I tend to get a little stressed this time of year. It seems like society has placed a great deal of importance on a holiday that’s not even really a holiday. We don’t get the day off work and we still get mail. It’s not a REAL holiday.
But, billions of dollars are pumped in to the economy based on a cherubic toddler shooting arrows and the colors red and pink. Who am I to judge?
So I go along… I’ll head out to my favorite chocolatier this Thursday and buy my hubby and son some fancy chocolates. I’ll stop at Target or Publix and pick up a couple of cards, too. I’ll bow to societal pressure and make the day as special as I can. A special dinner and maybe a fancy dessert. It’ll be a great excuse to break out a new recipe.
And I’ll try and not be stressed. It’s not even a real holiday.
For some people, Valentine’s Day is right up there with the High Holy Days. It’s a day to send Valentine’s to not only our “special” someone but to family and friends, too. I know some of these people and I admit that I smile when I get a valentine in the mail. BE MINE, it usually says or some variation. And I am their friend so I guess it’s okay. It reminds me of when we decorated show boxes in grade school with red and pink construction paper and paper lace doilies in anticipation of getting all those little valentine’s from our school friends. Maybe, just maybe, we might get a valentine from him. You know, the really cute boy in school. If we did, we’d look at the valentine over and over again as if it had some special meaning. It may have, but it probably didn’t. Little Johnny probably was told to send a valentine to every classmate.
Other people look at Valentine’s Day as a day to be romantic with just one special someone. A day to send flowers or candy, go to dinner, send a card, buy a funny stuffed animal. Restaurants are packed with those people on Valentine’s evening. The card section at Target looks like a war zone and Godiva and the flower shops make a killing. This is what romance is, we are told. Flower allergy? Take a Zyrtec.
The, of course, there are the Valentine’s Day Non-Believers. I dated a particularly militant one in my youth. He was a nice guy but felt that society shouldn’t tell him when to be romantic.
“I don’t need Hallmark telling me to be romantic on a specific day.”
I would have supported his right to be romantic on other days, but that was the problem. He was never romantic. Ever. On any other day. I told him that Valentine’s Day was for guys like him. Guys that never remember to be romantic. It was society’s way of reminding people to appreciate someone if only by buying them silk boxers or overpriced flowers.
I’m somewhere between a believer and a non-believer. I hope that I treat my husband well every day and appreciate him all the time, not waiting for a day in February to do it. But just in case, I always make sure I mark the occasion in some way.
Which are you?
A man once asked me, “Why is Valentine’s Day so important to women? It’s just a made up holiday, for fuck’s sake.”
He didn’t get it.
Valentine’s Day is the one day of the year that men have a visual clue to be romantic. There are commercials, card displays, red and pink hearts, and candy in every store. He doesn’t even need to think about much. He just needs to belly-up to the bar of his favorite or affordable romantic gesture. He can do anything on a scale from “Spontaneous trip to Paris to propose at the top of the Eiffel Tower” to “Here’s a card.”
When we are little girls we see our older sisters or mothers getting flowers, candy, and maybe a special dinner out on Valentine’s Day. We think about what romantic things a man might do for us! A hotel suite with rose petals on the bed? Champagne under the stars? Tickets to a Nicks game? Make dinner and clean the kitchen?
So guys out there, we give you a pass on being romantic 364 days. Give it a shot just one day of the year. You don’t have to take us to Paris. Just… try. You don’t have to spend any money. Spend your time and attention. We’re suckers for that.
What do you think about Valentine’s Day?