it’s about spreading the love, people
i love valentine’s day. (it’s actually in three-way tie for my second favorite holiday.) for me, valentine’s day is not about forced romance or commercialism. it’s about two of my very favorite things in the world — love and the color pink.
we don’t have to buy into the hallmark vision of valentine’s day. love isn’t about $50 bouquets of roses. love is about sharing yourself, practicing compassion and tolerance, taking on someone else’s dreams or burdens as if they were your own. and you certainly don’t need to be in a romantic relationship to enjoy it.
so here are some suggestions for celebrating an “alternative” valentine’s day:
- take action for the cause of love. if you hate the social pressure valentine’s day imposes on your love life, think of those whose love life faces interference not only from social pressure but from outright legal discrimination. if you live in suburban maryland, oppose ongoing attempts to amend the maryland constitution to discriminate against same-sex couples by contacting your state legislators and make it clear that you oppose the latest bill (SB 690) and all attempts to ban same-sex marriage in maryland. if you live in northern virginia, email your state senator in support of a new bill that will prohibit discrimination for state, local and school district employees based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation or disability.
- surprise your lover, friend, or sister with tickets to the vagina monologues on march 16th or 17th at the DC arts center. the event is a benefit for V-day, which celebrates valentine’s day as a day of awareness and action against violence toward women.
- if you don’t have other plans tonight, go home and clean out your closet. by getting a jump start on your spring cleaning, you should find plenty of goodies to donate to a worthy cause, like so others might eat. SOME welcomes donations of furniture, canned goods and other non-perishables, clothing, towels and linens, color televisions, small household appliances, and eating utensils. while you are at it, take a minute to program the dc hypothermia hotline (1-800-535-7252) into your cell phone so that you can call to report folks who need shelter from the cold. as the storm last weekend demonstrated, winter isn’t over yet.
- celebrate heart day by committing to keeping your heart healthy. we all know we should be exercising and eating our veggies, but sometimes it takes a little external motivation. use valentine’s day as an excuse to make yourself an appointment for a free consulation with a nutritional counselor at clark wellness. or plan on making time this friday to visit the national woman’s heart day health fair at the MCI center. women who work downtown can pop in during lunch for free heart health screenings.