I'm just going to come out with this right up front: I loathe Valentine's Day. It's not that I don't like love (I really do) or that I think it serves as a reminder that I'm not happy (I am) I just take issue with the very idea behind Valentine's Day itself. Typically, my remarks about V-Day cause every woman in my presence to groan. Once a woman begins to suggest Valentine's Day isn't a real, legitimate holiday, the men start to get ideas.
But wait! Let me explain my loathing first! Then you can groan all you want! Here's the thing: I take issue with only being "romantic" or "showing your love" or "giving the person you love nice gifts" on one overly commercialized day a year. I get the idea, I'm just not a fan of the delivery. I think relationships are about showing your love through small, thoughtful and even unexpected, gestures. Sure, 6-foot tall teddy bears and chocolates that equate to my daily calorie allowance and diamond necklaces are super, but they hold more meaning when I receive them on some random Tuesday afternoon instead of February 14th.
Any successful relationship needs romance, love and signs of affection. Obviously. But instead of roses and sugar on the fourteenth day of the second month of every year, I much prefer a repaired mailbox. Or, a love note written in the snow (sidebar: My husband wrote ADAM + EM in the snow last week. I suggested he add "= TLF" and he had no idea what I was talking about. I guess teenage girls are the only ones who write things like that, eh?).
Before you begin to feel truly sorry for my poor, poor husband, let me be clear: he knew all of this before he married me. I secretly think my dislike for overly romantic gestures is why he married me in the first place. That or my cooking abilities, affinity for great bargains or love of shoes and dog snuggles. I bring a lot to the table.
Love doesn't have to be about expensive gifts or showy displays--it can be about supporting your spouse's dreams, even though they require a major time commitment, providing a shoulder to cry on and pushing their very stuck and extremely cantankerous Honda Accord out of the snowy driveway. (Not naming names.) Love is making homemade, stuffed crust pizza for dinner. Love is washing the dishes afterwards. Love is going grocery shopping together and not getting angry at the "Coupon Maven" who spends fifteen minutes deciding what brand of cereal is the best deal when really you'd rather be shot than spend more than sixteen minutes in the grocery store.
But more than anything, love is about surprises. Last year, my husband send me a Pajama Gram at work for Valentine's Day. Imagine that: the girl who thinks Valentine's Day is a sham received a romantic pair of pink polka dot pajamas for the very day she despises. Worlds are colliding! As you can imagine, ironically, receiving a gift on Valentines Day was actually a surprise. I guess love is about keeping you guessing.