Ah, Valentine’s Day. Chocolate in boxes, roses in bouquets, and love in the air. How sweet it is! At least, that’s how it’s supposed to be… I’m just going to come right out and say it, I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. Don’t get me wrong, I love the sentiment! Taking a moment to say “I love you” to those nearest and dearest is definitely something I can get on board with… but looking around, I don’t see very much of that.
Instead I see boxes of chocolates flying off the shelves, greeting cards that will say your sweet-nothings for you, and jewelry commercials spreading like wildfire. Of all the holidays, I think Valentine’s Day has become the most commercialized, and the most Hallmark of them all… since when did love become quantifiable by money? There is so much pressure to participate in all the spending, it leads to people feeling obligated, and later hurt or let down when those obligations are not met. According to the National Retail Federation, American’s were estimated to spend around $17.5 billion on Valentine’s Day last year alone, and that guys spend on average over $150 a piece (the message being, if your man doesn’t shell out he clearly doesn’t care about you). My question in all of this is… where is the love?
|Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart
To me, love is something genuine. It’s sincere, and intense, and often spontaneous. I don’t want you to tell me you love me because it’s Valentine’s Day, or because you read it off a Hallmark card… I want you to tell me when you feel it, when you mean it, when it’s real. Tell me because you want to tell me, not because you’re supposed to tell me.
So don’t buy me chocolates (unless you want to, of course)… just be yourself, because that’s who I’m in love with the other 364 days of the year.
|“There’s no one else I’d rather spend this annual obligation with.” – someecards
That said, if you do feel it, say it. If you do mean it, by all means, tell me. The idea of Valentine’s Day is wonderful, it’s only the mass-market reality of it that I find unappealing. I will not buy you a pair of heart-shaped cuff links you will never, ever wear… but I will tell you that I love you. That I think about you, and grin stupidly throughout my day whenever you’re on my mind. I will let you know how much I miss you when you’re not around, how much I appreciate all the things you do, and if you’re lucky, I might even make you some cookies.
|“I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)” – ee.cummings
Please excuse the Scrooge in me (bah, humbug!). My opinions are my own, and I mean no offense to anyone enjoying this love-bird holiday. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below – how do you feel about Valentine’s Day? Do you celebrate it, and if so, what makes it special for you?
And to all my friends, family, and readers, I won’t be buying you chocolates… but I do love you, and appreciate you, and grin stupidly in public when I think of you. And I did make you cookies.*
Happy Valentine’s Day!
*I’m afraid I won’t be sharing a recipe this time, but any classic sugar cookies will do, along with your favorite icing or buttercream. I added a dash of cinnamon to mine, just to warm things up a little – mmm!