and having dinner by candlelight, do whatever it takes this Valentine's Day to remind that someone just how much they're loved.
A lot of people have bah-humbug attitudes toward Valentine's Day simply because they are without a "significant other." I encourage these people to think about those elementary days, when exchanging valentines was a simple act of friendship. Valentine's Day is a perfect time to remember those you love, not just romantically, but those special people who touch your lives in all aspects.
Valentine's Day can also be the perfect time to initiate a romantic relationship; to show your secret crush just how you feel, or maybe even to proclaim yourself someone's secret admirer. On Valentine's Day, anything goes, it's the one day when the love in the air causes anyone and everyone to become courageous Casanovas. So, if you've been eying someone, I encourage you to take advantage of this special day and let that someone know how you feel. You may find out that they've been secretly admiring you as well.
I hope everyone can find the time to make this Valentine's Day one to remember. In this fast-paced world, it becomes difficult to find the time to remind those you love just how much they mean to you. So, even if you have to break out the Crayolas and construction paper to get yourself into the valentine frame of mind, I encourage you to make this Feb. 14 a day to remember. With a little help from Cupid, this could be your best Valentine's Day yet.