I have no objections to Valentine’s Day in principle. I think it’s rather nice to take a day to remember romance and sweetness and courtship. Heaven knows, there’s far too little of any of that around these days. What gets to me is the practice of Valentine’s Day.
- It’s really nobody’s fault, but the date of Valentine’s Day, February 14th, does nothing to help matters. If you live in most places in the northern hemisphere, February weather is typically dreary and cold. Cold ranging from a damp chill to frostbite on exposed skin. Am I the only one who would much rather tuck in under flannel sheets than satin ones? Lacy satin or silk lingerie? Umm…no thanks. How about something in red flannel or fleece instead? Oh, and socks, too, since my feet get cold. You see, wearing anything from Victoria’s Secret would require me to hike the thermostat up at least 7 or 8 degrees, and I don’t see that happening.
- The other bad thing about February is that it’s one of the sickest months on the calendar. If you have kids, you know what I’m saying. Your little ones are sharing a whole lot more that cute little Disney valentines with their classmates. It is a challenge to focus on romance when at least one person in your household is stricken with a cold, stomach bug, strep throat, flu, sinus headache, and so on. Parents would do much better sending their kids to school on Valentine’s Day with mini bottles of hand sanitizer to share with their chums instead of cards and candies.
- Over the last few years, I have developed a real loathing for greeting cards. This is the case for cards for any occasion, Valentine’s Day included. Oh, the melodrama. “Through all the years together, your love has remained unconditional.” Really. No ups and downs, no quarrels or disappointments? And I run far away from anything that rhymes: “Love is a miracle, sweet as can be, that will always remain a complete mystery.” Ahem. I have reverted back to making my own cards like I used to when I was a kid and couldn’t get to the store to buy one. Or I simply write a note. Handwritten notes are by nature more intimate and show actual heart-felt emotion, so this is a good thing. I don’t write poetry. Sometimes I find a photograph that will remind Darling Husband of a sweet memory. Or I’ll write a letter like I used to when we were just dating. It may not be epic poetry written in ornate, looping script, but it’s sincere.
- Gifts for Valentine’s Day are tricky. A lot of men probably agonize over what to give that is both romatic and perceived as valuable. Jewelry implies a serious commitment, and lingerie means something else entirely. Stuffed animals…is there a woman who really wants a pink teddy bear?? Flowers are lovely, but you do know that the price of those arrangements mysteriously skyrockets around February 14th, don’t you? For women, the options are limited. Men don’t really want boxers with hearts on them–or heart anything for that matter. I suppose some men might appreciate chocolate. Let’s face it. Ladies really have to get creative.
I tucked Darling Husband’s gift into his briefcase today. It wasn’t at all expensive (free, in fact), but it did cost me a lot. It was terribly personal–a small piece of myself and so, a risk. I’m more excited about his reaction to it than if I had given him something really elaborate and pricey. Here’s my dilemma, though, his birthday falls fairly close to Valentine’s Day, which falls close on the heel of Christmas. That results in a string of gifts. How will I top this gift? It’s likely I won’t. Sorry, dear. I promise I won’t get you a rhyming birthday card, though.