Sunday, February 12, 2006

Valentine Schmalentine

I know it's totally unoriginal to hate Valentine's Day. Many people do. After all, it's a crappy little Hallmark holiday that has COMPLETELY lost it's attachment to the Saint for which it is named. Sure, he gets a cursory mention in most elementary school classes, but no one ever really remembers the story. They just remember "flowers," "chocolate," and "romance."

Now, I have nothing at all against flowers, chocolate and romance. I'll take any of those things anytime anywhere. EXCEPT on Valentine's Day. To me, romance is spontaneous (although often planned) and heartfelt. How on EARTH can anything be romantic on a day where everyone is EXPECTED... nay FORCED to be romantic? There is no logic here, people. And flowers and chocolate cost twice as much this time of year to boot. Bah, humbug.

So I have adamantly declared a ban on V-Day in my home for years. In fact, the results of this ban have only proven how unromantic a holiday it is. The guy I dated just before I met Chris gave me flowers on Valentine's Day even after I told him not to and explained, in detail, why I don't celebrate it. When I asked him why he got me flowers when I told him not to, he told me that he thought I was just testing him. *sigh* And honestly, he was probably smart to do that, because I am sure there are several thousand women who would have really tested him in that way. I, however, broke up with him instead.

But now I ask you... I have a daughter. My dad always gave us candy hearts and stuffed animals on Valentine's Day when I was growing up... and I did appreciate it. Because anything coming from my dad was wonderful and heartfelt and meaningful, even if it was on a cheesy day of the year. It always brightened my day when he did that. So I wonder, should I ease up on the V-Day ban next year? Or maybe even this year? Should I encourage Chris to get his daughter a little something so she won't ever doubt herself on V-Day? Part of the reason I hate it so much is because it is so horrible on folks who don't have a sweetheart. Why should someone who is already lonely be made to feel even more so? So is my ban actually selfish? Should I be more open to the holiday for my daughter's sake?

What do you think? Help me out here.

15 comments:

Chris said...

It's a total crock. I think perhaps we could maybe start a family tradition to all do something together that night - that way it's inclusive without acknowledging the whole hallmark deal.

jen said...

you know, i could give a flying...*cough*...about Valentine's Day. i mean, seriously, the "significance" of the date doesn't even register on my radar at this point. but when i was a kid (and still, to this day), my mom would give me and my brothers each our favorite candy and a valentine (now i get a valentine and a starbucks gift card). i always appreciated it, and i always will. that said, i also think chris's idea sounds like a winner.

Brant said...

Maybe Chris remembers that back in college we Phi Upsilon Kappa's had a rule on Valentine's Day - we always wore all black. It was the only time I wore my combat boots without my uniform.
We also frequently referred to it as V-D Day.

Chris said...

Oh yeah, I vaguely remember that. heh. The anti-fraternity.

Bern said...

V-day is totally over-rated! When I was single, I'd go "Oh-no, its Valentine's Day", and when I wasn't single, I'd go "oh-no, I gotta look for a card and some cheesy stuff!". So no matter what, it's a cruel-cruel day, and the significance of the day itself is absent.
But looking at it from a kid's view, they'd probably see it differently so I think Chris' idea to do something together as a family is a good one.

A Girl From Texas said...

You know, I don't think it is that lonely a holiday when you don't have a special someone. I think that Christmas and Thanksgiving are far more difficult on the lonely than Valentine's Day.

Personally, I love Valentine's Day. I love the little valentine's cards that we exchanged in school. Would I love to have a special someone in my life to share it with? YES! Can I enjoy it without a special someone, sure.

But force me to spend Thanksgiving alone and that's torture.

jen said...

amen, girl!

Katy said...

Yes, GFT and Jen!! My friend Anne has also has a lot to say on this subject.

I agree that it's a stupid holiday. My first boyfriend broke up with me on Valentine's Day. How am I ever supposed to love a holiday like that ever again? Seriously.

However, I still send Valentine cards to the people I think would appreciate them. I still get Valentine cards from my parents (although they are usually e-cards and no longer cards that contain $10). And I love it.

And I have never, since my first boyfriend, had a boyfriend on Valentine's Day.

So there.

Cathy said...

I love Valentine's Day also. I just hate that it has become a day when people feel forced measure the love they feel and receive.

I was blog hopping yesterday and found a blog written by a man. He was talking about how much trouble he would be in if he didn't get the right gift for his girl. A few men commented and I felt sad for them. They were talking about getting the "big freeze out" if they didn't put that extra push in on Valentine's Day. Are there really women out there who would withhold intimacy over the lack of the proper Vantine Gift?

Valentine's Day is about love. Showing it, expressing it and feeling blessed by it. It's not about putting a size or price tag on it. In my opinion it's a fine opportunity with your daughter to teach her that she is deserving of love and how to also give love. For me it's a day to remember the blessings that being loved and loving bring us. I have a feeling every day if Valentine's Day for your little girl.

eaf said...

I do hope that every day is Valentine's Day for her. That's really what we strive for. And it's a message more people could stand to learn. Of course, we're walking the fine line of spoiling, but we're trying to be careful.

And as far as whether or not women actually withhold intimacy... they do. And the opposite occurs too. I actually officially stopped acknowledging V-Day in 1995, when I heard a news story about a woman in Texas who shot her husband because he spent too MUCH on Valentine's Day. Killed him. Dead.

Wonder if she sent flowers to the funeral.

Cathy said...

What the hell kind of woman kills a man for spending too much money on her? Maybe the kind that is tired of having to work and pay it off. Guess that could drive you a girl to murder.

Brant said...

hey Katy - I can do you one better...
My first wife filed for divorce on Friday the 13th. Didn't tell me about it. Let me make elaborate plans for V-D day on Sat the 14th. Out to dinner, headed home, she tells me about it...

eaf said...

Classy, Brant! You really had a winner there! I didn't realize you had been married before. Chris doesn't tell me anything.

I got dumped the day after Valentine's Day one year in college. "You are really great, Elizabeth, but my ex-girlfriend wants to give us another try, and she is even greater." Words to turn the heart to stone, yes?

Chris said...

I thought Brant and I had an unspoken understanding never to mention Suzanne.

I didn't remember the whole Friday the 13th/V-Day thing though. Classy indeed.

Brant said...

I did not use the S-word... I merely mentioned that I got dumped on V-D day.
And it has been 8 years.

Besides, I'm much better off now than I was then :)