Is it Valentine’s Day already? It seems to be the one holiday that rolls around with alarming frequency. I think I identify more with the group wearing green in honor of Singles Awareness Day in direct opposition to the rest of the red-heart-wearing population on Valentine's Day. I usually try to wear black on Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately since black is one of my wardrobe’s staple colors, no one really notices my sign of protest. As a still-single-gal in the midst of candy, hearts and other signs of romance everywhere, it’s a holiday I could pretty much live without. But on the other hand, I wouldn’t really want to.
Because Valentine’s Day is my dad’s holiday. Since his mother died when he was very young, he didn’t grow up with anyone making a big hoopla out of birthdays and Christmas, but on Valentine’s Day he never forgets his girls -- my mother, my sister and me. Some years, there’s a bouquet of flowers. Some years there’s a plant. Some years, there’s chocolate. There’s no fanfare. He usually just picks up his little presents for us at the grocery store. Some years the flowers are carnations, sometimes they’re sweetheart roses. He’ll pull the bouquets out of the car and hand them to us. Or sometimes he drives them over to our houses and drops them off. But he never forgets. Last year, he added my five-year-old niece Devon to his list, bringing her a bouquet of flowers, too. She beamed when she realized she was one of the big girls getting flowers. She put them in a vase in her room and proudly told everyone who walked in, “Those flowers are from my Grandpa.”
I’m not sure when my dad started his Valentine’s Day tradition, but a few years ago my mother gave my sister and me our baby books, filled with mementos, cards and photos. Inside my book was a card from my dad on my first Valentine’s Day. I was five months old. Maybe it started then. But I’m glad my Valentine’s Day memories are of how special my dad thinks I am. Sometimes they say that daughters look for men who are in some ways like their dads. Maybe that’s why I’m still single. Because I’m quite sure that no one will ever think I’m as special as my dad thinks I am.
This year, I do have plans on Valentine’s Day. I have a friend whose birthday is on Valentine’s Day. I’m sure the holiday makes it a little difficult for her friends to help her celebrate her special day when they’re busy with their own Valentine’s Day plans. So since I don’t have to wonder if someone will surprise me with a romantic dinner and I won’t be watching the clock to see if flowers or chocolates will be delivered to my desk by five o’clock, I’m making my own plans. For a night of pizza, girl-talk and birthday cake with the birthday girl. And when I get home, the bouquet of flowers from my dad will be sitting on the counter. I'm thinking it could just be the perfect kind of Valentine's Day to celebrate year after year. I might even think about breaking out the red sweater to wear next February 14. Along with a black skirt, of course. In honor of my fellow bachelorettes on Singles Awareness Day.