February 13, 2011 § 8 Comments
“Love is a many splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love…” And here we have a whole holiday to celebrate it! Sort of. Valentine’s days have paraded by me through the years wearing many different colors, but I must admit that very rarely have they had that much to do with actual Love. I’m afraid Valentine’s day has more often been about the performance of the play that I had written in my head and entitled “Love.” Or love with a candy coating – usually one well suited to my age.
Remember the days of grade school, when Valentine’s Day was all about accumulating sweets and Valentine’s in your decorated cardboard shoebox? About worrying over which card to give to the boy you had a crush on, and about saving the best candies for your friends. It was all about lollipop love, innocent, simple, saccharine. As I grew, Valentine’s day became about boyfriends and dates. About melodramatically driving to the ridge to look at stars and receiving ridiculous bouquets of roses and baby’s breath. This was love en flambe, blazing but superficial, burning out quickly and leaving everyone unscathed (except, perhaps, a little caramelizing around the edges…).
Then with age came Valentine’s days with heartache. Regrets, mistakes made, opportunities missed, new love found. I coated love with bittersweet chocolate, mistaking the fear of losing love for Love itself.