Confession: I am SO over Valentine’s Day.
I also have the lamest dating history ever. I married my high school sweetheart. Before him, there were a few dates. A guy from youth group took me to his prom. A neighbor set me up with her nephew, but that whirlwind came to a screeching halt on the school bus one day. It was actually the day BEFORE Valentine’s Day. I remember this, not because I met him, but because I was riding home with a friend so we could go to the New Kids on the Block concert that night. But somewhere in my teenybopper haze I managed to note the tall, cute, geeky boy with the bright blue eyes reading his Star Wars novel in the seat across from me.
Three years later I walked down the aisle in the most fluffy, absurdly ‘90s wedding dress ever, while I forced my three besties to wear disgustingly pink bridesmaids dresses with the asymmetrical hems. (I’m so, so sorry!) This year marks our twentieth anniversary of wedded bliss.. You can say “Awwwww!!” now, while internally rolling your eyes and making puking motions behind my back.
So, I have an advantage over a lot of people. I have a guaranteed date every Valentine’s Day. Here’s where I brag and you make more of those puking motions.
Here’s the thing, though. We are so OVER Valentine’s Day.
We’ve done the usual requirements. He’d get me flowers, I’d get him a subtly suggestive but still cute card. I think we went out once.
But UGH, we never did get the point of Valentine’s Day.
I spent most of the first decade of our marriage working at Applebee’s as a bartender. If anything will put you off Valentine’s Day, it’s ten years in a row of making strawberry daiquiris for those hoping to get laid after a riblet** dinner at a two-star chain restaurant. I saw relationships begin AND end right there, perched on the edge of a vinyl stool.
Then I’d come home, covered in beer, french fry grease, cigarette smoke, and dried strawberry daiquiri mix, and my darling, sweet husband would kiss me deeply and whisk me away for a romantic night out.
No, wait, that’s not it.
I’d come home, covered in beer, french fry grease, cigarette smoke, and dried strawberry daiquiri mix and my darling, sweet husband would shoo me into the shower while trying to kiss me without risking accidentally inhaling anywhere near me. Then I’d get into my sweats and flop on the couch while we discussed if we should do anything for V-day.
I’m all for romance. My hubby is occasionally brilliant at it. Last anniversary involved a 9 course meal at Spago in Las Vegas. Christmas eve, when I was stressed out with holiday obligations, kids and in-laws, he drew me a bath and left me alone to soak, undisturbed, and when I got out there was wine and bruschetta waiting for me, my favorite movie queued up, and a pile of pillows to lay on.
If you feel like making those puking faces again, I can tell you about our second anniversary, it will make you feel better, but I promised him I’d never blog that one, so PM me.
The thing is. I don’t like Valentine’s Day because it is forced. Hallmark is not the boss of me. Neither is Jane Seymour with her cutsie-pie necklaces while I try to remember which wife of Henry the VIII she was. I don’t want to spend an evening crammed into a restaurant with the rest of those that Jane and Hallmark bullied into coming out and sending sympathetic looks to the waitstaff.
Do we really need a day where we have to be told to be extra lovey dovey? Because I’m so done with it. Done with the not-so-subtle guilt trip that THIS DAY requires a list of obligations or be a romance-less loser. Dude, don’t I get enough to do on any given day? Stop adding to my to do list. Stop making my badass single friends turn into this:
Gestures made on Valentine’s are hollow to me. We do them out of obligation and commercialization. I’d much rather get flowers on a random day because my husband thought I would like them. I’d much rather surprise him with a night out without kids (“Hey, honey! We can stay out until 10!”). They mean something.
So, let’s just go back to elementary school style Valentine’s day. We all just make mailboxes out of shoeboxes and construction paper and exchange little paper cards with Snoopy on them and those little boxes of candy hearts. That was when it was actually fun.
*Every so often the definition of “bliss” may be a bit loose.
**I still have no idea what a ‘riblet’ is.