Growing up I absolutely hated Valentines Day. I could barely handle this particular holiday. I detested all the flowers floating around in high school and the notes everyone received during class announcing an item being held in the office for them.....until that one particular year that changed my understanding of Valentines Day forever.
This particular year I was a Junior. I was working at a gas station and I was absolutely in love with a fellow coworker. He was a senior. He really was the only reason why I stayed at that job for so long. The boss was a total deucebag and it was just a miserable place to spend my time. Although we both hated our jobs we had numerous hilarious nights together. I thought we were going to be together forever.
Valentines Day came and I floated from one class to the next feeling more and more depressed as I still had not received anything (just like every other year). English class came, the door opened and in walked an office aid with 2 or 3 notes. I could barely contain myself when I received a note! "You have an item ready for pick up at the office after class." I double checked the name and tried to hide my smile the entire class. After class I basically ran down to the office and there it was, a beautiful vase filled with a dozen red roses! "Red means love" was all I could remember thinking. The note attached simply said "from: your secret admirer".
I was in the office for so long that the halls were almost empty as I walked to my next class. As I carried my trophy of love down the hall I saw my coworker and as I passed we talked for a minute and he told me how nice the flowers looked and how glad he was that I had gotten them. I giggled knowing full well that he had sent them to me. I placed them in my locker feeling the most happy I had ever been. Somebody loved me! Somebody cared about ME! As I joined my friends at lunch they were discussing how stupid Valentines Day was and how they didn't care that they didn't get anything. I then told them about my flowers and they were shocked. It was wonderful. This was my day and I was going to soak it in.
A couple days past and my coworker didn't mention the flowers again. I began to panic. I sat down each member of my family and begged them to fess up to buying the flowers for me. Nobody knew where they came from.
I finally confided in an older friend from work about the mystery of the flowers. Her name was Bobby. She had peach fuzz all over her face. The majority of her life she had been a construction worker so a lot of stinky male truck drivers knew her. She had a contagious laugh and she made me feel like I wasn't just some pathetic high schooler. I told her about the flowers and how I was so excited that he gave them to me. She was thrilled for me. I then told her how if it wasn't him I was going to be upset because I would feel like a fool. If it was from my family I would be upset and basically if a female gave them to me my life was over. Don't toy with my emotions!!!! I was shocked to find that she was really upset with me after this conversation. I never understood why, besides thinking that I should be grateful I got them because she obviously didn't. We never spoke much after this conversation and I remember feeling sad when she quit and we had never mended that relationship.
Months later I was having a conversation with another coworker and we started reminiscing about past employees and Bobbys name came up. She laughed and said how cute she was that she had been the one to buy me those flowers. I was shocked. I was angry. I couldn't understand why she would make me look like a fool and then why she wouldn't tell me. I went home upset.
I have thought about this particular lesson in my life when Valentines rolls around year after year. I was so selfish. Valentines Day isn't just about you and your boyfriend/husband/lover. Valentines Day is about those people in your life that you admire, cherish, look up to. I wish I could find Bobby today and thank her for helping me realize this. What a thoughtful thing she did for me. She didn't just give me flowers. She made me feel special. For that one day I had more confidence than at any time in my life. She didn't boast about this. She truly did this to be nice and didn't ask for anything in return.
Today I wish all my friends and family members a wonderful Valentines Day. Thank you for your kindness, humor, love, support, etc. etc. Thank not only your significant other for their love but thank those around you. Who knows, they might need that love more than you know.