Morning Box of Chocolates: Tuesday, Feb. 14

Happy Valentine’s Day, Horse Nation! Will you be our valentine? Check ‘yes’ or ‘no.’

Either way, we totally understand–Valentine’s Day is the most divisive holiday of the year. Responses, which can be neatly categorized as either dreamy sighs or audible groans, are as revealing as sheer negligee.

The party lines of pro- versus anti- Valentine’s Day are drawn in fire engine-red lipstick, as plain and obvious as panty lines beneath a white spandex miniskirt. There’s no middle ground–you’re either in or you’re out. You’re either living large in black satin sheets with lacy pink heart-shaped pillows, or you’re crashing on the couch.

This year, though, I propose a third party. Let’s take this holiday back from Russell Stover and Whitman and reclaim it for the people. The platform of Valentine’s Day, after all, is a noble on. It’s a celebration of the relationships we have with the people we care about. At its core, it’s a holiday about love. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, that message got its pedals torn off to the tune of “He loves me, he loves me not.”

Let’s rearrange the chocolates in the heart-shaped box, and then throw the whole thing out the window of a very high building. Put love where it’s not supposed to be. Put it where it’s least expected.

In lieu of the traditional fine dining experience, have dinner at the Waffle House and tip your waitress a bottle of champagne. Re-enact the holiday of yesteryear, circa elementary school, and make valentines for everyone you know–even your worst playground enemies.

If you don’t usually take the time to love yourself, rent three of your favorite horse movies and treat yourself to a homemade all-you-can-eat buffet of macaroni and cheese. Remember that the official spokesperson of Valentine’s Day, Cupid, is not the cherubic CEO of a matchmaking company but a bow-and-arrow wielding madman. When all the ammunition you’ve got is an empty water gun, you’ve got two choices: 1. Break the rules or 2. Learn self-defense.

Valentine’s Day isn’t just about couples; it’s about love. And love rarely arrives on our doorsteps with a little bow around its neck. It crawls in through the cat door unannounced, and you never know until it’s too late whether or not it’s infested with fleas. Love can be cute and cuddly, but it can also be spontaneous and prone to mistaking your heart for a scratching post or litter box.

To confine love, and by extension Valentine’s Day, to the cat carrier of convention is a disservice to its very nature. This year, in lieu of stereotypical rhinestone studded collars, treat the people you love to a great big box of catnip.

Go Valentine’s Day, and Go Riding!

Top photo: The Ranch Store

Bottom photo: Dark Horse Chocolates

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