I didn’t always dislike Valentine’s Day. In elementary school, when we used to exchange Valentine’s Day cards, I remember being excited to chose particular cards for whatever boy I happened to like that year and to read more into the messages of the cards I received from those same boys than was actually there. The mere act of inserting the small white envelopes into the handmade “mail boxes” of each student was exciting as was opening each card and reading the name on the back, then taking them home and sharing my excitement with my mom after school.
When I was a teacher, Valentine’s Day was one of those days that we often turned over to “room mothers” for planning, at least in public school. It was always a party day and the kids got high on too much sugar and anticipation. It was nowhere near as bad as Halloween (or the day after Halloween).
When I was a mother of young children, the days preceding Valentine’s Day created an anxiety in me second only to Halloween. At least I didn’t need to create two costumes. I did, however, have to make sure my kids got exactly the Valentine’s Day card packs to send their friends then get after them to write their names on the cards and address them to the children in their classes. I also often needed to send in a baked product for the Valentine’s Day party.
My husband and I usually exchange cards and small gifts on Valentine’s Day and I sometimes make a special meal for him. His cards are usually silly ones and mine used to be romantic. Last year his was romantic and mine was silly. We never go out for Valentine’s Day but we did once and it was a disaster.
It was when we were first dating and I assumed that all couples went out for Valentine’s Day — like it was an unwritten law. He, however, didn’t think this way and felt pushed into a situation in which he was uncomfortable. The evening was memorable in that my date was obviously angry for being there. After that I never pressured him into celebrating Valentine’s Day and this year I said we should do nothing. No cards. No flowers. No chocolates. No special meal either — he has Tae Kwon Do tonight.
6 thoughts on “Saint Bah Humbug”
Chocolate covered strawberries, flowers, and a kiss. Every year and I wouldn’t do it any other way…
Sounds nice, Bridgett.
As I stated elsewhere today, I don’t like that certain occasions make some people feel left out and others forced into something. It’s so strange. I’m not exactly against Valentine’s Day, but it just seems unimportant.
I saw a jewelry commercial the other day that ended with a woman saying “That’s how I know I am loved”. Excuse me? So, I’m not loved if I don’t get a piece of jewelry from whatever store (I can’t recall which one… Kay? Jared?). Bah humbug, indeed.
T and I celebrate V’day mildly… we tend to get each other some cute small gifts, and I usually get roses of some sort. He is out of town this week for work, so he had roses sent to my work yesterday. (The roses are totally not my style, but he can’t seem to understand my taste in flowers, even 5 years on). We normally go out to dinner around V’day, but rarely (if ever) on the day itself. This year, we are planning to go out this coming Saturday night, if I feel up to it (I’ve been sick as of late). I didn’t get a card from him, except the one attached to my flowers. I am a card person, and he is not. This used to bother me, but I’ve pretty much learned to let it go.
He makes a latte for me every weekday morning and hands it to me as I am rushing out the door. I’ll take that over cheesy schmaltz any day. Now that’s a valentine!
It sounds like you and T have a sane way of celebrating Valentine’s Day and it is sweet that he makes you latte for your commute to work.
I suppose Valentine’s Day, along with Christmas and Halloween, has become a consumer holiday. All I can say is — consumerism had better stay out of my favorite holiday: St. Patrick’s Day.
Ooops, I’m a bit late. As I said to Lisa today, when I was growing up Valentine’s Day was never an issue here in NZ, it was always something that “Americans did” along with Halloween and cheerleaders. Sadly, cultural imperialism is winning, and Valentine’s Day is now celebrated here.
I strongly object to any day that makes people feel obliged to be romantic. Well, apart from anniversaries and birthdays, of course!