At this morning’s Toastmasters meeting, I was dubbed a Valentine’s Scrooge. While it’s true that I’m a little jaded about Valentine’s Day and romance, I’m on a mission to show myself and others a little more love this week and beyond. But first, there’s the issue of that Scrooge comment!
As part of our Table Topics, we were given quotes about love and happiness, which we had to read out loud and discuss. I chose a paper conversation heart and silently read my quote, “What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” In the second it took me to read it, several things came to mind, each of which brought a lump to my throat:
- My dad and my grandmother, who have both passed away in the last few years.
- My sweet dog, Winston, who I quite suddenly lost right before Dad died.
- A recent short, but intense reunion with “one that got away,” which left me with a bruised heart over the holidays.
I agree wholeheartedly with the quote, of course. But I had only two minutes to reply, and I didn’t want to get too personal with or choke up in front of my co-workers. So I did what I used to tell candidates to do with no-win questions; I dodged it! I mumbled something about the quote being true, but quickly moved on to how I didn’t feel like celebrating Valentine’s Day and how I was tackling my skepticism for the overrated day.
When a colleague later called me out as a Valentine’s Scrooge in his Table Topic talk, I cringed a little. Truth is that my heart is as big and soft as a fluffy down pillow. It hasn’t always served me well when it comes to the opposite sex or everyday life in general. I’ve been known to fall too quick and hard. I’m a little too naive and trusting. I’m a sucker for an underdog and give folks the benefit of the doubt long after others have given up on them. And because I have high expectations for people, I’m often disappointed. As a result, perhaps I’ve grown a little cynical. So when it comes to Valentine’s Day and other sentimental occasions, I often overcompensate with a little badass bravado.
It’s true that my recent reunion with “one that got away” left me with a bruised heart, but it was also a wonderful wake up call. I realized that my cynicism has protected me from some pain and discomfort, but that I’ve also missed out on some wonderful experiences. I also realized that I’m quick to look to others for validation, when that really needs to come from within. And that’s why this Valentine’s Scrooge is celebrating not just Valentine’s Day, but the entire week! Here’s my lineup for the week:
Monday: Bought myself gorgeous red tulips, treated myself to an electric pink pedicure. Also mailed Valentine’s cards to people who have inspired me over the past year.
Wednesday: Having lunch at the Capital City Club with a fun group of people, including a media professional I’ve long admired.
Thursday: Taking an evening spin class with a friend who I communicate with on Facebook, but haven’t seen in years.
Friday: Celebrating “Galentine’s Day” with happy hour with fellow Green Queens.
Saturday: Treating Mom and Sister to Harbison Theater’s Valentine’s Day Cinema, featuring a classic movie, dessert and champagne.
Sunday: Picking up a second 12 x 12 framed photo collage I created with my pictures of hearts that occurred in nature.
Valentine’s Scrooge? Yeah, maybe a little. But heart is in the right place. I’ve had a few growing pains, but I’m making progress. In the meantime, I may still be a little snarky about Valentine’s Day. Old habits die hard. Just call me Badass Cupid.