I know my friend Lauren is the quintessential Valentines' Day fan. She thinks that it reminds folks to treat their loved ones the way they should be treating them all year round. She's all pink and red and heart-shaped on this day.
But I have to admit, I don't really subscribe to that philosophy.
First of all, I put the apostrophe AFTER the s, not before...assuming that it's more than okay, even expected, that folks have more than one Valentine. My son disagrees with that. And that's because we have two different definitions of what a Valentine is. He thinks it has to be his one and only, his reason for being, his 'girl'. And if he doesn't happen to have one of those, then he'll hang with someone who will at least fill that role for the day. Me on the other hand, if I love you, you can be my Valentine. Just like in the second grade, I sent out dozens of Valentines last night (via FaceBook...not much effort, really). Men, women, relatives. I'm not that particular.
Second, I think that having a day like Valentines' Day, makes those without Valentines feel less than worthy, unimportant, even forgotten. Just try doing ANYTHING on this day without a significant other. Go to a movie and you're likely to feel like a loser. Go to dinner and wait and wait and wait on a table for one? Uhhh, no. And why? So you can sit with your bowl o' pasta and your lonely glass of wine, while being surrounded by couples being all lovey-dovey. I don't think so. I mean, feel free, but I don't think you'd enjoy it. I don't think I would anyway.
You might as well stay home. And that's not such a bad thing. In fact, my suggestion for those of us that don't have a love is to pick up Chinese takeout, rent a couple of movies...something funny or thought-provoking, NOT a romantic comedy (why punish yourself?)...and put on the flannel PJs to enjoy your Saturday night.
Come to think of it, that's what I'M doing tonight.
Don't get me wrong. This is NOT a woe is me post. Much like Halloween and New Year's Eve, I just don't get all that excited about this one. I don't feel like I'm missing out. I don't feel lonely. I don't feel like I need a date. I don't feel unloved or unlovable. Really, it's just a Saturday.
OH! And I HATE listening to those people who think they DO need someone. Another reason I don't like Valentines' day. People who were somewhat okay with being single two days ago are completely depressed about it on a day like Valentines' Day.
On top of that, it's just not right that men feel so much pressure to do something 'nice' for their ladies. And even worse that we women totally expect them to, regardless of whether or not it's in their personality to do so. I know those are HUGE generalities. But I think it's pretty accurate.
If you can have a wonderfully romantic Valentines' Day, more power to you. But I hate it that so many people are simply depressed because they feel that they're missing out.
Many years ago, when I was active duty, one of my co-workers told me that he and his wife had a date night every Friday night. They had three boys: 4, 8, and 12. But except for the last one's birth date, they NEVER missed a Friday night. They dressed up for each other. They made dinner together (or went out). They put on nice music and lit the candles. And the kids would stay with a neighbor or relative until they were old enough to stay in the basement and entertain themselves. Now THAT'S romance.
Then they balance that with having family night every Saturday night. Make dinner with the boys, family-friendly favorites like tacos or pizza. They'd play board games or go putt-putting. They'd invite friends over for sleep-overs. Pretty much, whatever the family could do together.
Bottom line for me, it's all about the love. And if Valentines' Day reminds you to show love, then enjoy your day!