Every freakin’ year Valentine’s Day becomes an issue. When I was single, the question was ‘How should I celebrate?’ Would I go out with a gaggle of girlfriends in the desperate attempt to appear happy with my single status? Would I stay at home sobbing into a glass of wine bemoaning the fact that I had received nary a flower (even, alas, the one perfect rose Dorothy Parker was so found of ruing)? Would I watch When Harry Met Sally on repeat, wishing I could meet a guy just like Billy Crystal, albeit taller and much better looking?
This year, the situation is slightly different, yet none the less aggravating. Yes, I have a boyfriend. But with that boyfriend comes a slew of new questions. What do I buy him? Will I hate what he buys me? Are we making much too big a deal out of a day which feels like a Hallmark holiday in the first place?
Yes. No. I don’t know.
To me, February 14th is a day of reckoning. There’s too much pressure, and I cave to pressure. Pressure to be happy about your single status if you’re spending the day alone, pressure to be the perfect couple if you’re in a relationship. And God forbid you get your respective other a crappy present. I pray to God that my boyfriend doesn’t pick me up a box of chocolates or a teddy bear from CVS moments before our date…because nothing says ‘I care about you’ then a last-minute convenience store purchase.
It’s hard to remember sometimes that this day is actually a celebration of love. That, back in the 15th century, suitors showed their affection by creating handmade cards, bits of poetry written in an inky scroll, sealed with a kiss. The modern day digital cards and mass-produced bits of paper with glib puns somehow just don’t do the trick.
So I sit, and I ruminate about what I want from Valentine’s Day this year, and what I need. It isn’t an expensive floral arrangement, and it isn’t diamonds. It isn’t Godiva chocolates or La Perla lingerie. It is, quite simply, love. Love is free, but so, so much more precious than anything money can buy.
Happy Valentine’s Day from the girl who asks for nothing, but wants everything that truly matters.
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About the Author: Laura Schreffler is a former New York Daily News columnist who left the world of celebrity behind to focus on what makes her happiest — love and travel. She is the creator of LoveTrekker.com — a website devoted to these two passions that she fondly calls “looking for love in all the right places.” In her spare time she likes to play matchmaker for her friends, dream about her next vacation and gaze at photographs of Taylor Kitsch. For more advice on love, relationships, and happiness, check out http://lovetrekker.com & her book "Internet Dating 101". And follow her here at Happiness Series with her weekly blog about finding love.