Valentine’s Day Fever

How do you feel about Valentine’s Day? Do you consider it to be a special day, one where you express your deep love and appreciation for your significant other? Or is it just a commercialized “Hallmark Holiday” where you feel pressured to spend money on cards, flowers, candy, jewelry, and/or expensive dinners in order to stay on the good side of the one you love? Either way, what, if anything, are your plans for Valentine’s Day this year?

FANDANGO

When I was in high school, back when Valentine’s Day mattered so much to the point that our projects were to make cards, have song dedications in the morning programs… blah blah blah… I never really experienced being asked out. I was thin and of super dark complexion in a culture where you have to be pasty white to be regarded as “pretty.” So to make it short — I was ugly.

There was a time when some Fil-Am kids came to visit their relatives from our neighborhood and they were super golden tan and I heard people talking behind them with judgy faces saying, “I thought they’re American, why are they brown?” — when in fact, they’re suntanned. Their perfectly tanned skin was not good enough for them, believe me. So imagine that kind of toxic culture + how I looked…

NO DATES EVER.

Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

There were few who attempted, but I guess my self-confidence was so destroyed I didn’t believe they’re for real. Part of me thought that perhaps, they’d just make fun of me. Man! I was that girl from She’s All That (the movie) — “channeling my inner Rachael Leigh Cook.”

Now, I believe they were true. They probably did like me for real. I got to be extra nice to them in case we see each other again. I cannot apologize for something that’s happened in the 90s, they may not even have any recollection of it at all at this point. Being extra nice to them should suffice.

There’s this one guy though. I’d never forget about him. Not because I was in love with him or something but he was the only one who made high school memorable for me. He was from a different school. At that time, I still didn’t know his name, but his face was quite familiar —we’ve competed a lot of times before in district wide quiz bees and Olympiads. We were in a tactical training hosted by my school. It went for 3 days & come Valentine’s Day was the mixer. I was busy looking at the people on the dance floor that I didn’t notice a tall guy, super handsome (by high school standards), in front of me — apparently asking me to dance with him. I was catatonic for a while til I was able to get a grip and walk with him towards the dance floor. It was so awkward because I haven’t officially met him. While dancing, he told me he wanted to talk to me ever since the training began because he was so curious as to how I was like, he wanted to ask why I’ve been beating him since we were in Primary School and he’s actually asked how many medals and trophies I’ve collected over the years while he sulks and loses for not bringing home the bacon, yet again. It was a fun conversation. It was light and despite how he looked, he was so humble. I remember we were dancing one Michael Learns to Rock song, “Paint My Love” — I vividly remembered the song because my friends who were at the mixer never made me forget. I have my posse too. They were like bees buzzing & teasing me about the dance.

In my school, vultures were hovering around me asking why that jock / his school’s top student asked me to dance with him. Like he must have a sketchy motive, right? The girls were all over him, introducing themselves to him, writing him letters (yes, pen friendship was once a thing) thinking that since someone like me had a shot — perhaps they, people who think they’re prettier, may stand bigger chances, right? OMG, I am just realizing now how he’s exactly like Freddie Prinze Jr’s character in She’s All That.

So yeah, he didn’t care about them.

But it was my last year in the Philippines and had to leave for Riyadh. Nothing further really happened after the dance except for some more awkward conversations.

Two years later, I was back in the Philippines for college, we saw each other by the bus terminal from province to the city. He looked the same but I looked a little different somehow. I bet he recognized me but he didn’t come forward as he was unsure. As for me, I still didn’t have the courage that time so I stayed put. It’s like I was in a time machine. Had it been the year after, perhaps I went ahead and talked to him, initiated things, whatever, (because by that time, I had met my bestfriend Joanne already, my source of confidence).

So yeah… that’s basically it.

To answer Fandango’s question:

How do you feel about Valentine’s Day? I think this is yet another way for unpopular kids to feel rejected. Because some kids are cruel.

Do you consider it to be a special day, one where you express your deep love and appreciation for your significant other? No. In college, we just made fun of couples who were so into it. As an adult, my exes never cared. As a married person, my husband won’t even give me a petal you know. I guess I attract the least romantic people on earth. Perhaps because birds of the same feather flock together?

Or is it just a commercialized “Hallmark Holiday” where you feel pressured to spend money on cards, flowers, candy, jewelry, and/or expensive dinners in order to stay on the good side of the one you love? Either way, what, if anything, are your plans for Valentine’s Day this year?At one point it’s been commercialized. But people are now turning into robots… I feel that the celebration of the tradition has become more and more impersonal. I feel that the Valentine’s Day hype has mellowed down significantly over the years.

37 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day Fever

  1. A fabulous post, Janis. No, we are not big fans of Valentine’s Day. Although every few years or so we might do something for it. Linda did have a florist shop many years ago and it was just about the biggest day of the year (Mother’s Day was the biggest). We would have roses from one end of the house to the other (and we had mobile cool rooms in the front yard) as the florists prepared all the bouquets and other arrangements in anticipation of Valentine’s day. May those who partake in Valentine’s Day this year have the loveliest time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sean!

      Indeed, it’s the flower business that benefits from Valentine’s Day. And yes, those who love it deserve to have a romantic celebration come Feb 14. That sounds like a cool business. Linda must be so artistic to be able to envision different designs and arrangements. When I was in middle school, my mom enrolled me to a special Ikebana class. We all thought I was good, until my work was placed beside the ones done by my classmates 😀 😀 😀

      As I type my reply to you, I realized that my being not too much of a “flower girl” started back when one suitor gave me long-stemmed red roses that he took from his mom’s garden when we’re young– a dozen of fresh flowers so beautiful yet I felt so sorry for the plants because they were garden plants & not farmed for commercial purposes. I really felt he could have given me something different.

      I can’t believe I am just remembering all this now, same guy, asked me the next time what I wanted to receive in lieu of his mom’s flowers… we’re province people so the following story is normal — they had a quail farm… he’s given me dozens of quail eggs instead. I brought it home and gave it to my mom. When she asked me why would someone give me like more than a hundred quail eggs… I told her that I didn’t want flowers so he thought of an alternative … she was laughing so much and thought I was crazy.

      The Philippines has a very traditional courtship process so this may be a little odd for my blogging community…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Linda can pull together any floral design and even now relatives and friends will always ask her to do the wedding flowers for them and their families. Back in the day when she a member of the floristry association, they would always bring in the best florists from around not only Australia, but Japan and so on. So, she did learn Ikebana from the best.

        That’s a great story regarding the roses and the quail eggs. I like to hear different stories and experiences. The Phillipines traditional courtship process is not to far removed from how it used to be here. In my grand parents time it was called stepping out (going for walks). I am often reminded by Linda how I used to bring her flowers before we were married and that I stopped buying flowers after that. The comments generally happen after our daughter receives flowers from her boyfriend.

        One of the most interesting thing regarding flowers is learning what the different flowers and their colours mean in different cultures 😊

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I am not too familiar with the colors and meanings… but I always hear that you give white roses to your mom, yellow for a friend, & red for someone you’re in love with.. but you’ve gotten me curious, I’d search for that!

          It takes an artist to be able to create wedding floral arrangements. I am always amazed at how a reception hall transforms from plain space to an enchanting forest… Linda indeed is an artist! ❤

          Oh, stepping out sounds romantic…although there were probably more rules and restrictions back then…

          Hehehe… Why do husbands stop buying flowers, anyway? (common topic among our Women's Fellowship Group) Linda has a valid point to remind you. 😀 😀 😀

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy Valentines’ Day then, I suppose? Haha. That story is super cute, thanks for sharing it. Wonder what would have happened if you said hi the next time you saw him. But yes, I agree that Valentine’s Day can be hard on some people. We do not celebrate this day, too, because every day is nice anyway.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You are right Micah! No need to celebrate a special love day if you’re celebrating each other every single day… Actually, I can tell how in love you guys are through the photographs. Your eyes are both sincere (pardon the cheesiness, it’s February anyway!)

      Same with me and my husband. We see to it that we’re as in love as the day we fell for each other…We’re not romantics… but we do have our own love languages. My husband’s is service. He takes care & anticipates my every need, so I am pretty good with not celebrating v-day either. We’re covered!

      I told a friend about that scenario you asked; she’s also asked me what would have happened… and my answer was, “baka himatayin ako sa kilig”

      I think he played a good role in my life by making me feel likable when almost everyone says otherwise. Because that’s literally what he was. If the universe meant for us to have more, there should have been — but I guess, his role was specific to that purpose & I am glad 😀

      Like

      1. Thank you. I agree. Still, it is fun to think about these what-ifs sometimes. Last month I also saw my childhood crush and told Markus about it. No talking, we were parked next to each other and I was leaving. He was on a fire truck. And your husband is so nice – acts of service are much appreciated. Do you express love in the same way you want to receive it?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I am expressive physically… his total opposite because he gets annoyed being teased all the time.. especially when he’s playing video games hahaha…

          You are right. It’s fun to think about the what ifs especially if the better halves are “game” — is your childhood crush a fireman?

          Like

    1. Baka hinimatay ako sa kilig girl… he’s the typical gwapo kasi… kaya starstruck si marsh that time pero feeling ko un lang ang role nya tlg sa buhay ko.. cameo lang haha! Para lang pahabain ang hair ko slight… he served his purpose hahaha

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha. Naku doc, until dun lang ang mission ni God for him. He gifted me with a chance to find something to reassure me na I was not unappealing… because certain kids really made me feel so at that time.

      Akala ko rin may kasunod.. pero I believe he’s totally served his purpose..

      Like

  3. Gah, I hated that Filipino beauty standard. I’m your typical Moreno and Mestizas have lost their appeal to me. As long as they take care of themselves have a great attitude, you would probably get my attention. Sometimes Filipinos have the most unrealistic outlook on beauty. 😅

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I guess people have now evolved for the better ♥️ One vacation in Pinas, I was doing grocery shopping in SM baliwag, I saw my former classmate from Grade1 to 3rd yr hs… he didn’t recognise me! They apparently got stuck to that image of me and didn’t anticipate that people’s body, and physical appearance change in so so years… after that meeting, the rumor they spread that time was, do you know that janis looks like iwa moto now!??! And everyone was expecting that!!! Crazy, so when they see me, asan si Iwa? They’re so either, or! You cannot be in between.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. aww so cute! Nicholas Sparks is shaking hahahaha. Napa-smile ako, Mommy habang binabasa ‘to.

    But true rin na ang weird ng beauty standard satin. I remember nung HS ako walang nag invite sakin sa dance floor kase di ako ganun ka-pretty😂. Skinny and maitim din ako back then. Kaloka haha!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Kimmie for reading… oo noh, natorture ako nun HS because of bullies… pero hindi naman din ako pushover, to be fair to them, no harm done much lolz

      Wow, I can’t imagine you had that phase, you are so pretty… pero tama ka, Philippine standard is different… I am from Bulacan, ikaw?

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Parang parehas pala ang mga movements natin… ako grew up in cavite, but moved to bulacan then went to riyadh then went back to manila naman for college, 5 yrs rin… but my own family —sa antipolo naman kami nakatira

          Liked by 1 person

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