15 February 2013

Valentine's/Galentine's/Anna Howard Shaw

Historically, I've never been too big on Valentine's Day.  And I don't think it's one of those bitter "I don't have a boyfriend" kind of things either.  I've had plenty of February 14ths (though none in recent history) that involved chocolates and flowers.  My parents still get me a present -- I got pink Fiestaware this year.  Yes, be jealous -- I asked for dishes for Valentine's Day.  My grandparents' still send me a card.  I got a handful of surprise cards in the mail.  But despite all of this, Valentine's Day just confuses me.  I don't understand it.  Why do we need a day to tell and show each other that we love each other?  Shouldn't we do that all the time?  I'm not one to wear my heart on my sleeve, so chances are if I've told you that I love you, I truly meant it...but still.  

So here's what I think.  It's a day to celebrate friendships.  Leslie Knope said it best.

So today, after meeting up with some girlfriends and eating peanut butter cups and lollipops (of which I ate five) and being given one singular flower by an old man in bar, I am reminded of just how blessed I am to have such a good group of friends.  Strong, intelligent, independent women who enjoy looking at photos of French bulldogs in costumes, watching the West Wing, talking about history, and generally laughing till we cry.  I say this and mean it:  I love you all.  I can't believe our two years together is coming to an end so soon.

Valentine's Day is also a time to be a little ridiculous.

Hence, this Joe Biden valentine that I posted to Facebook this morning.  My love for him is just so strong that I couldn't contain myself!

And it's a time to celebrate the things we love.  For me, that's history.  And y'all know me so well.  I had multiple people send me this story from NPR this morning about LBJ's love letters to Lady Bird.  Be still my heart.  Last, but certainly not least, some of us refer to this day as Anna Howard Shaw Day, a day we use to substitute our hatred of Valentine's Day with a celebration of the women's suffrage leader, Anna Howard Shaw, who just happened to be born on 14 February.  So for me, Valentine's Day is a time to be thankful as well.  Thankful for a history full of incredible women who paved the way for me and the wonderful group of women I have found here in Bloomington to have the opportunity to follow our dreams.  After all, would I have crush on Joe Biden if I couldn't vote?

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