What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? A friend asked. Nothing, I replied. What? You better be getting something, she said, hell hath no fury like a pregnant woman scorned on Valentine’s Day. Haha. Funny. Funny. But, I was fuming inside.
Why do we place such a high value on an overly commercialized hallmark holiday? Why do we let a box of chocolates define our love?
Let’s get one thing straight, I’m not against cuddly stuffed animals or chocolate covered strawberries or romantic candlelit dinners… I love them all equally. And, it’s not that I don’t love my partner. I do. I do. And, I don’t have any religious objections to this day, though I’m not exactly a Christian. But, I absolutely loath being forced into indulging in these fabrications peddled by a profit-mongering corporation. I think the holiday, which is not really a holiday by the way, is total crap! And, if that sounds offensive to you then you can stop reading here.
It’s estimated that the people in the US will spend somewhere around $20 billion on this year’s holiday. Wow, that’s a whole lot of cards, roses and candy! There will be cupid infused cocktails and mood inducing main courses in restaurants all across the country. Marriage proposals, romantic getaways, great sex are not only expected but par for the course. And, if you’re single, no sweat… you can refashion this holiday as single awareness day and treat yourself to whatever you want. Oddly, this designer holiday leaves no one behind. Love is a universal commodity and this $20 billion industry has even suckered elementary kids into sending and receiving classroom valentines. I’ve seen many of my ‘mom friends’ spending hours and hundreds of dollars preparing for this mandatory school assignment. While it may seem like harmless fun for some, I can’t help but wonder what kind of message are we sending our kids about love and relationships that we pick one day to say I love you?
Shouldn’t every day be Valentine’s day?
I think about the thoughtful life I’m trying to create with my partner, where we attach meaning and significance to our decisions and I can’t help but feel trapped by all of this hype. I don’t want to seem like a party-pooper, but I could care less if my partner buys me flowers or a card on Valentine’s Day, because he does so much more for me on a daily basis. Just last weekend, he insisted on taking me shoe shopping, in spite of my objection, to buy a decent pair of cushion-y sneakers for my growing prego feet. How thoughtful is that?! And, as he was walking out the door this afternoon, he handed me a folded piece of paper with a cute note scribbled on it… and my heart just melted.
I will take this over a prefabricated card any day! Who says romance is dead?
It’s easy to pull out all the stops for one day and profess your unconditional love when surrounded by the perfect setting. But, to live out that love every single day… when my favorite cereal necessitates an extra trip to the grocery store in the opposite direction, or my latest online shopping return requires an added trip to the post office before rush hour, or my late night cravings demands a special scrambling to the kitchen while half asleep… that is a lot harder!
That is what true romance is all about… and if you ask me, is the real spirit of Valentine’s Day!