Ah c’est de l’amour! Valentine’s Day reminds us about love, pink and red hearts, chocolates, flowers, jewelry, and cute little fat cherubs floating around taking aim at unsuspecting victims of dare I say it? Romance. It gives two people in love a chance to look longingly at each other for hours and get lost in one another’s eyes.
I already heard all the moans and groans as I typed out that paragraph. Even I’m nauseous. C’mon now, aside from the chocolate, let’s not get all goofy and carried away with this kind of sappy insanity.
Many people actually dread Valentine’s Day and it’s for that very reason. They don’t have a Don Juan or a Mighty Aphrodite to share it with and perhaps it makes them feel bad. My question is, why do so many people put so much pressure on themselves to make Valentine’s Day this magical, romantical evening of passion? Unless you’re going on a date with George Clooney, I think we’re setting ourselves up for disappointment, in my humble opinion.
To be honest, I really do like Valentine’s Day. Always have. And it’s not because of all this romance nonsense – Pepe Le Pew I am not.
Look at it this way, we survive January – a cold, dreary month. The holidays are over, and it’s like, “Now what?” Enter February. Sure, we might withstand a blizzard or two but there's Valentine's Day! Valentine’s Day brings color – warm vibrant reds and pinks, shaped like hearts nonetheless. It's about love, but not necessarily all that corny, lovely-dovey, ooey-gooey love. It could be any kind of love – friends, family, pets, George Clooney, whoever!
Picture walking down the main aisle of a drug store or the holiday section of a Target. What joy it brings!! It seems like all the shiny, red and pink, Saran-wrapped heart shaped boxes of chocolate goodness goes on for miles. All the shapes and sizes and different types of candies makes a person feel like they’re Charlie in Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Just the other day I saw a heart-shaped box filled with chocolate so big it looked the size of a coffee table. It was divine and it was $39. Oh how I would have loved to rip off the plastic wrap, tear off the top cover and just dig my way into a chocolate fantasy without ever having to come back. Pure heaven in a heart-shaped box, all for thirty-nine smackers. If only my metabolism worked quicker, I would’ve put my extra care points toward that puppy faster than you can say “Orange Cream”!!
I used to love getting the small heart-shaped boxes of candy from my Mom when I was a kid. I used to love giving and receiving Valentine’s in elementary school. We kept it simple and we had fun. I never cared about having a “significant other” on Valentine’s Day. It was too much pressure for someone like me who is clueless when it comes to Rick Springfield and his "affairs of the heart" (gag). Some of my most awkward Valentine's was when I had a date. It gave me agita. What would I wear, is he going to get me a Valentine, should I get him a Valentine? Do guys want a Valentine? It caused me more anxiety than anything else. I would’ve much rather had a laid back night where I could go out, be myself and have a good time whether if it was on a date or out for a night on the town with friends and indulge in chocolate-covered whatever. Wait, that last sentence could be highly misconstrued....
Talk about pressure, the poor guys have it the worst. They have to play their cards very carefully. Even my husband, after almost 10 years of marriage, errs on the side of caution. Last year we decided not to get each other anything for Valentine’s Day. We made it about the kids and had a ball with that, so my husband and I made a deal – no Valentines. And I truly meant it. Well, that day he came home with a dozen roses for me ... and I yelled at him. We made a deal. No presents and I held up my side of the bargain, being the cheap, thoughtless, inconsiderate wife that I was.
I completely understood (and respected) his strategy however. He was caught in a Catch 22. If he didn’t get me anything for Valentine’s Day, he could make the HUGE mistake of not following the “Oh-you-don’t-have-to-get-me-anything-but-I-don’t-really-mean-that-of-course-you-do-you-dummy-it's-Valentine's-Day” philosophy of the Underground Wives Society code of marriage. In other words, he’d be in BIG trouble. It was a risk he was not willing to take. So, he took the safe route by presenting me with roses while getting reprimanded for it but for a good cause. Really, how could I stay mad at him for buying me flowers? Well played.
Sure, going out for a romantic evening is nice once in a while but Valentine’s Day is just a day when restaurants, florists and even bakeries can jack up their prices for love-struck suckers. I don’t mean to sound cynical and cheap, but you can go to these places the next day and enjoy the same thing for at least half off!
Ah, questo e amore! Right now, for me, Valentine’s Day is about buying chocolate-covered marshmallows, Hershey kisses and chocolate M&M’s for my 4 and 7 year olds and hearing my husband say, “Its for THEM not for YOU.” It's maybe going out to Newport Creamery for dinner that comes with a make-your-own sundae where we can put gummy worms and rainbow sprinkles on crazy vanilla ice cream. It’s about snuggling on the couch with the family and watching “A Charlie Brown Valentine.”
And maybe, just maybe, if nobody's watching, going to CVS the next day and seeing if I can make that $39 turn into a magical $19.50.