OK, I’m back – Sweetest Day, began around 1922 was originally intended to bring cheer and happiness to those who were often forgotten – the children in orphanages, the elderly in nursing homes, those stricken with illness. Of course that isn’t what is marketed to us, is it? No…there’s more money in marketing that as a romantic day….but I digress from Valentine’s Day.
As I look at the origins of Valentine’s Day, it’s a similar story in that we have commercialized it and moved it away from it’s roots. In the beginning it was about hand written notes that expressed feelings and emotions. I appreciate the history and enterprising spirit to begin to commercially create Valentine cards, but it’s my feeling that we’ve just gone too far.
Somewhere in the beginning of our marriage I got wind that Kevin was considering sending me roses on Valentine’s Day – it would have cost $80…and we were broke. I told him if he did that, I would be mad. So we made each other cards. I loved that.
Today we could afford the $80 roses, but I still don’t want them; at least not on Valentine’s Day. But $10 fresh flowers that he picks up on his way home – out of the blue – those mean something to me. Even the perfect card from him becomes more meaningful, and personal, when he adds a note. A card left behind when he travels, a date-night planned just for me, unexpectedly speaking words of encouragement into me – these are the things that keep me feeling romantic, not some extravagant gesture on a designated day.
Each year Kevin mentions something about Valentine’s Day, and most years what we do is write each other a note, make a card, or maybe even buy a card. This makes me happy. This year he asked me if I wanted to go out to dinner on Thursday (Valentine’s Day), Friday or Saturday. I told him if he wanted to make dinner plans than he should ~ for whatever day he wanted; it honestly didn’t matter which day to me. Later he told me are going on Valentine’s Day to a very nice restaurant. I love the place he chose but we are spending way too much money…because the reservation is on Valentine’s Day. But, for this year, its OK, with him traveling a fair amount, I appreciate any time with him that is dedicated to us – even if it is on Valentine’s Day!
I believe many people feel a lot of pressure to experience something highly romantic on February 14. But I’m pretty sure it’s what you experience the other 364 days of the year that really matter.
(In full disclosure ~ I do give each of my kids a Valentine’s Day treat. I’ve made cookies, heart-shaped pizza, given little boxes of chocolates. I enjoy letting them know that I’m thinking of them with love. And who knows, they may have spouses one day that will expect a little more than me on Valentine’s Day, so at least they’ve been exposed to the traditions of the day!)