When you’re a kid, you love Valentines Day. You make little mail boxes for the front of your desk and everyone gives you valentines. There are little parties with heart shaped cookies, pink frosted treats and punch bowls filled with, well, punch. If you’re lucky, one of the moms would make those cupcakes in ice cream cones, topped off with sparkly sugar and conversational hearts.
But at some point, your classmates are no longer required to bring a card for everyone. That’s when you realize life’s not all frilly hearts and candy confections, and start to fully appreciate just how tenuous your social position can be as, say, a fourth grader.
As you get older (middle school and beyond), the holiday, and I use that term loosely, becomes almost a competition with your friends. It takes all the fun out of something that use to be joyous and carefree. Soon you’re bitter, dressed in all black and scowling at happy couples exchanging valentines in the hallway. As a young adult, you graduate to marking the occasion as an anti-holiday to celebrate your independence.
Gradually, you and your friends defect. You find soul mates and rediscover the joys of Valentine’s Day. (And it’s a good thing, too. There’s way too much bitterness in the world.)
But it seems that life never works out quite as we plan. This year is the first in many in which I find myself without a valentine on Feb. 14.
I’m taking it in stride though, and will celebrate to the fullest. Yes, I’ll be wearing black. But only because the fabulous dress I found didn’t come in a more holiday-appropriate hue, I swear. I fully intend to check any and all bitterness at the door.
Clad in said dress, and a pair of even more fabulous shoes, I will spend the evening with a hundred or so of my (soon to be) closest friends at the Chenango County SPCA’s Annual Fur Ball.
Maybe I’ll even pass out a few valentines while I’m there.