Thursday, February 14, 2008

Pet Peeve #629

Valentine's Day.

There you have it. I am a Valentine's Day scrooge. I hope we can still be friends. I don't buy into the whole idea of needing one specific day of the year to be sure and tell my spouse how much I love him. I live in America. I can get chocolate any day of the year, and I am so not a "stuffed teddy bear holding a heart" sort of girl. I don't need the pressure of one more holiday for which I must purchase a gift.

So, at the beginning of our marriage, Trevor and I banned Valentine's Day. We cave in enough to purchase cards (sometimes), but generally speaking it is just another day. We don't go out for dinner or plan a romantic rendezvous. We just carry on smartly with our lives, because we already cherish one another. We verbalize our love for one another often and enjoy being together.

I know that we are in the minority, but I don't care. I think part of the reason I dislike this "holiday" so much, is that I have known (and still know) so many women who set themselves up for disappointment year after year. They come to work (or church, or whatever) the day after complaining that their significant other either forgot Valentine's Day or didn't do what she envisioned that he should do. Even worse are the people who complain about the gifts they received, because they were:
  • the wrong color
  • the wrong type of flower
  • the wrong number of flowers
  • a gift but no fancy dinner
  • dinner but no fancy gift
  • no card
  • the card was funny and not romantic

It's a gift, people! Lighten up!

It just seems like people (and by people I mean women), build this day up in their minds and then are not ever really happy with the outcome. Lord help the man who does it right one year, because he will never, ever be able to do Valentine's Day halfway again! I read this on CNN today, and it sums up what I mean:

Thanks to super-sized expectations and over-the-top commercialization, February 14 has gone from a sentimental aside to a pressure-filled gauntlet lined with chocolate boxes, tennis bracelets and cheesy stuffed bears. "The holiday's designed to make you feel (bad)," says Judy McGuire, author of "How Not to Date."

"If you're in a relationship, it's never anything that it's supposed to be. And if you're single, you feel like a big loser because you don't have anybody. I think people should lower Valentine's Day expectations to pretty much nil. That way, anything that happens is good."

Now having said that, I do enjoy putting together candy bags for my kids to take to school and hand out to their friends. I remember making Valentine's boxes with construction paper, lace hearts and glue so that my friends could drop their cards for me through the slit in the top. Valentine's Day was fun as a kid and just as I was coming off the Christmas sugar high, I got another fix. Good times.

So if you love Valentine's Day, more power to you. Enjoy your day of roses and romance, but I will be sitting at home tonight in my comfy flannel pajamas with my husband. As you are staring into the eyes of your lover across a candlelit table, I will be watching mine eat popcorn in the bluish glow of our television. As you tear into your heart-shaped box of chocolates, I will be snacking on 2 day old chocolate chip cookies that I baked Tuesday. I guess we'll both get what we want for Valentine's Day!


Karen (Pediascribe) said...

Surely we are twins separated at birth! We don't do valentines day here either. I did make heart shaped cut outs only because I needed to donate them to my son's theater for a performance. Figured hearts would be timely.
And I sent my dh an e-card through only because it was cute, not because I HAD to.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, this post is a breath of fresh air! I did wish Ron Happy Valentine's Day - I put the message on my msn thing cos I knew he'd see it when he got in to work :)

And the chocolates I got? They were from Church - went to the ladies study group in the morning and we had an extra special morning tea and I came back with a stack of sweets.

I can't remember the last time Ron and I gave each other gifts at Valentine's - but I can easily tell you all the other things he's bought me or done for me to make me feel loved and special at random moments of the year :)

luvmy4sons said...

I didn't know you were a cynic! LOL! But I can understand that view point. I think I had that attitude for awhile myself many years back when the children were small and I, too, had higher than I should expectations. Now I say God is love and has given us the ultimate Valentine. Sure, we need to show forth our love to one another every day and our thanks to God every day, but what the heck, where's the harm in taking a whole day to celebrate love? I focus not on what hubby is going to get me rather I focus on a special way I can go out of my way to show hubby how I feel about him! And since it is more blessed to give than to receive...I find lots of joy in that! But hey, I get ya!

The Young's said...

I am SO with you Xandra!! We don't really do anything major. We take our kids out on "dates". Mark takes the girls...I take our boy and we make it special for them!! Of course...we spent last night in the Urgent Care with hopefully we can get everyone well enough to do something together this weekend. Unmet expectations are killers!! Mark and I never expect anything. He really suprised me yesterday with his "tulip" gift. I guess that's why I cried so much...I had NO expectations and he suprised me! That's the best way...just have no expectations!! You have a great outlook!!! Sitting at home in my pj's watching my favorite tv show and eating choc. chip cookies sounds more romantic to me anyway!!! :)
have a great weekend!!

Kelly said...

I loved this because I believe Valentine's Day is about celebrating the one you love the way you want to. It celebrates our unique relationships and personalities. Flannel PJs, popcorn, and a movie sounds wonderful:)

Rosheeda said...

What a great post! Me and my sweetie tried V-day our first year together - and haven't done it since. Neither of us cares... I went thru this phase of wondering if maybe it should be a big deal to me, so I asked him one random day a couple years ago how he feels about V-day and why he doesn't do it. He told me his reasons, and I asked him what he would do if it were important to me. His answer was so genuine when he basically said he'd look silly for a day for me, if that's what it takes... I considered myself to have been given the greatest gift ever in a man who cares enough to do it for me if I should ever want it, even though he thinks it's a total waste of energy. And this year he proved it. We agreed to do V-day instead of Christmas.I let him off the hook last night, because the poor man had been calling my best friend for hours trynna figure out how to make this extra special. I was good that he cared enough to even bother. All I wanted was to know that he'd keep his word. That he tried, satisfied me plenty. Some things just aren't that deep for me...

Andrea said...

I get what you mean. The only thing I need (like) about Valentine's Day is an excuse to eat out. But the restuarants are always so busy, we usually end up at a fast food joint. Good enough for me!!

We spent v-day at the mall renewing our cell phone contract (and eating at the food court). But we were stopped by a guy doing a survey on valentine's day. He was asking how much money you should spend on your significant other on this day. We both just kinda chuckled and I said "We're not big spenders. It's more just about being together." He seemed a bit surprised.

Les very rarely gets me flowers or chocolates on valentine's day and I'm fine with that. As long as I get to be with him, that's good enough for me!

Mocha with Linda said...

Since we got engaged on Feb 13 (because V-Day was on Sunday that year, as I wrote in my post), that's always been kinda the more special day for us. I like making Valentine's a fun day for the whole family with treats and cards. But I can't stand to ignore it.

Alana said...

Our Valentine's Day is generally understated, but we do celebrate. Cards, maybe a small gift and if we are able we go out, but nothing fancy. I always make my husband his favorite cookies. Last night, though, I ended up with a migraine, so there wasn't much "celebrating" if you know what I mean ;-)

Kellye said...

LOL. I just use it as an excuse to buy myself something. This year, Kenneth had some buddies who wanted to go fishing on the day that happened to be Valentine's. I told him to go and enjoy himself (I bought my own gift in January anyway!!) :o)