Before I became a full time mother and part time writer I worked at a floral shop. At the time the very words Valentine's Day would send me spiraling into PTSD and The Engineer (my husband) would find me curled in a ball shuddering at the back of the closet. All right it wasn't that bad. Quite.
The hardest part was the pettiness of the day after VD. Poor hounded fellows would come in with written appologies and tearfully ask if we had any roses left. Granted a few of those men probably had done something stupid, but the majority of them had tried to make a nice day. These guys would tell us that it hadn't been good enough, they needed something more. She had a dollar figure she wanted spent on her, or some other arbitrary expectation. I was often astounded at what they told me. (One thing I will say is that you get a lot of insight into people and their relationships at a floral shop. Flowers are very personal. Great inspiration for writing.) It was this more than the long hours or insane boss that ruined the holiday for me, and I no longer wonder why so many men hate this holiday.
It has been eight years since I worked a valentines day and while I know there were days when the exhaustion and stress of three consecutive twenty hour work days would have me in tears. I can now look back at the good times. I loved working with flowers, being able to experiment with shape and color. We always had a larger variety and supply of flowers at VD so that was fun. I loved the gratitude and love some people showed. And I loved the happiness the arangements brought to most people.
Even so The Engineer and I have never brought ourselves to celebrate VD. At the most we'll order Chinese. However you celebrate or not, I wish you all a happy February 14th.