Rethink Valentine’s Day

Maybe you aren’t a romantic and images of cupids and hearts illicit eye rolls and declarations about the capitalistic origin of Valentine’s Day. Maybe it is a product of greed and consumerism propagated by Hallmark, flower shops and manufacturers of cheaply made stuffed animals. But perhaps, it is an opportunity. Ask songwriters and they will tell you, “Love is the answer” and “Love is all we need,” and while it may be corny and just another way to earn royalties preying on your emotion, I happen to agree wholeheartedly that, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love, it’s the only thing that there is just too little of.” Combined with a hefty dose of gratitude, love is the antidote to hatred and fear, two things for which we are in desperate need of a cure.

I am a romantic, but years ago, I repurposed this red and pink, sexy, sugary day from one about love between Larry and me, to one about the love I am lucky enough to share with many people, starting with my five kids. We celebrate with heart shaped pancakes, red berries, silly gifts and lots of hugs, and as corny as it is, my children will tell you it is one of their most treasured days. My two college kids have been bemoaning not being home for our February 14th love fest for the past week. While the care packages they received were appreciated, it is the human connection and the overdone expressions of love they miss. Both are happily single and both will tell you they love Valentine’s Day because of the memories it brings. For us, it has been a chance to be grateful for all the love in our lives, not just for romantic partners. My friends will get texts, godchildren will get small Venmos and if he’s lucky, I may find time to get Larry a t-shirt. Where love abounds, negativity is stifled, so at least for today, we will allow the best stuff to outshine the bad stuff. Dinner will be a pink penne a la vodka with shrimp, followed by red velvet cupcakes. While the meals will be un-themed tomorrow, we will make the hugs and the expressions of love a priority. Coming out of a 2 year hellish pandemic, with serious mental health consequences, it is time to “Spread the Love.”

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Author: Karen Latimer

Dr. Latimer is a Family Physician and Wellness Coach. She helps clients with parenting issues, the challenges of college and young adulthood and issues related to health and habits. Email her at drkarenlatimer@gmail.com to learn more. She is the author of the Audible Original, Take Back the House -- Raising Happy Parents.

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