Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love. Love, in all its forms. Across ages, from different phases and stages strewed over the pages of time. A rekindling of memories, warm. A generous showering of gratitude to friends and family alike, often draped in red roses.
For love, knows no boundaries. It once made me take a flight across the 7 seas. Just to be there for the day. As if that would serve as a calendar reminder to come from a space of love, every day. And it was well worth the effort. Indeed, love grows in tight hugs, multiplies in giggles, and flourishes in wanton togetherness.
The new normal though makes one long for what we once took for granted.
7 basic things I will miss when going out this Valentine are:
1. Family. Had it not been for the pandemic, mine would have visited me this year. And the truth is, no amount of video calls can replace the scent of my mother’s arms.
2. Galantines with my besties. And their hugs. Nothing beats meeting up in person and getting those warm bear hugs. Elbows have substituted arms and you just cannot compare the two body parts.
3. Wearing lipstick. Red, pink, and every shade in between. Getting dolled up without needing to wear lipstick just seems pointless. Besides, for someone whose usual go-to is just some lipstick and mascara, it’s like, why bother at all?! I wonder why I still wear any. But I do. Only to wash it off my mask later.
4. Smiling at your loved ones. You’d think you’d want to smile at each other, especially on Valentine’s Day. But the minute you are within proximity of another, masked smiles greet you. Is s/he smiling? Not smiling? One can barely know. Wear a mask and practice people! Many genuine smiles don’t reach the eyes and it has nothing to do with authenticity. It just depends on how wide you grin.
5. Words. Those which I can hear loud and clear. Especially if those words are about how much you love me, then more so. But when masks masquerade words from 6 feet apart, I’m sorry, but I don’t quite hear them. I am afraid that when my Valentine is whispering sweet nothings to me from that distance, I might not just quite pick up the vibe.
6. Being able to wear spectacles. In July of last year, my significant other took me to a fancy restaurant for my birthday. I put on my rose rimmed spectacles to read the menu and place my order with our server. But unfortunately, you cannot do both together, read and talk that is. Those doggone glasses fog up like the entire ecosystem’s condensation in front of your eyes. I am keeping everyone safe, but now I can’t see. I was anyway having difficulty hearing through the mask and talking any further would be a big mist-take, so I just quickly nodded in agreement to the server’s recommendations. Sight over sound any day.
7. Sneezing without guilt in public. Gone are the days when we used to cover our mouths when we cough or sneeze and people around (strangers alike) would lovingly say, ‘God bless you!’ Now, you get weird stares and an embarrassed spouse reminding you, ‘ELBOW! SNEEZE INTO YOUR ELBOW!’
So, this Valentine’s, I’m staying home where I intend sneezing all over the place if I choose to while matching those very same rose rimmed spectacles with my red lipstick as I cozy in on the couch with my bae and smile at his sweet talk. Later, I’ll make peace with the virtual hugs from kith and kin alike as I cry myself to sleep missing my mother.
Tasneem Kagalwalla @tasneemkagalwalla
Life Coach & Lifestyle Blogger
SHE Magazine USA