Yep, it's that time of year when you see red and pink puffy hearts around every corner and 3-course meal promotions from all the restaurants. As a divorcée and someone who works in the wedding industry, I am often asked if I have adopted a cynical view on the institution of marriage. While the answer to this can be somewhat complicated (perhaps one I will delve into in future posts), the simple answer is "no."
Every couple that I assist with their wedding is different. Some approach their wedding planning in a business-like, functional way while others are emotional and want every detail drenched in symbolism. In the end, though, I find myself touched by the ceremony of marriage and the commitment that these two people and their families have made together.
I do not fantasize about what my next wedding will look like, nor do I even have the urge to "settle down" anytime soon, but I do have hope. In my older and wiser years, I have come to realize that I can not be happy in a relationship until I am completely whole within myself. Trust me, this took some time with a therapist and a support group to get to this place...it was not easy.
It's unfortunate that I have some friends that are not as hopeful. They are desperate to find true love, to end the parade of losers that they somehow keep finding. Valentine's Day is just another day for me (one that is equated to dollar signs because of all the new engagements), but for many people it is a very sad and lonely day. Even though I have hope, you will find me on V-day sulking with my other tragically single friends over a bottle (ok, three) of wine.
Let's end on a happy note. Hallmark has a campaign running now for Valentine's Day (their most profitable holiday, I would guess) that makes me smile. It says: "Valentine's Day is not about saying 'I love you,' it is about saying 'I love us.'" Well said, Hallmark.