Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Strategy

By Lucille Farrell

Hello Bloggers!

So February 14th means so much to so many people. For instance it is the birthday of one of my roommates, Michele. Yay for her 21st birthday!

For many others they clutch to their boyfriend and try to celebrate the best way they can,especially when it falls at the beginning of the week. Some celebrate Anna Howard Shaw Day with force. For those that don’t know of Ms. Shaw, or 30 Rock, she was a leader of the women's suffrage movement in the United States. Anna Howard Shaw Day is celebrated on her birthday, February 14, (or the nearest Sunday) by an act of the United Methodist Church. Many others celebrate it as an alternative to Valentine's Day. So others celebrate Single’s Awareness Day, those who are a bit bitter tend to use the tagline “Have You Ran Over/Into Your Ex Today?”

For many years I have held a deep seeded resentment to the 14th. Not really because I have never had a Valentine, that is mostly irrelevant to the situation. It was mostly because people used to make a big deal about my birthday being so close to V-Day. My birthday is the 12th and as a child people used to pinch my cheeks and tell me I was blessed to be a little cupid child. Yeah…that just made me angry. When I got older people were under the impression I was oh so lucky and that they were sure my boyfriend did something spectacular for my birthday. This increased my hatred about ten fold in my angsty teen days…and last year. No one said it to me this year so I’m okay. Also with living with Michele I know that she has gotten all of these comments tenfold. Ah, schadenfreude. I kid…sort of.

In reality, Valentine’s Day is at the root a holiday for cards, candy, and flowers. Well, I’m not a fan or cards or flowers. Although I will admit I have a bouquet on my counter, but that was a birthday delivery. The point is, if you get sad around Valentine’s Day there are so many things to do. Grab a best friend in the same position, each get a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, grab sappy movies, have a cry if you need it, and laugh. Enjoy your time together. Just because there is one day set aside of the year to congratulate people in romantic relationships doesn’t mean the world has to stop. Hold your head high and enjoy yourself.

I spent my V-Day with my friend Julie last year. We had Ben & Jerry’s, watched sappy movies, and read Love Gives Me Hope (an online collection of reasons other people still have hope about love). We had our little cry because we needed to get out all the frustration of our lives, both personal and academic, in order to function properly. So in honor of the way I have celebrated, February 14th is now Mental Health Awareness Day. Be good to yourself. If you want chocolates, surprise yourself with them. Buy yourself a card and remind yourself how special/beautiful/handsome you are and how lucky you are to be you. If you want flowers, go get them. They’ll look lovely in your living room. I know mind spruce up our little kitchen area with color. Do something for yourself to remember that you don’t need to have anyone else tell you why you’re loved. More importantly, when you realize you don’t need this, be good to others.
When I was in high school there was a man who waited by the stairs as people went down to catch their trains (yes, I took the train to school). Every Valentine’s day he would wait there with boxes. Every woman that went by, no matter her age, got a rose. My freshman year I was still a bit miffed around V-Day as I usually was and when I was handed my rose I had to stop.
“Thank you, but why?”

He smiled and tapped his nose, much like Santa Clause does in illustrations. “Everyone deserves to be happy. Sometimes they need a little reminder. You have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and just remember to keep showing that beautiful smile.”

Naturally I just smiled wider. I have the most awkward smile in the entire world, I say this with sincerity. Sometimes you just need to hear something nice though.

So my advice? Do something good for someone else who needs it too. I sometimes still wish I was at the train station watching the man with the roses. He never discriminated. Single women and even those that were with their significant other received roses. Two women walking hand in hand my senior year both received roses. They smiled and traded roses giving the other a kiss. Although my favorite was a little girl with her mother. She looked to be about 8 years old with wide eyes, frizzy hair, and thousands of freckles across her nose. The man bent down and gave her a rose. Without even thinking she just hugged him. Now her mother looked shocked for a second, but the man laughed, have her a pat on the head and handed a rose to the mother as well.

Now that I have gotten you all to smile at least once, remember to take care of each other. Be good to one another everyday, not just V-Day. Celebrate the idea of the Hallmark holiday for the rest of the week and watch to see how many people you make smile.

Peace, Love, and Cougars


Lucille Farrell is a junior Organizational Communications major with a minor in Anthropology. She is originally from New Haven, CT and is involved with the Honors Student Advisory Council, Student Government Association (SGA) and Anthropology Club.

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