February 14: Interplanetary Be Who You Are Day

So, there are a lot of things I don't like about Valentine's Day. For example, where our roses and diamonds come from. But less urgent, and closer to home, here's something else I don't like about Valentine's Day: it tries to divide people up into two neat categories. (1) People who are madly in love and happy. (2) People who are single, sad, and pathetic.

C'mon! That's so reductive! There are a bajillion kinds of people; there are a bajillion ways to live; there isn't one good, happy way to be and one bad, sad way to be -- COME ON!

This is why I'm renaming February 14th Interplanetary Be Who You Are Day. Here are some identities in which there is NO SHAME on that day (or on any other day!):
  1. A person who is thinking about getting a divorce but isn't sure.
  2. A person who has decided to have a cat and begonias instead of a husband and kids even though it will disappoint her mother.
  3. A person who has decided to move to Massachusetts and marry his boyfriend even though it will anger his father.
  4. A person who is holding the hand of her lover who is about to have sex reassignment surgery.
  5. A person who is in the 53rd year of a relationship that has been totally worth the commitment.
  6. A person who is in the 53rd year of a relationship that has NOT been worth the commitment. (This may be the same person as person #1, I'm not sure.)
  7. A person who is in love with the art of canned food sculpture.
  8. A person with a broken heart who is sobbing.
  9. A person who feels that just because a relationship ended, that doesn't mean it failed.
  10. A person who is simply too tired to care about Valentine's Day because her twin toddlers are sticking macaroni up their noses AGAIN.
  11. A person who loves Valentine's Day, wears pink, has heart socks, loves being in love, and sends everyone valentines. (Ahem. Cordelia.)
  12. A person who doesn't know what she wants or how she feels, and possibly never will.
  13. A person who's in love with more than one person.
  14. A person who thinks he'll never find anyone who understands him.
  15. A single parent who is contentedly spending Valentine's Day with his children.
  16. A person who's stunned to realize she's fallen back in love with that bozo. Maybe he isn't a bozo after all. The jury's still out.
  17. A person who is both naughty and nice.
  18. A person who lives on the International Space Station, where the very idea of romance pales in comparison to being able to look out the window at the entire earth.
  19. An alien crossing the galaxy in her spaceship in pursuit of her one true love who has been kidnapped by her archenemy, Kryzxsdf9i5555++++++ (loose transliteration).
  20. Me.
  21. You.
Who did I miss?

Here's a short video, all about love. Watch with tissues on hand. (Props to my friend and fellow writer, Tui Sutherland, who blogged it first! Thanks, Tui!)

Here's where you can sign a letter to the state Supreme Court of California, asking them to invalidate Proposition 8, reject Ken Starr's case, and allow loving, committed couples to marry. Please note that you must do so by February 14 for your signature to count! [EDIT 2/13/09: The deadline has now been extended to March 2!]

Here's a link to Fairly Traded flowers.

Here's one with tips for how to avoid conflict diamonds.

(Here's me hoping I'm not being too preachy today.)

Happy Interplanetary Be Who You Are Day, everyone! :o)


Artemis Grey said…
Sometimes, you make my world Kristin. :) A very happy Interplanetary Be Who You Are Day to you!
Ink Mage said…
Not too preachy at all. Thank you.
Claire Hennessy said…
Oh, I like that idea. :)
Sarah Prineas said…
I want to steal this and post it on the 14th.
Anonymous said…
Thanks for the video Kristin. I cried. It just has to work out right... eventually? It just too unfair not to.
Anonymous said…
Both your list and your links make me incredibly happy. Can one of the types of people on your list be "people who think Kristin Cashore is totally the bomb"?

@E. M. Reads: it will work out, eventually. It might not work out in this particular round of litigation, but the trends are clear. All you have to look at the demographics of which age groups support which stances to see that. yAt!
Anonymous said…
I second what gnomicutterance wrote about people who think Kristin Cashore is totally the bomb. I enjoy your blog immensely, and today's post really hit home in a lot of ways. While I'm personally somewhat like your sister Cordelia (ok, no heart socks, but the rest matches), I know, and have been, many of the others. My Valentine's present is a special homecooked meal for my hubby, and three friends. All made with love. No diamonds or roses (but yes, chocolate).

And thank you so, so, so much for posting that video and the link to sign the letter. It is a heartbreaking video to watch -- and so very, very important.

Happy Interplanetary Be Who You Are Day!
Aria said…
*ahem ahem*

Valentines day was originally concieved by the catholics. The Pagans had a holiday on Feb. 14 for fertility for couples. Now the catholics had told the pagans that they could celebrate whatever holiday they wanted, unless is coincided with a catholic holiday. Thus Valentines day was crapped out their powdered butts and the pagans were foreced to stop their fertility celebration. (note I myself am a christian and don't hate or love either of those religions)

BTW I am the madly in love person, but I'm also the person who has to work on Valentines day and will be celebrating a week later when everything Valentines day is clearanced!

Ah well, Happy Be Who You Are day
J.L. Hart said…
Hi Kristin, I've been reading your blog for a few weeks now and have been waiting for the right moment to post a hello. So... Hello!

I wish I'd gotten the tissues before playing that. It brings to mind Gov. Deval Patrick's words after his daughter publicly revealed she was a lesbian. He said, "I can still -- because we live in Massachusetts -- I can still imagine what Katherine's wedding is going to be like."

I love my home state beyond all its flaws for making moments such as that possible.


btw - back somewhere in your blog - the post about 'To Find my Wooden Leg' - Dropkick Murphys!!!!!!
tinkandalissa said…
Kristin -
You make me smile :)
I think I kinda love you a little.
I am the person in the happily committed relationship who hates roses for Valentines Day (be original, people!), who would rather have tulips, but who never gets them, so gave up a long time ago about caring about Valentine's Day at all! Ok, does that sound bitter? It wasnt meant to be because I am totally OK w/not liking V Day. I am VERY fine w/getting nothing. You know when V day was fun? When I was in Elementary school making valentines for my class mates. That was fun. Now that I am 29...not so much. It is just another holiday for business' to make bank on all us poor consumers who feel OBLIGATED to buy someone something for this dumb holiday. I should probably save this, but I feel the same way about V day cards, gifts, matching pink outfits and socks that I do about getting pinched on St Patty's day for not wearing green. Annoyed. But, no matter how annoyed it makes me, I can always log on here and read something you wrote and smile all over again!!
Btw, you never commented on your thoughts on Hunger Games...I loved it.
Sarah Wynde said…
Not preachy at all! I love it and will make my son read it when he comes home from school. He'll love it, too--he started bargaining for being able to skip school on Valentine's Day way back in January and was overjoyed when I finally let him know that this year the dreaded day of fake friendship and insincere love was on a Saturday.
Unknown said…
As someone who doesn't celebrate Valentine's Day, your post hit home.

I can't thank you enough for the video. I watched it at work - shhh! - and it was a ray of sunshine in my otherwise dull cubicle. Thank you infinite amounts, Kristin!
mysteryflavour said…
I'm glad to see that video's circulating so much. The first time I watched it I started crying.

Happy whatever. :)
Anonymous said…
This is my favorite Valentine's Day post of all time. (Even before I've watched the video, which I can't do until I get home.)
Anonymous said…
You missed 'A person who doesn't want to belong to anyone or be tied to other people at all----but at the same time, she does so damn bad.' She just doesn't know how to be both people (yet).

I haven't watched the video, but I'm sure I'll love it. I know that "official" marriage is very important to many, many people, but if it's any consolation, I have always felt that if I *choose* to be married to someone, no one else can do anything to fault that.

Also, my mom gives each of my siblings and me a small gift on Valentine's day. She started doing this when my Grandmother's (her mother) funeral was on Valentine's day. It is always something meaningful that says 'I love you for who you are.' That sentiment most definitely coincides with my Kristin's new title ;) Happy IBWYA Day!

"With wonder, she smiled" (Cuzak).
Amanda said…
looking around callum's early childhood class today, i realized i was the only mom dressed in black, not red or pink. then, when callum brought over the valentine he'd made for me, a heart colored all black, i didn't feel alone anymore:) i think valentine's day is nice for children, because it's fun to get mail (well, children other than charlie brown, i guess), but other than that, vday sucks.
help me.
i am trapped in a lovey-dovey world.
please send a life raft.

found this in a bottle of my own making.
Anonymous said…
amazing! i vote that be the title of the day, instead of valentine's day... i am going to share with my single friends, as well as those in relationships.
NoGrandmother said…
Beautifully put! I agree with you entirely.

You get my Seal of Approval.

(bet you already knew that)
tinkandalissa said…
Candelion -
If you figure out how to be both the person not wanting to be tied to/belong to anyone but at the same time kinda does, please let me know!! I totally struggle with that (and I'm married!). I am such an independent person. I love it. I love everything about it. Alone. Aw, that's such a nice word! But at the same time, there are those days when it's good to have someone to come home to. But that doesnt mean we have to like hearts and pink and all that Vday crapola! Haha!
Amanda - I think it's so CUTE that your son made you a black valentine heart! That is awesome! I am wearing black tomorrow just because! :)
Kristin Cashore said…
Awww, ♥♥ to you guys!!

Sarah P, steal away :o)

EM -- YES, like gnomicutterance said, it will work out!

Jen H -- FINALLY, after months, someone recognizes the Dropkick Murphys!!! Figures it's a Mass resident who recognized it :o). YOU WIN! (and loved that quote from Patrick....)

Tink, you're right, I never did -- I LOVED The Hunger Games. Great book.

Amanda, the black heart CRACKED ME UP. Go Callum!

Natasha, that sounds like a lovely thing you have planned, and Candelion, what a lovely tradition.

I'm so glad y'all likes my list and especially the video -- please pass it on!
Anonymous said…
You were serious about the tissues, huh? I cried.

I also felt bad about getting a rose today. :[

Why does the world have to be so screwed up sometimes?
Kristin Cashore said…
Oh, Charly, no, no guilt! Not your fault!!!! I received roses a couple of weeks ago and I loved them the whole time they lasted. And I buy the things I shouldn't sometimes, too. I mean, what can you do? We do our best in a screwed up world!

No guilt!

(And seriously, yes, with the crying...)
Stacey said…
WOW, someone else in the world who understands not being fond of diamonds because of the whole conflict diamond issue. When i tell people i dont want diamonds they look at me odd and dont seem to get it. i learned about it in college and have felt the desire to stay away from diamonds since. maybe if i can get one of those man made ones that'd be cool hehe, but otherwise, no diamonds for me.

also like you Valentines post, being single its always odd to see everyone plan for a single day and i dont get whey they dont do it randomly throughout the year.
Amanda said…
i just saw that the deadline to sign the petition has now been moved up to march 2, just FYI.
D said…
You are totally awesome and have inspired me today. Thanks! -Dawn
Anonymous said…
Thank you. Roshni
Anonymous said…
Dear Kristin, Thank you SO much for your wonderful book, GRACELING! I just finished it a few minutes ago and came here to tell you how much I enjoyed it. I've been a long-time lover of books by Tamora Pierce and have more recently found Melissa Marr and Catherine Murdock, among others. You are in good company with a marvelous female lead character with all her strengths and weaknesses and relate-able male characters, both the good and the evil.
One question about the book: The US back cover shows a woman's eyes which I assume are meant to be Katsa's. But they are not two different colors. Or, if they are, they are too subtle to really tell and one should recognize a graceling immediately, shouldn't one?
Again, thank you for a thoroughly enjoyable read and I look forward to more great stories from you.
Unknown said…
I hope my gushy fan message about GRACELING got to you. I'm not seeing it in the collection. Libby
murgatroid said…
I used to hate Valentine's Day, bad things always seemed to happen, especially within my love life. On two separate Valentine's Days I discovered that my ex was dating one of my friends, I have never EVER been anything other than single on this supposed day of lovers.

But last year I decided it's kinda stupid to hate a day celebrating love. Coz love is kinda awesome.

So last year, on Valentines Day, I walked around the local mall all day wearing bright pink tights and a cute stripy scarf, (I was wearing a top and skirt too lol) holding a giant plush rose, and I played a game.

I smiled at people, and if they smiled back, I got points.

It was fun, i mostly got weird looks, because hey, I looked weird, but I definitely made at least thirty people smile.
Anonymous said…
Murgatroid, you sound like a lot of fun. Nice post, Kristin. I fall in the Cordelia Valentine's Day camp, mostly because my kids enjoy it. The class parties are fun and they enjoy passing out all the candy and cards. The chocolate fondue we have for dessert is most excellent. We send cards to the grandparents and other family and friends. It's just about the fun and love, not about expectations for matching some image. Might as well make it whatever you want it to be.
avisannschild said…
Love, love, love this post, Kristin, as well as the video (which did require kleenex). Thank you. (It's not preachy at all.)

I posted about your blog (and this post) on my blog today here and I will be forwarding a link to this post to several of my friends -- the ones that don't read my blog too often!

Happy belated Interplanetary Be Who You Are Day! (OK, so we might need to shorten that a bit, if it's going to catch on...)
Kristin Cashore said…
Hi there, Libby! Let's see, I'm pulling out a copy of to book. Hmm. When I look, I see a woman with two distinctly different-colored eyes! I wonder if your cover got smudged?! Anyway, regardless, thanks for your comment and for liking Graceling :o)

Thanks, everyone, for your really sweet posts and great V-Day stories!
Unknown said…
"Liking" GRACELING? We need a stronger word than that.
A beautiful video with a beautiful message.
If not now, someday love will win. Kisses for everyone ;)
Anonymous said…
I was reading your list of good blog posts (which is why this is so late). I really liked this one and found it comforting. I just got my heart broken for the first time in the longest, most drawn out way possible. I didn't see it coming and my best friend and what I thought was my future in one fell swoop. This gave me the little piece of happy I needed to feel on the up again. Well, and rereading Fire for the billionth time. So thank you for all of that!
Zuckerguss said…
Hmm, I think I'm number 12^^

Overall, great post :D

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