Last Friday, Feb 14th was the Hallmark celebration of love.
I remember my first Valentine’s Day like it was yesterday. I get all warm and tingly when I go back in my mind to that day-innocent and sweet, untouched by heartbreak. A late bloomer, this happened when I was 18 in Med School. My charmer was another fellow medical student who was too shy to ask me out, so his buddy asked if I would go out with him. Being the woman I am now, direct, I was no different then and said ‘no’. I didn’t care if that meant I hurt his feelings or let a great opportunity go. I was narrow minded and focused on becoming a doctor and all the distractions that chocolate covered strawberries and flowers bring were pushed aside.
But I was never mean spirited so because his friend was so loyal to my to-be-Valentine, I eventually said ‘yes’ (after confirming a million times that I am NOT interested in him romantically and don’t want to be his girlfriend). I didn’t want to be responsible for mixed signals!
OMG it was such a sweet night, now that I look back on it. He came up to my dorm on his motorcycle, me behind him gowned in clothing and shoes from my fellow dorm-mates since I didn’t own a single piece of feminine clothing! At that time, my look was shorts, T shirts and sneakers. My friends were not going to let me go out unless I allowed them to dress me up. So, that was a night I really looked like a girl and I remember liking how I felt!
When we got to the restaurant the waiter walked up with a silver tray in his hand for me. On top of that tray was a long stemmed red rose and a card. My Valentine actually went to the restaurant in the afternoon to drop off the card and rose! I was so touched.
To this day, that is the most romantic gesture that anyone has done for me. Had I not been shorts and T shirt obsessed, unaware that I had an untapped part of myself that needed attention, I may have had a first relationship and a boyfriend! But, alas, I wasn’t that wise and we stayed friends for the remainder of our medical school experience, pretending like that date never happened.
Today, over 25 years later, I have different levels of self awareness, thankfully! I am VERY aware of my feminine self, desires and strength. I would welcome a gentle gesture like he gave me all of those years ago. The question is how to make myself appear vulnerable enough for someone to come up to me and ask me out. When you get grey hair and walk with confidence it seems the intimidation factor comes out.
Within each of us are the younger selves who want to play, be attended to, laugh, love and let loose! That’s what these Hallmark days give us-an excuse to do that. The message is we shouldn’t need a special day to express ourselves. Do that every day. For another. For yourself! And to the angels above-I am ready for my next silver tray!