A Valentine’s Day Challenge

Ever wonder how the expression carrying a torch originated?

English: groundhog
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s February already. Groundhog’s Day is behind us—the cute little rascal didn’t see his shadow. (Did you know that 90% of the time he does?) And Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. That’s what got me thinking about this cliché.

First, let me confess my ignorance. I always thought to carry a torch for someone meant you had the hots for them, plain and simple. Not so. The phrase actually refers to an obsessive attraction, usually in the face of unrequited love—the typical stalker.

The expression has its origin in the political arena. In days of yore, torchlight parades were common during political campaigns in rural America. Many an enthusiastic follower took part in such rallies. The torchbearer wanted everyone to know he was wholeheartedly behind his candidate. Eventually, the description of a passionate political follower morphed into an obsessive lover. Hmm…follow that logic!

What does that have to do with Valentine’s Day? Nothing, I hope! I must admit, Valentine’s Day has never been a favorite of mine. I know…strange confession for a romance writer.

Anthropomorphic Valentine, circa 1950–1960
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Valentine’s Day is a time to show that special someone how much they mean, do something special and romantic, and take time from a busy schedule to nurture what’s most important—a relationship. Why should we limit that to only one day a year?

Every day should be Valentine’s Day.

I can almost hear the grumbling from here. I don’t have time—it’s too expensive. (Oh wait – that’s me!) The truth is, it doesn’t cost a thing to give our loved ones an I’m-glad-you’re-mine hug, and it only takes a few seconds. I bet, if we put our minds to it, we could come up with lots of ways to make each day special. That’s my Valentine’s Day challenge to you.

Now, here’s the fun part. Who is your special Valentine every day of the year? (First names only, please.) Or, maybe you’re carrying a torch for someone? I’ll answer first since it’s my question.

I’m carrying a serious torch for George Clooney!

How about you?

George Clooney

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