I like to take Valentine’s Day as a day to remember all of the love in my life, which historically has been far more familial and platonic than romantic. I think having a day to celebrate love is a fantastic idea; I just wish people would show a little more flexibility in judging which kinds of love “count.”
This year I particularly want to celebrate the women in my life, the funny, smart, kind, creative, strong, vulnerable and brave women who inspire me every day. And the fictional and historical ones who give me hope for what I can accomplish in my life. I love you menfolk, too, you my fathers and brothers and partners and best friends and coworkers, but I’m thinking particularly about the lovely ladies this time around.
Happy Valentine’s Day to my mother, quiet, dignified, fiercely intelligent, always looking for something new to try, especially if it involves helping other people. You taught me that women can be lawyers, even Vice Presidents; that being a tomboy was okay, but that liking pretty things was also fine; and that calm reasoning solves problems more easily that blind emotion.
Happy Valentine’s Day to my grandmothers, living and dead, one who loved her cats and one who loves to travel, one a teacher and one an award-winning marketing developer as early as her senior year in college. You taught me that moving to a new city after college was an adventure and that good humor can prevail when good health fails.
Happy Valentine’s Day to Suzie, my best friend in Belmont, who somehow keeps going with every challenge that life throws at her. You’ve taught me how important family is, and how much a young woman can grow and strengthen in the face of difficulty.
Happy Valentine’s Day to my college friends and the Knightingales, to all the beautiful women I got to live with or near, sing with, complain to, and cry with. I’m overwhelmed by the amount of poise, grace, and passion I’m surrounded with, and I’ll still never miss a girls’ night.
Happy Valentine’s Day to my new friends in Chicago, to my coworkers and the ladies from Rocky and the people I’ve amassed in the snowballing social life I lead. You all do incredible things–edit articles, write operas, act in improv, make crafts and support each other through challenges that seem like part of an after-school special. I don’t know how I did it, but I’m so lucky to have found you (and I want to drink more wine with you).
And finally, Happy Valentine’s Day to me. Hey babe, you made it another year in a terrible economy. You’re about to start rehearsals for the first musical you ever wrote with Underscore. And you’ve managed to find some seriously awesome people with whom to spend your time. A plus, lady. I’m proud of you.
Be my Valentine?