2018-02-08 / Around Town


By Amy Martin

Lonely hearts, take note. Here’s the skinny on Valentine’s Day from a person who has been through many, many, many (more manys exist, but I’m not going further back than three) decades of this interesting holiday, as a single (a lot), a couple (a few), a newlywed (once), a spouse (still once) and a parent (thrice). Love changes as we go through life, which is why our view of Valentine’s Day also morphs. Valentine’s Day has three target celebrants, or maybe just targets.


These are the purest of the Valentine’s Day revelers. Children possess the most unspoiled form of love that exists, one that hasn’t yet been tainted by bad dates, attraction without depth, depth without attraction, or broken hearts accompanied by pints of Haagen Dazs (waaah!). Children view love as safe, comfortable, warm and secure. This view develops from the unconditional love that is rightfully bestowed upon them by their loved ones. And so they look forward to school that day or week, expecting to receive little Valentine greeting cards, to give them out to others, make a teacher happy with a gift sent from parents at home. For children, Valentine’s Day isn’t defined by jewelry, romance or steak dinners with a love interest. Children simply celebrate their hearts. That’s love.

Amy Martin is an opinion columnist with a background in family chaos, laughter and a lot of laundry. She writes from a perspective of passion and humor. Amy Martin is an opinion columnist with a background in family chaos, laughter and a lot of laundry. She writes from a perspective of passion and humor. Infatuated Couples

This targeted group makes some want to hurl on Valentine’s Day. Yes, I have been one of those lovey dovies, and my sincerest apologies go out to all I annoyed the hell out of. For the detractors, it’s jealousy or smugness that’s responsible for this visceral puking reaction. When two people embark on a relationship, either unmarried or newly married, they are in a state of bliss. They float elated and revel in opportunities to show off the object of their affection. And why not? Couples in this stage of relationship are supposed to act this way. This is the proper order of the phenomenon, people. If this enraptured state didn’t exist, nobody would ever get to the deeper, soulful stages of love. This stage of love is roses and romantic, candlelit dinners on the 14th. It’s kissing across a table for two. It’s making everybody else nauseous.


Let’s pick a void that people have no control over and exploit it as a calendar holiday. What??!! I’ve been there many, many, many (again, more manys exist, but I’m stopping at three) times. No matter how secure I was in myself and my life, being single on Valentine’s Day hurt. The calendar reminder shoved my “status” in my face. I actually once got tangled in a bunch of Valentine’s Day balloons, as I was trying to get out of an elevator, only to be asked by the delivery man to hold someone else’s bouquet of roses, so he could untangle me. If that wasn’t bad enough, half my office was waiting to get on the elevator as I emerged from the web of hell. I then awkwardly thrust the flowers back at the delivery man and ran for the emergency stash of chocolate in the back of my desk drawer.

Listen, singles, this day has no bearing on who you are, your romantic possibilities or your ability to be loved. If you are single it is simply a day to hunker down and get through. Roll your eyes and eat some chocolate (your own personal stash) because you should never go a day without chocolate. Couples beyond the infatuated stage are not a Valentine’s target because this group has transcended the innocence, the bliss, and the feeling of being left out of the “couples” party. When Valentine’s celebrations consist of the sexiest wink I can muster, with zit cream slathered all over my face while helping with homework, the mystery is most definitely gone.

Seasoned (that’s a good term) couples aren’t interested in showing off their Valentine’s love when children vomit on them, when the credit card bill makes them wince, when they can’t find the body they had at 25 or when the minivan becomes the best car ever driven.

Couples move out of the Valentine’s hurl stage when instead of showing off their love, they live it knowing that the routine parts of life are as necessary to love as the blissful moments.

After collecting several Valentine’s Days under my belt, I have come to this conclusion. When that day rolls around, we should remember the purity of love that children possess, that infatuated couples are too blinded by themselves and each other to notice who is or isn’t celebrating, and that couples past the infatuation stage don’t have time to revel in the holiday because they are too busy loving each other – zit cream and all.

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