My three favorite dates are December 16 (my birthday), December 25 (although I'm one of those evil pagans who prefers wishing friends and strangers "Happy Holidays" to "Merry Christmas," I still dig the whole giving-and-getting-gifts part of the gig), and February 14.
I like February 14 for two reasons: One, it's Arizona Statehood Day. That's right, Arizona became the 48th state in the Union on February 14, 1912. Because it was so fashionably late to the AWESOME party thrown by the Federal Government, I am able to say that none of my grandparents were born in the United States: three were born in Arizona before it became a state; the fourth, like a good many Mormons, was born in Mexico (which is where the polygamists went to stay polygamists, until Pancho Villa came along and told them to get the hell out).
Of course, the other reason I like February 14 is that it's Valentine's Day.
This is the 43rd Valentine's Day I've spent on this planet. For, oh, 39 of those 43, I've not had a Valentine to call my own (I even had two long-term relationships where I managed to be on the outs with my sig/ot during the month of February), but the fact that any flowers I received on such days were from my mother (she never neglects me or my sisters on Valentine's Day: she sent bouquets to all four of us on Monday) and any chocolate I got, I bought myself, hasn't dampened my enthusiasm for the day.
I just like it, you know? I like construction paper and scissors and glue. I like doilies. I like crayons and markers. I like red a lot, and pink is OK. I like chocolate. I like flowers. I like hearts. I like sending big envelopes through the US mail and I like telling the people I love that I love them, even if they don't offer to take me to dinner, call me sweetheart and kiss me passionately on the 14th day of February. (I'm not saying I'm opposed to the idea, I'm just saying it doesn't have to happen. I accept other gestures of affection and regard. One of my all-time favorite Valentine's Day presents is a garlic press my sister bought me in 1990 when we shared an apartment--I use it still.)
There have been years when I've made fudge for the dozen or so people closest to me. There have been years when I've baked heart-shaped cakes. There have been years when I've sent dozens of Valentines, to pretty much everyone in my address book. I'd rather do that than send Christmas cards--I mean, it's just so commonplace to send red envelopes in December to people you ignore the rest of the year, but who does it in February?
If I'd had my shit together this year, I would have fashioned a huge, elaborate heart of pink and red paper, a sincere token of my affection for all my friends and readers. I would have taken a photo of said creation, and uploaded it here. Unfortunately, however, that did not happen.
So you'll just have to accept this blog entry as my Valentine to you. If I know you well enough to love you, then believe me, I love you! And if we're still in the early stages of our friendship, then I like you every bit as much as I can without seeming pathetic, threatening and weird.
And if you like or love me too, please leave a comment and tell me so.