Happy Valentine’s Day?

Call me jaded, but I dislike Valentine’s Day.

Really dislike it.

It started, I think, in grade school, when we were instructed (no, coerced) to provide a Valentine for every member of our class.

Funny how the card manufacturers know just how many kids are in typical classrooms!

Anyway, a few days before the “event,” we’d create these elaborate construction paper envelopes in Art class to hold the Valentines we’d be receiving. Covered with doilies, hearts, and flowers, the envelopes would be things we could treasure.

Right.

Little kids of opposite sex rarely like each other (unless you consider those oh-so-private crushes that nobody knew about!). Still, we’d think long and hard about which Valentine card to give to which classmate, hoping the one with the “mushy” verse didn’t go to the kid nobody liked!

Or the teasing would start.

I don’t know what our teachers would have done, had somebody “miscounted” and omitted a classmate. It might have happened, but I didn’t know of it.

When the day was done, we’d carry our treasures home and go through each one, wondering who meant what by the card that was chosen.

Looking back, it was probably nothing more than, “Help me get through this awful chore as fast as possible!”

Fast-forward to my twenties when my dislike of Valentine’s Day was reinforced — big time. One of my grandfathers had to go to the hospital on Feb. 14 for a “routine” medical test on his heart; he never made it out alive.

I know he’s in a better place, but his death cast a pall on the holiday, one that’s hard to put aside.

Today, Valentine’s Day seems like such forced frivolity. An excuse to spend a lot of money buying candy or jewelry or flowers or whatever for your sweetie.

A Hallmark kind of day.

That’s all fine, but if you love someone, should you be telling him/her that every day?

I think I’ll grab a bite of chocolate and ponder that a while!

How to pass a rainy day

It rained and stormed much of yesterday.

Yuck — boring.

So, I decided to pass some time doing one of my favorite hobbies — beading jewelry.

There’s something wonderfully relaxing about rolling different shaped beads between your fingers. About matching (or contrasting) different textures and colors. About fashioning glass and stones and metals into earrings, bracelets, or necklaces.

And it’s fabulous having unique pieces to wear! When I get tired of something, I just break it apart and re-create it into something else. Or make something new to go with a new outfit. Or “copy” a cool design I saw in a magazine, giving it my own special touch.

I’m surprised at how many compliments I’ve gotten on my handmade creations, too. People tell me I should open up a little business, maybe on the Interwebs, and sell my stuff.

I don’t know. That sounds like a lot of work.

I’d have to line everything up, take individual pictures (of hundreds of items!), edit those pictures, design a Website (complete with shopping cart for orders), monitor the incoming orders, package the orders, ship the orders, handle any customer complaints — gosh, I get bleary-eyed just thinking about it!

I think I’ll stick with Web design and writing.

But for those interested in what I came up with, here’s a photo:

This is a Y necklace with a silver lobster-claw fastener. It measures 22 inches around the neck, with a four-inch “tail.” I used a combination of green Russian jade, tiger’s eye, pink zebra jasper, and fire-polished crystals, interspersed with mostly silver spacer beads.