I’m just not a fan.
Now, I know there are many of you out there who love it and enjoy the cards, the grand gestures, the chocolate, and the romance. And that’s awesome. But for me it has always felt more like an obligation than a holiday. More mechanical than romantic. Why must I be told what day to express my feelings of love?
And don’t think I haven’t tried. Chad and I have given Valentine’s Day every chance to impress, and we have a host of hilarious fails to show for it. Of course, they’re hilarious now. But in the moments of misunderstanding, hurt feelings and unmet expectations, they were pretty painful. My husband expresses his love and care for me in so many ways. Ways that make me sing, make me cry, thrill me, surprise me. Make me want to give him more than a kiss on the cheek in return. But in the early years of our relationship, he had no idea he was supposed to send flowers, balloons, and chocolates on February 14th. Had no clue that his gestures were being compared to what all the other girlfriends and wives were getting. He mistakenly believed that it was enough to say I love you, do the dishes for me, and enjoy a quiet evening at home together
Dishes? That was IT?
It didn’t take long for him to figure out that simple acts of kindness weren’t going to cut it. With enough tears and recriminations, I managed to eventually get what every girls deserves on Valentine’s Day: flowers, dinner out, and a well-coached guy going through the choreographed moves I had set for him. Now isn’t THAT romantic?
We gave up the unsatisfactory artifice years ago, and after adding kids to the mix, celebrated by giving them treats and eating a special family dinner together by candelight. What a relief it was to finally drop the expectations, relax, and just enjoy being together.
Yesterday, whilst at the grocery store, Chad stuck a pink and red card on the checkout belt and grinned sheepishly at me. Yes, I technically bought my own Valentine’s card. And we laughed about that the whole way home. Our daughter celebrated the day by going to a fancy restaurant with a bunch of girlfriends. The rest of us went to Five Guys on the way home from winning a couple of basketball games. And munching on my fries, I looked around at my men and thought, now this is a good Valentine’s Day.
So, enjoy the loved ones who surround you and maybe, load the dishwasher for them. Because nothing says I Love You like clean dishes you didn’t have to wash.
Happy Valentine’s Day.