It evokes different responses and emotions from each of us, depending upon, perhaps, our age, gender, and status – whether we are single, married, newly married, married forever, happily married, unhappily married, happily single, unhappily single, etc. I know that I used to put more stock into Valentine’s Day when I was dating, maybe, than I do now. Everything was just “more important” then. It mattered where we ate, what movie we saw, what present he got me ... now it’s nice if he can just be off work and we can maybe get half an hour of time to ourselves. I don’t care about presents. Romance, maybe. But not presents.
I’ve never actually liked Valentine’s Day. At least, not since I exited elementary school. I did really enjoy decorating my aluminum foil box with various hearts and splashes of glitter ... and picking out the perfect valentine for the perfect boy in class ... that was fun. But post-elementary school, Valentine’s Day became one of those high-pressure events like New Year’s Eve – it’s like you’re expected to make it perfect and amazing and have a great time – it was usually a let-down, too much to live up to. And let’s face it, a holiday built around coupledom isn’t necessarily a blast when you’re single. I did use to pass out Hello Kitty valentines in the bar when I went out on Valentine’s Day post-college as a single girl. That was always fun. Especially to watch the bikers’ reactions. Deep down I know they loved Hello Kitty. That Harley Davidson façade was fooling no one.
So now that I’m paired up for life, like a penguin, Valentine’s Day doesn’t hold the same appeal and excitement as it once did. It’s falling into the same category as Sweetest Day, a hallmark holiday for the masses. I guess I try to express to my husband every day that I love him; I don’t save it up for a random day in February and unleash a bunch of red and pink balloons to celebrate our love. Plus, have you ever read about the actual history of this holiday? It’s not exactly the cutesy conversation heart you might think it is. Nevertheless ... would I be thrilled to get roses this Valentine’s Day? Yes. Will I cry if I don’t? Probably not. It’s nice to take part in the little gestures that make up a nation’s day of love and romance, but it won’t make or break our relationship if he forgets to buy me the biggest box of Esther Price candy Wal-Mart has to offer. I’m pretty convinced that he still loves me without that.
So this Valentine’s Day, I go in with no expectations – less likely to be disappointed that way, anyway, plus, I don’t need one day a year to prove to anyone how much I love my husband, and he doesn’t need that to prove how much he loves me. Although ... if he happened to pick up some Godiva chocolate and a bouquet of stargazer lilies ... I wouldn’t kick him out of the house. Are you reading this, Andy?
Happy Valentine’s Day.