Flowers and Candy
Ok people, it’s Valentine’s Day and I’m tired of hearing everyone complain about how it’s a consumer holiday that forces us to buy candy and flowers for the people in our lives. What’s so wrong with that?!? Valentine’s Day is like a little cell phone alarm that goes off when you need to do something. We shouldn’t need a holiday to remind us to buy candy and flowers for someone, but obviously we do.
I love Valentine’s Day, I always have. It’s partly the red everywhere. For three weeks, every store you walk into is dripping with red. Red is my favorite color and candy flavor, so I’m pretty much in heaven. But mostly, it’s the potential. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve never actually had an amazing Valentine’s Day(I’ve also never had a valentine…except once), but it’s so much fun to daydream about what could happen on that magical day. I remember in high school they’d do those fundraisers where you could buy someone a carnation for a dollar and have it delivered to them in their homeroom. I’d wish soooo hard for a red one (love, not pink-friendship) to be handed to me, with a little card that was signed by the guy I had a crush on, who had decided Valentine’s Day would be the day he’d finally tell me that he knew I existed. It never happened. NEVER. HAPPENED. After I got over my high school carnation thing, I used to hope (on any given day) that my ex-boyfriend/whoever I was obsessing over, would show up at the bus station as I was getting off the bus, or the airport…or a show. I have ALWAYS wanted one of those I’m-onstage-guy-walks-into-the-theater moments. Like in the movies…
So, yes, that “Valentine’s Day” movie totally makes me gag, as does “Dear John” and most other romantic comedies and love stories, but I also secretly want to see them. They make me feel terrible about my ridiculously depressing lack of a love life, but I can’t stop myself from renting them. Sean Penn once said that those movies take something away from us…that we walk away from them feeling inadequate because our lives do not reflect what we see on screen…and it’s true, but what if we let them inspire us to love better? What if we tried to imitate art a little bit? What if we tried to give Nora Ephron a run for her money?
They always have such grand gestures, those movies. Harry, running to get to Sally, bursting through a crowd of people, only to reach her just as the clock strikes midnight. Or when Kurt Russell hijacks the coast guard boat and chases after Goldie, and then she jumps off her boat in her sequin gown and he jumps off his boat…God, I love that movie… And of course, the image that’s burned in the brain of every girl in America, John Cusack…boom box held over his head…”In Your Eyes” pouring out…Why don’t we do stuff like that? They’re not doing anything impossible (ok, maybe hijacking a coast guard boat is a little out of our league…and that dress Goldie’s wearing looks really heavy and she probably would’ve drowned in real life, but you know what I mean). They’re just deciding that, no matter what, I’m going to tell that person how I feel, and nothing can stop me. I think that’s beautiful, and we should follow their example…well, not me…you guys should. So why not? Valentine’s Day is the perfect time. If you truly mean it, be your crush’s secret admirer, leave flowers on her doorstep. Run/drive/fly to someone and tell them you don’t want to live without them. Or just ask someone out on a date for crying out loud! I can hear you. “But Daiva, what if I look like a stalker?” Well, then you misread the situation and I apologize for encouraging you to do something that turned out to be inappropriate. But, wouldn’t you rather look like a stalker for five minutes, than spend a lifetime wondering what he/she would’ve said? (I bet Tom Hanks would.) Let’s be brave! Life is too hard to not love as best you can. Let’s show John Cusack how it’s done…you guys first though, I’ve given up all that stuff for Lent. When is Lent?