Valentine Shmalentine

Call me Scrooge – I don’t like Valentine’s Day.

My first memories of the ‘holiday’ are from when I was in elementary school and we made little mailboxes to put on our desk.  Then we walked around the classroom and delivered valentines to classmates.  But those were the days before political correctness, and I was well aware of each valentine that didn’t arrive in my box.  Not great for the self-esteem.

By the time I outgrew that horrible custom, I was well into my wallflower years, and never had a beau on Valentine’s Day.  I felt left out and that surely there must be something wrong with me.  I bought my own candy hearts.

Then there was the year that my older brother decided to send an unprecedented card to our grandmother.  This was new!  Grandma called Mom and said, “How nice that I got a card from ‘older brother.’  How is Karen?”  Mom made me go to the store and send a belated card.  That started the annual custom of cards for grandmothers, a custom I grew to love despite its origins in teenage embarrassment and sibling peer pressure.

I don’t remember my first Valentine’s Day in a relationship, but know I must have been very excited.  Finally, someone to “Be Mine.”   And probably that excitement carried over for another year or two.  But I am a cheap pragmatist and eventually got annoyed at what I consider to be a fake holiday, forced on the general masses by card and candy manufacturers.  Have you noticed how the price of roses goes way up that day?!   Why should the calendar and society dictate that once a year I must recognize my love for my husband in a socially standardized way?   Cheap and rebellious are a deadly combination for valentines.  At some point in our marriage, my husband and I agreed that we knew we loved each other and therefor a simple card was enough to say it on that national day of love declaration.  Okay, it probably started because I balked at the expense of flowers or because I was on a diet and didn’t want to be tempted by chocolate.  The reasons don’t matter, the end result is the same.  We bend to society pressure, but just a little.  Could you imagine if we didn’t acknowledge the day at all?

My best Valentine’s Day gift was actually a gift I never got:  Many years ago DH planned to send me flowers the day before the holiday.  He intended to write on the card something about loving me everyday or that everyday was Valentine’s Day with me.  But somehow his plans didn’t come to fruition so he ended up just telling me about it instead.  I actually thought the sentiment was so great that I gave him points just for the idea:)

In case you think I am entirely a lost cause with no sentimentality at all, I will report that I do still give Valentine’s Day cards to the beloved people in my life.  (And I cannot resist a little candy treat for my sons.)  Hopefully they all know how much I love them… every day of the year, not just this one.

And to you, dear readers – I will break with my Scrooge-like traditions and wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day.  Every day is sweeter with you in it; no candy needed:)

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14 Comments

Filed under holidays/seasons/weather, influence of others

14 responses to “Valentine Shmalentine

  1. I don’t know where the tradition started, but I’m not big on it either. Bf and I don’t do cards/gifts – our anniversary on Jan 21, my birthday on Feb 2, I don’t want to bankrupt him!

    A lovely sentiment from your husband though – that’s so sweet!!

  2. Diet Buddy

    I think Hallmark started it. (hee hee) I’m indifferent about it. It’s less work than Christmas. My husband and I don’t exchange gifts but usually go to dinner. Last night, we did dinner and took a friend who’s husband just left her for another woman with us. That’s a bit of reality!

  3. jen

    Karen,
    I love your style. I’m terrible at getting the cards ready (right now I’m blaming my lack of doing so on having a baby in the house). But my practical nature gets in the way of shelling out $$ just to say I love you. My family is heading out for an afternoon of bowling. We’ll end it with a yummy–healthy dinner at home and some game playing. For me, spending time together says — I love you–best of all.

  4. Stopped by for the Lady Bloggers Tea Party. So glad I did. I use to be a Scrooge about my own personal Valentine’s Day even tho it was my daughters favorite. My years have shown me if I dont get caught up in the $$ of it all, just like Christmas, I can make it magical.

  5. Not a fan either, although I did give myself a slice of cake today, just because I love myself so very much! 🙂

  6. Hey there! Thanks for stopping by! I am really enjoying Lady Bloggers so far, aren’t you?

    I tell ya, this day… bah humbug!

    LOL! It’s good to know I’m not the only one.

  7. I’m glad to know I am not alone:) And I think it is great that we can all make the holiday what we want (be it chocolate filled or barely acknowledged). Hallmark holiday or not!

  8. It’s a fun time- but honestly there have been years hubby and I have done nothing more than wish each other a happy valentines and said I love you 🙂 We do like to go out and eat dinner somewhere those times but we rarely do it on the actual day. In the 10+ years I’ve known him we’ve done it TWO times on Valentine’s Day.

    I do agree flowers are INSANELY expensive that day… I was totally surprised that hubby got me flowers- but it was sweet 🙂

  9. I have a friend who feels that same way. I’m a cheapo too, so a card and chocolate is a good enough gift. The whole jewelry, flowers, and other expensive gifts is not up my alley. You don’t have spend much to let a person know their loved.

    Anyhow…Happy Valentines Day 🙂

  10. I’m neutral on Valentine’s Day. DH and I have never given gifts to each other for it, but when I had kids at home we always had a party. (I love parties. :)) Now some years I send Valentine’s to all my family, some years just to the grandkids, and this year pretty much nothing to nobody … I’m still in denial that it’s already the middle of February. 🙂

  11. I have to say that I do like Valentine’s Day, but I think it’s because it’s such an easy holiday to celebrate. A card and a candy. But I also remember those little mailboxes on my desk, and I remember getting very upset when my box wasn’t as full as my friends were. Not a good feeling.

    Love the sentiment from your hubby!

  12. See, I totally disagree. I’m grateful for a special day set aside (for whatever original reason) to honor love. I think there should be more.

    😛

  13. We need to tell the people we love that we love them every day!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday. Hope to see you again

    Rachel 🙂

  14. I LOVED this post. I can relate to it on so many levels. LOL

    I know, I also was one of those kids sitting at her desk waiting for Valentines that didn’t always come. I still remember a few of the kids that snubbed me back in 5th grade. LOL

    I also never seemed to have a serious relationship on V Day. I actually thought I was defective or something. ha ha

    But yea, I’ve never been much into giving Valentines and cards because of these things. But I made sure my kids gave EVERYONE a valentine this year and explained how horrible they would feel if someone slighted them. They looked at me kind of crazy, but I think they understood. 😉

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