It will surprise no one that I have a St. Valentine funfact. While many of us buy in to the “Patron of Lovers” part of Val’s holy portfolio, he’s also the patron of epileptics and bee keepers. One of which I am, and the other I’m trying to convince my gentleman associate I should be. Because I totally should be. I love the pantheon of Catholic Saints. So random and amazing.
Remember (for some of us) eons ago when the earth was cooling, and the week before Valentine’s Day meant you dutifully created your little mail box. You punched out fun notes with awful puns from a book of valentines, and made sure that every kid in your class got one that seemed right for your relationship with them. I used to give them to my aunts and uncles, the neighbours, the priest at my church… everyone I could think of who should know, in case they didn’t know, that they were doing a stand-up job.
I feel like we don’t do that so much anymore as adults. I mean, we do with some people. For grander gestures, for sure. But for the general course and speed of daily life, maybe less so. When the barista hands me my drink, I always say thanks, but maybe it’s just an automatic response. Do I even look at the barista in the face when I say thanks? I’m not sure. Does it sound sincere to them, or just transational. They hand me my mug, I hand them a quick, “Thanks”.
One of the things I most miss about taking public transit (and particularly the bus, now that there’s LRT) is when people would thank the driver. It didn’t always happen, but it happened more often than not.
I get that it would be weird for me to slide an Iron Man (or whatever uniform boxed cards there are now) valentine across the Balzac’s counter to the Bringer of Warm Beverages. And you’d certainly be labelled as the weirdo if you slide a folded valentine to the receptionist at the chiropractor or the person who teaches aqua fit on Tuesday nights, or shaves King Louie’s belly or sells me chicken feet at the Cambridge market or puts the butter in the machine at the movie theater. Doesn’t mean I’m not happy they’re in my life, though.
So here’s to all of you. Kindness breeds kindness. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.
Candy hearts for all of you.