Love where you live!
LA MESA -- In February of 2011 I wrote something in this space about Valentine's Day. It had to do with what I thought might be the reason I'm not overly fond of Valentine's Day. A date gone wrong, teenage hopes dashed, other girl in the picture. The usual ingredients of a 16 year old's angst.
But this Valentine's Day, Friday, February 14, 2014, finds me with a different approach to the holiday of love and flowers, red hearts and chocolates: I’m for it.
I'm for it not for the commercialism of it. Although it is fun to watch the people walk past my store with flowers or fruit or a dish for someone they love. Because they look pretty happy with their purchases. I'm guessing they are picturing the expression of surprise or delight on their loved one's face. Giving gifts is fun and the occasion of Valentine's Day affords the opportunity to do something kind and sweet. Mushy even. It's what's good about Valentine's day. And if someone has no one to be getting a Valentine from, there is nothing in the rules that says you can't give a Valentine to someone yourself. Get lost in the giving, even if it's a doily with a foil heart on it, or a strawberry dipped in chocolate or a card that says something thoughtful. You could even just say something nice that you think about saying but normally don't. Like, " Say, your yard looks really good. Happy Valentine's Day! You make the neighborhood prettier."
Because don't you think in the long run we will regret the things we didn't say more even than we'll regret the things we did say? I know we all say things we wish we had not said. Lots of times, I'm pretty sure. But I think the bigger loss is the heartfelt things we mean to say but don't. We wait and think maybe there's a better time than now to say how we feel. Or we feel awkward saying something like, ""You know, you make my life richer."
I have an image in my mind of running after someone. Running and running and running but never catching up. In real life, maybe the person we meant to say something to suddenly gets transferred and we can't find them. Or maybe they pass on unexpectedly and then we are left forever wishing we had listened to our heart's urging to share that gentlest of graces, the gift that costs us nothing; kind words.
Maybe that's why there's Valentine's Day. It's an opportunity to say something corny or mushy or just...kind.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Chris Shea is the proprietor of Lifesighs, an original card shop on La Mesa Boulevard in the Village.