photo by Becky Blades

photo by Becky Blades

I miss Valentine’s Day in grade school. What happy work it was sorting through that big box of valentines to find the right one for every kid in class – and just the right one for the teacher. Even the most self-absorbed brat in class had to try to think with his heart. And the brat got as many Valentines as everybody else. At least he did in Mrs. Logan’s first grade class.

That’s what’s missing from grown-up Valentine’s Day. It’s not inclusive. If we all have to suffer through the commercials and the candy displays, we should all get to participate.

Even those of us lucky enough to have a special someone for the aim of Cupid’s arrow can agree: a shotgun approach makes it a happier holiday all around.

So spread the love. Here are some people who would love getting a valentine.

1.     Your mom(s). Of course. Remember all the step moms, God Mothers, pledge moms and mother substitutes you have picked up through the years.

2.     Your dad(s).

3.     Your teachers. Think of all the special ones from past present and future. A valentine is a surprising way to express a fondness beyond basic gratitude for the stuff they taught you. If your heart is brighter for them touching it, tell them so.

4.     Your co-workers & clients. Be appropriate, of course. (Chocolate is always professional, if you want my opinion.) But what a great trend to start. When you take your heart to work, it’s a cue that others can, too.

5.     Your barista. The person who makes your coffee can have as intimate a connection to your morning as the person you wake up with. If the person you wake up with makes your coffee, well, they should definitely be on your Valentine list.

Like any feat of giving, the point is to truly give, expecting nothing in return. That said, you can’t give away many heartfelt sentiments without receiving a perfectly packaged gift of gratitude.

Becky Blades is the author of Do Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone.

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