Valentine's Day is not one of my favorite holidays. I think of it as a holiday designed to make children happy and adults feel bad about themselves.
If you're a kid, you can exchange valentines with everyone in your class without feeling like so-and-so likes you but so-and-so doesn't. At least that's how I remember it.
But as an adult, you're either not in a relationship and feeling like a loser, or you're in a relationship and there's all this pressure about what is he going to buy me, and it had better not be something with an electrical cord. And where is he going to take me? Because it had better not be that same restaurant he always takes me to. And what am I going to buy him, and what if it's something that says I love you when he's not ready to say it to me yet?
My Valentine's Day solution? I'll bet you've already guessed it.
Yes, that's right. Read Jane Austen. Laugh. Enjoy.
Buy yourself a huge box of See's. Or Godiva. Or whatever strikes your sugared fancy.
Watch the BBC Pride and Prejudice. Or the one with Matthew MacFadyen and Keira Knightley. Or Bride and Prejudice. Or Emma. Or any one of your favorite Austen movies.
Remember Austen's greatest lessons.
Know that love is everywhere, that everything and anything is possible. After all, if you'd told Elizabeth Bennet she'd end up with Mr. Darcy, she would have abused you for your stupidity.
Know that there's always another chance for love. Just ask Anne Elliot about that one.
Know that self-knowledge and self-reflection bring great rewards. Which is how Emma ended up with Mr. Knightley. How Elizabeth Bennet ended up with Mr. Darcy. How Captain Wentworth ended up with Anne Elliot.
Most important, remember that anything and everything is possible. And that happiness is not dependent on finding THE ONE. Just ask Jane Austen, clergyman's daughter, who could have got married but chose to stay single. Jane Austen, who despite the restrictions imposed upon women of her time, despite not being part of any literary circle, despite not being rich and influential, despite being dependent on her relatives, wrote six of the greatest and most enduringly beloved novels in the English language.
May happiness be yours today and every day.