Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
If you want to smile today,
baby, you do you.
I feel like I write about Valentine’s Day every year. And it’s true, I do. But it’s just because I think it’s so misunderstood. It can be so disappointing–especially as a woman. Damn you gender norms!
When I was in Junior High, all the girls would get flowers from their sweethearts and I never got anything at all. I’d spend the whole day pretending that I didn’t want anything and then being super disappointed that no one could see through my ruse. I was that girl who wore black and referred to this as “singleness awareness day”. Hey, listen to me. Never be that person, okay? Nobody likes that person! And I’m not just saying that because I have someone who buys me flowers and stuff like that, now–I’m saying that because it’s true. I didn’t just magically start loving Valentine’s Day when I got a partner. I started loving it when I realized that I was in charge of my own happiness.
I’m going to share two, count ’em, two life hacks with you today. Use one or both of them as often as you need to.
- You’ve got to be honest with yourself and you’ve got to be honest with others. If you know in your deepest heart that you will be disappointed or your day will be otherwise ruined if someone doesn’t do a certain thing for you–you’ve gotta tell that person. If there’s a sweetheart in your life, odds are very good that person wants to make you smile. And if they don’t, well, trust me there are plenty of people who will happily take on that job, so move along.
Tell the person who wants to make you smile what they can do to make you smile. I know, I know, you think that it’ll only be perfect if this person only knows you so well that they’ll figure it out on their own. Look, that’s not going to happen. At least not for a long, long time. Do them a favor and just say, “You know what I’d really like? Some flowers delivered to my work.” And you can admit that maybe you feel like a high maintenance partner–that’s fine. But I promise that your person is relieved that they know what to do and also you might not need to say anything next year. And what’s better (and more realistic) than having a partner who is a mind reader? Having a partner who listens to you.
- Take a look at this holiday from another perspective. This isn’t about you. It’s about love. It’s about sharing love and giving love. Just like Christmas or any other day of the year, if you come at this day wondering what you’re going to get out of the deal, you’re going to be disappointed. Have a new goal and make that goal have nothing to do with your own happiness. Give it away. If you want to smile, make someone else smile. If you have love to give, give it. It’s not doing anyone a bit of good with you just sitting on it. Tell someone that you love them. Send a funny pic to your friend. Tip extra. Compliment a stranger. Say a sincere thank you to the person who helps you carry your groceries to the car. Drop off a coffee to your friend at work. You don’t have to do too much to make a person feel some love. And I promise, you’ll have a great day doing these things.
Anyway, I hope you have a perfectly satisfactory day and if nothing else, I hope that you have helped someone else to have a satisfactory day. Maybe treat yoself to a bag of heart-shaped cookies.
Now, I’m going to go set my dog’s joy on fire by stuffing her Kong ball with peanut butter and get to folding the laundry.
Happy Valentine’s Day!