I hate the subliminal message that women's good will and adoration can be bought with heart shaped diamond pendants, or pink furry stuffed animals, or boxes of mass-produced and slightly stale chocolates. I hate overseeing the handwriting of 25 valentines times two for two boys who utterly detest the chore and yet are obligated to complete it so that Valentine's Day can be another opportunity for the school to teach them handwriting. I hate the cloying artificial sentiment manufactured and marketed by card/flower/gift/candy shops. I hate the feeling of obligation it sets up in otherwise sane couples. And to be perfectly truthful and yet contradictory, I spent not just a few years of my marriage and then divorce, sitting at home in sweatpants doing nothing, feeling sour, and then feeling sour that I felt sour about being neglected on a holiday I hated anyway.
It's enough to make this usually level-headed woman eat a whole bag of potato chips at one sitting.
Now that we're clear on the that, I am still in favor of the color red in February. I think most of us who experience a true winter like we do here On the Doorstep, need a blast of warm, fiery color to counteract the gray skies, dirty snowbanks, and mucky streets we struggle through for months on end.
Red's a master of many roles: cheerful, passionate, saucy, loud, every one of them a good antidote to February blahs. I believe every room, no matter what's going on in it, needs a little red to keep things from being boring.
Here are some of my favorites, from Etsy sellers: