EDITORIAL: Every day's a giving day

The way some people see it, you can really only be of two minds when it comes to Valentine’s Day. One group is comprised of hopeless romantics who revel in unrestrained displays of affection (or, alternatively, morosely lament their singleness) and the other consists of those folks who find the holiday to be an unsettling mishmash of commercialism and chalky heart candies (blech!).

We’d like to think there’s a third option out there for those who treat Valentine’s Day as a simple reminder.

This week is our special Valentine’s Day edition, and you’ll read several stories in this paper about some of the business involved in Cupid’s big party, whether that’s flowers, candies or something completely different. You’ll also read the stories of two local couples who tied the knot on or around Valentine’s Day despite some pretty trying circumstances.

And opposite this editorial, you’ll also read our own Dee Basemore’s thoughts on the month of February, which is, among other things, Black History Month. Her words could well be applied to a lot of other places, including the upcoming holiday.

Valentine’s Day is a great holiday because it serves as a reminder of exactly what many of us have: a loving companion in life. It also presents the opportunity to do something special for that person as a show of appreciation.

But much as you don’t have to wait until February to honor the memory of, say, Martin Luther King Jr., you don’t have to wait until Feb. 14 to do something nice for someone special.

Don’t get us wrong, it’s great to pull out the stops on romance, and Valentine’s Day presents the perfect opportunity and atmosphere to do just that. But what it really does best is hit the reset button on relationships, and hopefully put the thought in the minds of couples everywhere that you don’t need Hallmark’s permission to commit good acts.

This is a particularly appropriate lesson in the month of February, when most people have been cooped up with their loved one for several months and might prefer to see less of that special someone, rather than more.

So this year, let your Valentine’s Day freak flag fly and indulge in all the sappy and goopy romanticisms you like. And on Feb. 15, remember that you don’t need to spend a lot of money or make a sweeping gesture to make a difference with the person you care about.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

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