(Not) Feeling the LoveWritten by Shantel Parks
Maybe it's Grinch holdover. Maybe it's the yucky inversion. Maybe it's just that it's winter time and since I run on solar power, I'm feeling down in the dumps. Whatever it is, I am NOT feeling the love for Valentine's day.
I think it all started when I put my Christmas decor away and, like a silly fool, went online to search Pinterest for some fun and fresh Valentine's ideas. It isn't a holiday that I have much to decorate with, so I knew going in that I'd need to purchase or make what I wanted. And Pinterest delivered. I found some darling burlap XOXO banners, and super cute blocks that spelled out LOVE, along with tons of ideas for handmade Valentine cards. I was pumped. I was excited. My house was going to be a blazing beacon of all things lovey-dovey, and my kids were going to have the best Valentine's to hand out.
So I went shopping to get what I needed. And I was deeply disappointed. Because the images that Pinterest had so delightfully inspired me with were now stuck in my head and nothing was living up to that expectation. I was also frustrated to find that I had waited too long to begin my Valentine's Day shopping. Apparently the later part of January is when you start celebrating Easter, so all I could find was all the goodies for V-day, or decor that I just didn't feel good about spending that much money on.
I tried to salvage what was left of my good feelings for this made-up holiday, but it was a lost cause. With each attempt, I found myself increasingly angry. Why do I have to celebrate my love for family and friends in this prescribed way? Why do we all bow to the whims of the card committee and rush out to buy, buy, buy, as though the bigger the chocolate box, the more love we have? "You can't make me, you don't know my life!" was what I wanted to shout every time I passed a holiday display while grocery shopping. And to join my anti-love campaign, the charter school that my children attend sent home a note explaining that they don't recognize Valentine's Day in the traditional way with a class party and decorated boxes, so please don't send any to school. They didn't know they were joining it, but whatever, okay by me!
So, feeling very much like I was gonna stick it to the man, I decided that I didn't want the oohs and aahs of outsiders to decide for me whether or not my offering or demonstration of love was adequate. I decided to start a secret service crusade. Doesn't cost me any money, and I don't have to spend hours laboring over a burlap and glitter banner. Not that there's really anything wrong with that, because if I could have lowered my outrageous Pinterest expectations, I would have done what I started out to do. But here I am, and if you were to look at my house, you would think I don't even know that loooooooove-day is fast approaching. But my new tradition of a secret act of service or two, per family member each day, has provided me with no small amount of glee. It's selfish really, because I honestly think I'm getting more out of it than my family. Maybe I'll tell them so they can enjoy it too. But, in the meantime, I like bringing a smile to their faces, knowing I put it there, and hearing them speculate as to "who done it" is just icing on the cake!
Maybe by Easter, with the help of small acts of service (and slightly warmer temperatures surely couldn't hurt), I'll not be so cranky. I'd better get on Pinterest and see what I can find!
How do you celebrate Valentine's Day? Check out our Celebrate Story Starter for great ideas!
Shantel's love of story began in her childhood with fairy tales. As a wife of 13 years and a mother of 4, she gets a daily sampling of the many genre's of story, including (but not at all limited to) - humor, alternate history, dramatic interpretations, tall tales, tragedy, and a smattering of anecdotes based on true stories. A sometimes blogger, a frequent do-it-yourselfer, and always fond of Cadbury Mini Eggs, Shantel can be found, most days, going 5 different directions, but usually ending up in her favorite place - at home.
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