Ahh, Valentine’s Day. The day of love. The day where couples all over will put on fancy clothes, go out on fancy dates, and buy each other fancy gifts. It’s a controversial day. While some live for the red roses, pink hearts, and boxes of chocolate, others find this day to be cheesy, overrated, or a ‘Hallmark holiday’. Myself – I live somewhere in the middle of these extremes. I resonate with the notion that we should celebrate our love everyday, not just on February 14th. However, as a married woman I know that this is not always an achievable goal. That’s why I think that it’s a good idea to take one day to refocus our attentions and express our love for those that matter in our lives.
I think the issue with this holiday is how you go about celebrating it. If you’re like my husband and I, you’ve wised up over the years and have agreed to go out on the 13th or the 15th or any other day around Valentine’s Day besides the 14th. If you go out on the 14th, you will face large crowds, inflated prices, and in-your-face decorations. If you go out any other day you won’t face these same issues but you can still stare googly-eyed at one another.
And then there’s the gifts. Chocolate, flowers, stuffed animals, jewelry, etc. There are so many expectations nowadays about what qualifies as a ‘good gift’. I don’t like that. I don’t like that at all. This day should be about celebrating your love for one another and gifts can be a great expression of that love. But we choose to give each other gifts that require some thought, that show our true feelings, or that mean a lot to each other.
Though I do have to admit that after many years together, we have slacked off on the Valentine’s Day front. I used to put a lot of time and effort into planning surprises for my husband. Once, I set up a scavenger’s hunt around the house. Another time I made a homemade map noting our journey together. Yet last year, I think I bought him a card. If I’m being honest, I can’t even be sure of that. As the years go by, you start to run out of ideas. You start to run out of energy. Life gets busy and things fall to the wayside. This year it took every spare moment I had just to buy him a card and write a love letter to him. Those two pages took the only spare thirty minutes I could give.
But this weekend, I’ll put on a dress and some nice underwear. I’ll take some time to do my hair. We’ll drop our baby off at the sitter and head downtown for a nice dinner. We’ll have a great time; we always do. I’d like to say we’ll look into each other’s eyes lovingly and talk about how much we love one another. But that isn’t realistic. We’ll probably talk about our weeks, how our baby is doing, our budget, our plans for the next day – who knows. But that’s life. And I think that’s beautiful and romantic. And I think that should be celebrated everyday – even February 14th.