Well friends, it is Valentine's Day again, and I am going to be my witty, sincere, and kind self and talk about hearts and flowers… blah blah blah.

By Barbara High
Tribune Staff Writer
Well friends, it is Valentine’s Day again, and I am going to be my witty, sincere, and kind self and talk about hearts and flowers… blah blah blah.
Okay I will admit it, I am single this year! Yes, the dreaded single on Valentine’s Day. It is like Christmas with no tree, the 4th of July with no fireworks, and Easter with no eggs. I guess it is just that something is missing.
Now I am not trying to be bitter. I mean, just because there will be no dinner out or flowers for me, I am not hating this sacred day. Expensive flowers that are just going to die, or delicious chocolates that will just cause cavities and cost money for dentist bills… nope I am not bitter at all!
I mean, who wants a fluffy teddy bear, or roses sitting on their desk… besides almost every woman out there! (Well I am more of a sunflower girl, but I would never knock a rose either.)
I am really not bitter. Who doesn’t love a good love story, the tale of a couple meant to withstand the test of time. A love that can defeat all obstacles in its path.  Like Romeo and Juliet, I mean look, it turned out great for them, didn’t it?
 As the song says, “In the name of love.” I mean, couples that were meant to be together forever like Johnny Cash and his first wife. Love that brings out the best in us as a couple like Bonnie and Clyde!! Okay maybe I am bitter just a little. It’s not like I don’t believe in love or happily ever afters. Beause I do, for some people.
No, I am really not bitter, but humorous as always. What I want to do is look at this holiday a bit more carefully.
Originally the holiday has origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia. It celebrated the coming of spring, fertility rites, and the pairing of women with men, It was later named by Pope Gelasius as Saint Valentine’s Day after a Christian martyr and also called the Feast of Saint Valentine, and has now become known as a celebration of love and affection. What was once considered a holiday for lovers has expanded to an expression of affection for family and friends as well, with school children exchanging valentines with one another.
So we can be bitter and think of it as a money maker for the card and candy companies (hmmm… just kidding) or we can see it as a time for us to love and appreciate those in our lives. Well I really would like to think that would be something we would or should be doing every day, but we do have holidays for all sorts of things, so why not.
Now I am not going to say that I don’t believe in love. My former partner Bobby will be so glad to hear that. I will no longer refer to you as my better half though lol. I think I am just bothered that so many people quit so easily. I wish I was raised in a time where you worked to fix things that were broken and not just toss it away. But that is another column.
About six years ago I met a couple that were at a Relay for Life Survivor dinner. They were both cancer survivors and they were at the dinner together on their 50th anniversary. Wow, 50 years together!! Both of them having fought cancer, now that is some obstacle to overcome and still be together. I remember how in awe of them I was. The woman told me not to worry that I too would one day celebrate my 50th wedding anniversary. I had to laugh… not unless I am living to be a 100.
She questioned what I meant and I explained to her I wasn't married or even dating anyone. So add together the time it would take to find someone and dating and a marriage and then 50 years together…. The odds were not in my favor.
This wonderful woman told me I should find a man in either the church or the grocery store. Well I didn’t get to church much with my job schedule at the time, so I thanked her and decided to pay close attention on my next trip grocery shopping.
As luck, life, or plain being hungry would have it… I ended up shortly thereafter in a grocery store. I looked around at the men and to be honest it scared me. I was really hoping I did not end up with the man that was scratching his butt while sniffing the produce.
To tell you the truth, I had all but given up. Then I did find someone, not in a grocery store either. Now it didn’t last 50 years; only five if we’re being honest. Yet I was grateful for the time.
Now I have dated and for all you single people out there, my condolences, because it’s not easy. I have been told I was too independent! Well let’s see, I have spent how many years on my own? I can’t imagine why I would possibly be independent. Of course I am, but that is the whole point of dating! I was looking for someone so I didn’t have to be. Yikes it is scary out there.
I also get that I am intimidating. Hmm, okay I won’t say much about this one except…I am me. I am not responsible for how you react to my presence.
I know I am not the only single person out there for Valentine’s Day, so my question is what do others do for this day? Is there a secret support group that meets on this day? Do you celebrate it? Because I sure am!
When I look at my life I see so many wonderful people that I love and admire, and I plan to celebrate each and every one of them. I have wonderful family and a good support system in the form of a few amazing friends - each one holding a special spot in my heart this day and everyday. I plan to show them some love this year.
I truly hope that you all don’t wait till this once-a-year holiday comes around to show love to the ones you hold dear.
Now to you people out there who have found your mate, your partner, your other half… I hope you get… just kidding. What I pray is that you know you’re blessed. That you have found something amazing and I pray you cherish it this Valentine’s Day and every day! I wish you at least 50 years of happiness if not a lifetime!
So get out there to some of our local fine stores and get some flowers and candy. Heck, get that giant overstuffed bear holding a heart. Put some rose petals by the bath. Buy them their favorite book or even write them a letter telling them all about the reasons you love them. (We’re suckers for that kind of stuff.)
Cause that is what life is all about - finding wonderful people to share it with. People who will walk this road called life with you. Because sometimes the path is treacherous and you may stumble. Yet with the right people beside you, you will make it through. They will pick you up when you fall and carry you when you’re tired. Beause some are spending a lifetime living it, while others spend a lifetime trying to find it. So if you were blessed in love, be grateful. If you’re blessed with loving family and friends, you are still blessed.
So go out and buy that candy, I will wait till the day after and get my own for 50% percent off!
Just remember the day after the holiday is not just a great time to shop either, it’s a time to remember to count your blessings. The ones you love are still beside you. So carry that feeling of love and appreciation throughout the year. Don’t limit showing your love to once a year. Life is too short.
So I expect flowers from all of those who read and love my column - all four of you lol - and remember I love you all.
Happy Valentine’s Day from the single woman who considers herself still blessed.
Just saying….