Jaded on Valentine’s


For someone who has been immersed in self-pity over a lost job and a broken marriage, Valentine’s day obviously is not a day to be remembered, let alone celebrated. Needless to say, I didn’t think about it. It wasn’t even in the periphery of my consciousness until my daughter told me she needed to buy candy for her classmates.

Given my frame of mind, I obliged, albeit unwillingly. After we bought the candy, on the drive home, I went on a tirade about how we were giving in to corporate greed. I told my kids that all this so-called celebration was masterminded by the greedy, giant corporations. I asked my kids why we couldn`t just love and appreciate each other on a regular basis. Why did we have to go buy flowers, chocolate, candy, go to expensive restaurants and give costly gifts to prove our love for each other?

My son replied that we did do that everyday but ths one day was to make someone feel special. I, of course did not agree but I kept quiet. I actually was wise enough (for once) to realize that I was not in an emotionally happy place and so my perception of this holiday was rather negatively hued.

Later at night, I noticed my daughter running from her brother’s room to mine. As I watched, she skipped around the house humming to herself. She was happy and clearly was up to something. A few minutes later, I went to my room and found three pieces of my favorite chocolate with a note taped to them. The note had a heart drawn with my daughter’s name on it.

When I came out of my room, my daughter had an enquiring look on her face. Then she burst out, “did you like your surprise?” I immediately gave her a hug and told her I loved it. And I did. I absolutely loved it. I loved the fact that my daughter was experiencing joy giving out candy to her family. Her happiness was mine. Her pleasure in seeing me appreciate her gift was my pleasure.

And that was when it hit me – my moment of epiphany. Even though I was jaded and cynical and the thought of buying chocolate and candy felt tacky to me, I realized why it was being done. For my little girl, the thought and act of buying and giving candy was as important as receiving. She experienced as much joy and happiness giving to her friends and family as she did getting all that candy. And  that was why it was done – for those innocent, not so jaded souls who take pleasure in giving and making others happy.

Maybe, there is still hope for me.

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