It’s the season of flower bouquets, chocolates, candy hearts, and stuffed animals holding hearts. This can mean only one thing: Valentine’s Day is upon us.
When we’re kids, this is a fun holiday. We get to pick out superhero or Barbie valentines and hand them out to our classmates; we eat chocolates and mounds of tiny sugary hearts that offer messages of love and affirmations that we are in fact “2 cute;” and we receive an array of fluffy teddy bears from our adoring parents and grandparents.
Things become complicated as we get older. Expectations are higher; we want romance and dinner reservations and jewelry and Hallmark greeting cards. Our focus narrows so much that we lose sight of how inclusive Valentine’s Day is meant to be. It’s a time to celebrate romance, that’s true, but it’s also a time to celebrate and express the affection and appreciation we have for all of our loved ones.
Valentine’s Day is non-negotiable at this point; you can roll your eyes at Cupid all you want, but this day is here to stay. We can feel overwhelmed by romantic expectations or we can try to figure out some non-traditional ways of celebrating, ways that will send a little love out into the universe. For instance, we can bake cupcakes for our coworkers, or bring flowers to a neighbor who’s recently lost her spouse. We can send a Pokèmon valentine to our nephew, or make a household craft for family and visitors to enjoy.
The library is hosting several programs geared towards celebrating this season of love. Our Live @ The LPL: My Jazzy Valentine concert on February 13th is currently sold out. If you were not lucky enough to have gotten tickets, you can contact the Reference Department and have your name added to the waiting list. If you are attending, I hope you enjoy the instrumental renditions of classic love songs that will played (I think you will). Bring your grandmother, your friends, your spouse—anyone who knows how to have a good time or could use a little V-Day pick-me-up. While we’re on the subject of library programs, I should also mention that in the Teen Lounge, teens will be making Valentine’s wreaths on February 10th. In addition, our Children’s librarians will be having a “Hearts and Crafts” program for grades 2-3 on February 12th. Please spread the word to anyone who might be interested and encourage them to call the library for more information.
Lastly, we can’t overlook the romance of literature. There are thousands of beautifully strung together sentences that illuminate the intricacies of love. And poetry! My goodness, is there anything more romantic than a well-written love poem? Have you read Pablo Neruda (specifically Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair) or any of these contemporary love poems? Valentine’s Day is rife with clichés: candlelit dinners, large heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, and dozens of red roses. If you’re a book nerd like the rest of us here at the LPL, shake up the norm and add the romance of literature into your evening. Stop by the library and pick up a great love story or a great book of love poems and read them with your significant other.
If romance is not in the cards this year, have no fear: oftentimes, the bonds we share with close friends are just as meaningful. Some of the great literary friendships are proof of this. No matter the form it comes in, no matter whether it is accompanied by a string quartet and a flute of champagne, find the love in your life and rejoice in its existence.
And no matter what, have a little chocolate. It just makes everything better 🙂
Happy Valentine’s Day,