Okay. I admit it. I don’t really like Valentine’s Day. It’s an overrated day full of unrealistic expectations that rarely get met for most people.
Yes, I’m a romantic. Yes, I believe in love. I have volumes of love poetry penned by my own hand. I cry at movies. Heck, I cry during sappy television commercials. And I have always had that perfect Valentine for any man that I have been with over the years. I’ve made homemade heart shaped cookies. I’ve composed love songs to him. I’ve given tins of chocolate kisses, as well as stuffed animals that sing and dance. And yes, I’ve given myself, dressed in sexy red lingerie. But my efforts have never been reciprocated.
When I was in high school, I watched as my girlfriends turned to bundles of giggles as they received roses, jewelry, or chocolates in the traditional heart shaped box. I only got a card from my boyfriend. Well, actually, I did get a ring and a necklace once, but after a couple of days of wear, my finger was bright green, and green is not a good Valentine’s Day color.
When I was in college, I will never forget this one particular Valentine’s Day. Both of my roommates got a dozen long stemmed red roses delivered to the door. I waited, just knowing that my time had finally arrived. But once again, I was wrong. I received a postcard in the mail that said, “PM Magazine and I wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day.” Evidently, it was a Valentine’s Day promotion for the show…a free postcard for a loved one. Another year, I got a card which was postmarked from Loveland, Colorado. I actually appreciated the sentiment in this. The only problem was that my boyfriend forgot to sign the card.
But no matter how lovely the card, a card could never match flowers and candy in my eyes. Still, I would always “ooo” and “ahh” like it was the most beautiful and perfect Valentine in the world. I did this for two reasons. First of all, it was to convince my friends that I was happy with a card because I did not want them to feel sorry for me. Secondly, it was to convince myself. But that never really seemed to work, because I usually cried myself to sleep feeling like the most shallow person in the world for wanting more.
When I got married, I continued to hope for candy and flowers. Some of my friends told me how their husbands would wisk them away for a romantic weekend for Valentine’s Day and my imagination would run wild with endless possibilities. But I still got a card, usually with dinner at one of those all you can eat places…(because that is what HE liked). One year he looked at me with a blank stare the day before Valentine’s Day and said, “Oh…did you want me to get you a Valentine this year?” I just looked back at him and returned the blank stare, and said nothing. I should have said, “Hell yes, I want a Valentine!” But if I was going to have to ask for it, the meaning was lost to me. I’ve always been weird like that.
One year, after receiving only a card for Valentine’s Day, I decided to play a mean trick on my husband. The day after Valentine’s Day, I went to the store and bought myself a dozen long stemmed red roses. (They were on sale for half-price). I brought them home, put them in a beautiful vase, and set them on my dining table with a tiny card attached that simply said, “I love you.” Well, when my husband came home from work, I ran up to him, threw my arms around his neck and said, “Oh Honey, thank you so much for the roses!” He got a blank look on his face and said, “What roses?” I pointed to them and said, “Those roses.” He looked at them, read the card, and said, “I didn’t send you any roses.” I looked puzzled for a moment and said, “Ohhh”, gave a little smile and walked away. After that, he never asked anything else about them, and I never told him anything else until years later. We had a good laugh over it.
Did that little stunt convince him to get me roses? Nope. I still continue getting cards and dinners at the all you can eat buffet. One year, he did tuck a King Size Snickers bar into the envelope with my card. I almost forgot about that one. I thought it was sweet because that’s my favorite candy.
But you know what? I’ve come to realize that this is just how my husband is. So I’ve learned to be happy with what I have. No, he may not overindulge me on Valentine’s Day, but he loves me every day. He rubs my aching feet after a hard day at work. He brings home dinner when I don’t feel like cooking. He takes care of me when I’m sick. And these are things he does from his heart, not because he feels obligated to do them. Romance is nice, but romance is not the most important thing. Besides, romance can come in many different forms.
This year will be our thirtieth Valentine’s Day together. And I’m not expecting candy in a heart shaped box or long stemmed red roses. I’m really not.
But if, perchance, flowers or candy come my way, I won’t complain. Not one little bit.