Not everyone likes Valentine’s Day. It is a really ridiculous holiday. Candy hearts, flowers and hell of a lot of pressure for one day is not love. It is entitled expectations of adoration.
Love, the good stuff, is both inviolable and beautifully fragile. It is at once a constant re-awakening and monotonous. Fleeting yet forever. It is something to be treasured every day and anything less is easily forgotten. Edna St. Vincent Millay, one of my top 3 favorite poets, knew this.
WHAT LIPS MY LIPS HAVE KISSED
What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in the winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.
— Edna St. Vincent Millay
Valentine’s Day has a fondness for electric sliding right past the Russel Stover to Victoria’s Secret. Throughout my “singledom” and “coupledom” I have had varied responses to the sexification of V Day. The older I get and as the mother of a daughter, I find myself thinking not sexy but empowered. Loving your body and the responses it engenders is a powerful thing. It is a personal thing.
So go ahead.