Valentine’s Day…No Thanks.

I’ve never been a fan of Valentine’s Day.

Now before you assume that I’m single and bitter or married and bitter, let me assure you that I’ve been married for 16 years to a wonderful man and I’m quite happy.

I find Valentine’s to be a strange holiday.

In grade school, we gave everyone cards in our decorated cereal boxes which was a great way to include everybody but it’s weird getting a Valentine card from the gal who threatened to beat you up in gym class.

In high school, if you didn’t have a boyfriend, it was very apparent.  No red carnations delivered to you during third period.

And the strangest experience I had with Valentine’s Day occurred at my first job.  I worked part-time in an office after school.  I do not exaggerate when I say that literally NO ONE had a happy marriage.

NO ONE.

But every year on February 13th, I would hear my married female coworkers relay the latest explosive argument they had with their husband the night before and then say “he better treat me right tomorrow or that’s it.”

And they did.  Monster bouquets of flowers would arrive along with stuffed animals and heart-shaped boxes of candy.

I never understood it. As a teenager, I didn’t understand how 364 days of loud fighting and dealing with major problems were suddenly wiped away on Valentine’s Day when FTD arrived at the office.  The problems always resurfaced on February 15th.

It doesn’t make sense to me. It still doesn’t make sense to me.

So imagine my husband’s surprise when we were dating when I told him I don’t want him to do anything for me on Valentine’s Day unless he WANTED to.  I’m pretty sure he initially thought it was a test but I meant it.

Rick was in the Marine Corps while we were dating and I knew he didn’t have much money. The weekly phone calls and letters meant more to me because he WANTED to do those things and it never caused me a moment’s guilt because we grew closer together and it didn’t cramp his budget.  Well, until the phone bill arrived anyway. 🙂

16 years later and I still feel the same way about this holiday.  I don’t think that February 14th should matter more than any other day.  If Rick and I decide to do something special for one another, I want it to be because we want to.  Not because we’re putting on a good show for others or because a date on a calendar says so.

So….am I off track here?

What are your feelings about Valentine’s Day?

For another post on Valentine’s Day, head on over to my friend, Annie’s blog and read her post here.

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5 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day…No Thanks.

  1. Obviously I don’t enjoy Valentine’s Day! I have deep seeded wounds from that day! Ha! I don’t know. I get wrapped up into it pretty easily seeing other people celebrate, but then get disappointed when Aaron’s actions don’t meet my newly made expectations based off of those around me. I can see the fun side of it though too, so…I guess my mind changes every year.

  2. I don’t think having a day to focus on your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend is a bad thing. But there are all kinds of expectations that I think are not helpful. One, I think Valentine’s day cannot make up for bad treatment all the rest of the year. Two, it should be more about delight in the other person than stuff. (But that is a cultural problem more than a Valentine problem.) Three, I would like to suggest that valentine should be as much about the male as the female. If relationships are mutual, it is not bad for one or the other to take lead any particular celebration, but if the expectation is that the guy always does it, then it is probably a disfunction (unless it is a tradition, but reciprocated other times.)

    All in all, I think Valentines is a good idea, but it can be over commercialized by everyone.

  3. valentine’s day was always a pain for my boyfriend (now husband) and me – both of our birthdays are in february plus we started dating in february and his mom’s birthday is in february — too many things to celebrate and then throw valentine’s day in the mix and a broke high school/college couple goes insane! we celebrate our birthdays and valentine’s day as one so as to avoid the insanity that is valentine’s day (busy restaurants, overpriced bouquets of flowers, etc). and I think our relationship is just fine without making a major deal about valentine’s day.

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