I’ve been amused by several postings about Valentine’s Day by random Facebook friends. I’ve seen everything from “I HATE VALENTINE’S DAY! FREE PASS FOR THE HUSBAND!” to “Dude, what’s the big deal about V-Day? It’s all about the candy, Bro!” I’m sure feelings run from apathy to heart-palpitating anticipation, pure hatred to ooey-gooey delight, and tantalizing proposals to flat out pain. I’m sure every one of us can remember a February 14th without a valentine. Or at least without the right valentine.
Today you saw roses and chocolate in every store, and perhaps every well-traveled street corner. The expectation is there – it’s unmistakable. From candy hearts and pre-made cutout cards by the box, pink heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast and big lip balloons at work, we are expected to get in line and succumb to the Hallmark mandate: Buy the roses. Or else.
My husband and I have been married 23 years, and I have received a total of 21 Valentine’s cards. There were two consecutive years that Chief decided to buck the system. It was a painful decision. He rebelled against the bejeweled expectations, roiled against the controlled hype of FTD, and refused to go with the Hershey’s flow.
“I told you once that I loved you,” he assured me, “I’ll let you know if I change my mind.”* And to some degree, it makes sense. This is how a lot of men feel. They resent being told that unless they go for the mushy, their love is less than adequate. Who says that a red cardboard box filled with empty calories is proof of devotion?! No wonder people hate Valentine’s Day!
But it hurt my feelings the first year. And the second – well, let’s just say he doesn’t miss an opportunity – even a silly one – to let me know how he feels.
We women LOVE to be loved. We long to be cherished. We desire to be desired. It is engrained into our very being. And when the day to day is mundane, and our dates few and far in between, and routine takes over, and those extra pounds from Christmas plague our sense of sexiness, a little pick-me-up is just what the doctor ordered. It’s the reminder that even though we’re committed and our love is strong, some extra effort to make each other feel special makes the journey that much more pleasurable. But perhaps it might be even better if we just did this from time to time without all the cutesy hoopla.
Once my husband understood the value I place on such gestures, he’s not so quick to shoot Cupid with his semi-automatic. Before the sun came up this morning, I was relishing the scent of a dozen roses and basking in the words within the pink card “with swirlies on it.” And before the night is done, he’ll be aptly reminded that chocolate is an aphrodisiac…
Hate Valentine’s Day? Just remember… it’s ALL about the candy, Bro!
*For concerned sisters, this was a tongue in cheek joke spoken by a cop.
Victoria Newman - "A CHiP on My Shoulder" February 15th, 2012
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