You may have guessed this, but I’m not a romantic.
I grew up on a farm, and while others have always said it’s the thought that counts, I’m much more impressed by physical labor and an eye for practicality. It’s February in Ohio, and if a guy gave me a wood cord for Valentine’s Day, I’d be impressed.
It’s true that there might be a tinge of bitterness involved in my Valentine’s Day thoughts. I wasn’t an attractive pre-teen and don’t remember getting anything for Valentine’s Day until my junior year – by a guy who dumped me shortly thereafter, my first heartbreak.
As I often answer people who ask me why there’s a distinct aversion to the happily-ever-after in my novels, it’s because I’m divorced. I’ll add that my ex’s birthday is very close to Valentine’s Day.
And – time for the zinger – my annual pap smear (to which we’ve recently added a mammogram) always lands around February 14, bringing an added layer of meaning to V-Day.
So yeah, not a fan.
But – I’m not against it either. I get love. I’m in love, for heaven’s sake. I just happen to have fallen for a guy just like me, a guy who might bump his Corona against mine at dinner and say, “Oh yeah by the way, happy Valentine’s Day.” But he’ll probably do it on Wednesday or Thursday because he often doesn’t know what day of the week it is.
All that being said, I know there are romantics in the world and I don’t deny them this day to celebrate. As a former Hallmark employee (long story) I actually get my back up a bit when Valentine’s Day is referred to as a Hallmark Holiday. Valentine’s Day has ancient historical roots, ones I won’t bother linking off to here because I’m sure you’ll find them everywhere tomorrow.
However, if you want to mark your calendars for my favorite made-up holiday, flip forward to October and make a note. October 14th is National Feral Cat Day.
On that day, I encourage you to find one, and hug it.