What Gives?

Valentines’ week. Probably the most anticipated week in the world or in equal measure, the most dreaded week, depending on which side of the gender divide you fall. And no, don’t dare say I’m stereotyping anyone, that’s just the way it is. I don’t make the rules. So as the clock ticks away to Friday, February the 14th, commonly referred to as St. Valentine’s Day, for the indifferent folk like me, it’s a time to, I don’t know, toss our nets out there and see what it brings forth? What am I even saying? Well, let’s see.

I’ve never really celebrated this day, again, cue my legendary indifference. Actually, I almost did, a few years ago. I’m avoiding being exact as it might make the details all too obvious, much to the chagrin and consternation of some of whom will be reading this. The female in my life then (girlfriend, I mean), probably had sensed that I wouldn’t be bothered by the magnitude of said day enough to be moved to go out of my way to plan some romantic gesture for the two of us. I often blamed this habit of mine to be passed up by such events squarely on my laziness, to which she would react with a smile which seemed to say ‘Yeah, right. Like I’m supposed to believe that?’

So, said girl (name redacted, thanks for the term, Ryan Giggs) took it upon herself to get me to go hand in hand with her to some scenic place we loved frequenting to relax, appreciating nature and all that, where we’d spend some quality time on Valentine’s evening. It so happened that I’d been working on some football blog which I hoped to post in time to coincide with the return of the Champions League that very night. By the look of things, nothing would veer me off that route towards getting it done. So when she came up to me with the romantic plan, I was literally like ‘I’ve got to get this stuff posted, or don’t you know that?’ She insisted that I shelve my football indulgence just for that evening, but I wouldn’t budge.  She walked away, not impressed even a bit, while I felt that things had worked out for me just perfect. I did post it in time, and later enjoyed myself as my Arsenal beat the then best team in the world. Oh, that night was heavenly.

Subsequently, it didn’t work out between me and the girl and really, my actions on that February 14 had a lot of bearing in our drifting apart. It’s funny, you know. Right now I look back and I can’t believe what a jerk I was. In my defense (and don’t I always defend myself?) I was just being honest, being me. At the time, to me, Valentine’s Day was just a day like any other with no special or significant connotations, romantic or more. I mean, all special days are marked in red on calendars, right? I certainly have never seen any calendar with February 14 marked in red. At least, that was my default way of thinking then. That said, even though I probably severed all shreds of romantic ties with Name Redacted, I’d want to make it up to her. I’d want to take her to that place, enjoy the breeze, listen to the chirp of the birds, feed those goldfish…you know, just so she can see I can also do this, when my mind is set right.

It is easy to make the same mistake or do I call it aberration (aberration. Great word) that I made then. Often we take the people we love for granted. Ideally, it isn’t only on Valentine’s Day that you should show the one you love just how much or why you love her. That ought to be an everyday duty, but then again, with the pressures of life, it is inconceivable to manage all that 365 days a year. So my guess is that they created this specific day, whose theme ought to be nothing short of ‘the one I love’. I don’t know what exactly you should do on Valentine’s Day to ensure the he or she goes to bed feeling you outdid yourself in making their day, but whatever it is, go on, do it.

Love is caring about someone beyond all rationality and wanting them to have everything they want, no matter how much it destroys you. When you love someone, you just don’t stop, ever. Even when people roll their eyes or call you crazy, especially then. You just don’t give up…because if you could give up, if you could just take the whole world’s advice and move on and find someone else, that wouldn’t be love. That would be some other disposable thing that is not worth fighting for.

The above paragraph is taken from the words of Ted Mosby as he speaks about Robin to his crazy ex, Jeanette in the seventeenth episode of the ninth season of How I Met Your Mother. I quote him a lot, yes, but just mull over the words. Isn’t love worth fighting for? Every day is an opportunity to fight for your love, the climax of which is this Friday. It is the grandest stage, if I may, of this never ending fight. Even if I’ve moved on, a part of me will always feel I should have fought for Name Redacted, that I should have just for a day ignored the call of the Champions League anthem and made her red-themed day the best she could ever have. When Friday is gone, don’t be left like me wondering what the hell you did (or didn’t do). Make it count, make them happy and valued, ‘cause you never know; that might just be the difference between you getting that ‘good night, my love’ text and you only getting your phone’s pesky service provider’s promotional texts every other night.

Love is still a beautiful thing, as they say. Love can change the weather, as I do believe. And as I read so many times many years ago on the wall of the Musgrave Wing of my beloved high school’s library, Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Have yourselves a fulfilling St. Valentine’s Day, will you?