Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love is in the Air or Is that Snow?

Getting in my four-mile run this morning, so many thoughts were swirling through my head - much like the snowflakes falling in lazy arcs to the ground.  The wind was light, my legs were heavy, but I was happy to be out splashing through the slush on a relatively ice-free road.

Foremost in my mind was a rehash of the previous night's fun run.  I am only in my second month of fun run director for the local running club, so I still feel I am trying to learn my way around the job.  Our February fun run happened to be at an Irish Pub in Oshkosh, b'gosh.  The run went well, although I didn't run it.  I sat around talking to the Brooks rep who drove in from Minnesota to outfit runners in sample shoe stock and sipped a beer while everyone ran.  I was okay with that.  I had run 14 miles the day before, and the last thing I really wanted to do was head out onto the slippery roads in the dark in a strange town.  

So, instead, I enjoyed my Smithwicks (a nod to the Irish Pub), handled the drink ticket distribution and made sure our food got served.  It was a hard job.  We had a good turnout - especially for February - and everyone seemed to have a good time.  I wonder, though, if I should have worked harder to incorporate the Valentine's Day theme into the mix.  Food for thought for next year.

Speaking of Valentine's Day - Happy Valentine's Day!  If you are like me then surely you are shaking your head at all the hoopla that surrounds this pseudo holiday.  Now, I am no curmudgeon.  I love getting handmade cards from my kids telling me how much they love me, and I enjoy too the card and flowering plant that my husband gets me.  

What I don't get, though, are all the Facebook greetings from businesses near and far wishing me a happy Valentine's Day.  For a day that is reserved for love, it just seems odd to me to be wished a Happy Valentine's Day from a business.  Then there are the sales.... As if we don't have enough excuses over the course of a year to buy and consume, we also need to be enticed on this love-soaked holiday?  And, it's not even the typical chocolates, flowers, jewelry and greeting cards businesses.  Those I get.  But, clothing retailers?  Sports drink makers? Airlines?  I don't know.  It just seems weird to me.  

I can't bring myself to go so far as to NOT celebrate Valentine's Day.  I do have friends who take that line, reasoning that you should be showing love to the people in your life throughout the year, not just on February 14.  I get that, too.  But, what the hell.  I like an excuse to buy chocolate and do something a bit special and out of the ordinary as much as the next person.  So, why not Valentine's Day?  After all, it's not like I will go out of my way to order a heart-shaped pizza just any day of the year.  You know?  Also, there are not a lot of days out of the year that I can justify spending almost $20 on a box of locally made, dark chocolate and sea salt covered caramels.  Just saying.

Finally, as a final thought on Valentine's Day.  I can't think of Valentine's Day without thinking of Punch.  It was seven years ago today that we welcomed a crazy, ill-behaved, fun-loving, trouble-making big lug of a dog into our homes.  Punch was a rescue pup and even though he drove us crazy, we loved him very much.  Sadly, he died of an aggressive form of cancer only four years later.  I still miss him.  The fact that I associate Valentine's Day with him is apt, as I don't think any creature could have taught me the value of not sweating the little things so much and to love everyone like he did.  I just wish I had learned that lesson a little sooner, so I wasn't left with the lingering feeling that all I ever did was yell at him in exasperation.  Poor dog.  He made some bad choices, but to love everyone (and I mean everyone!) with his whole heart wasn't one of them.  Miss you, you crazy dog.

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