Some people love Valentine’s Day—the roses, the romantic dinners, the stuffed bears holding hearts. Some people hate Valentine’s Day—the jacked up rose prices, the crowded restaurants, the stuffed bears holding hearts.
I’ve always liked Valentine’s Day, but with a caveat: for me, it celebrates all kinds of love, not just romantic love.
When I was a girl, my mother always baked us kids special extra-large heart shaped cookies. She decorated them with fancy frosting frills and piped our names on them. She had six kids, and she took pains to make each one different—a white border on a pink cookie with a red name on one, a white background sprinkled with red sugar and bordered in red on another. Those cookies were special, one-of-a-kind and made with love. Plus, they were delicious!
In high school, student clubs would raise money by delivering pink and red valentine’s carnations to students. I never got one from a boyfriend, but friends would send them to each other, celebrating love of friends, long before Galentine’s day existed.
The love of family and friends buoyed me up, even in those years when I didn't have a Valentine's date, such as the year I spent Valentine's Day at the movie theater alone, watching Pulp Fiction.
These days, my husband and I usually opt for a quiet Valentine’s Day. Often I’m working in the evening, so we have lunch out. If I’m not working, we usually have gourmet takeout; something neither of us has to cook. We long ago stopped trying to go out for fancy dinners, fighting the Valentine's Day hordes. The first year after we moved we were still unpacking and went out for pizza. Another year we did a bunch of my favorite things during the day: watched the sea otters, went to the monarch butterfly grove, ate pie. This year, my ukulele club is spreading a little love by playing at an eldercare facility's lunch on Valentine's Day, so my husband and I will go out for breakfast.
I’ve always been lucky to feel lots of love around me, even when I didn’t have a romantic partner. And what could be better than a holiday about expressing your love to everyone?
So happy Valentine’s Day from the Hat Project! In these pictures I’m wearing a red velvet hat that came from the collection of hats that included the brown wool hat, the red Breton, the black hat with scarf, and the embellished white pillbox. I saved this one red hat from the Christmas red-hat-a-palooza for this occasion.
May all of you have a happy day. I love you, readers!
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Ann Hillesland writes fiction and nonfiction and collects hats. In this blog she vows to wear (not just model, but wear out of the house) every one of her hats, blogging about their histories and their meanings for her.