If you’re looking for a rant against Valentine’s Day, you aren’t going to find it here.
There was a time when I would have jumped on the “I Hate Anything Too Commercial” bandwagon, but these days I’m confident enough to admit I’m kind of a cornball when it comes to sappy holidays.
That’s right – I like the hearts, flowers, chocolate in heart-shaped boxes and getting a Valentine from my sweetheart.
Despite my appreciation for Valentine’s Day, several friends have told me they hate the faux holiday and choose not to celebrate it. “So you’re romantic on just one day of the year? No thanks! My [insert significant other’s name] and I are romantic 365 days of the year!” they scoff.
I have other buddies who’ve refused to submit to all things red-hearted just to make a point to Hallmark. “No cards, flowers or candy for me! I’m boycotting Valentine’s Day!” they say, as though I’m somehow related to the greeting card company.
And, of course, there are always a handful of celebrities who can’t wait to voice their opinions. Ashton Kutcher once told Parade magazine: “I hate Valentine’s Day. I think every day should be a day of romance. Then, on Valentine’s Day, you should get to tell whoever you hate that you cannot stand them. There would be one day of hating, and 364 days of love.”
Well, hey, Mr. Kutcher, you’re in luck! I can think of at least one lovely lady who may take you up on that invitation to confess her hatred of you – because it’s always super romantic to have your husband cheat on you in a very public way.
Snarkiness aside, I am a big believer in Valentine’s Day, particularly since having my daughter three years ago.
When Quinn was born I always thought my husband and my relationship would stay the same. We didn’t have to change for our child – our child had to adjust to life with us!
I naively believed we would still be able to have dinner out once a week, child in tow. “Our daughter is going to be a quiet little angel,” I told my husband before she was born. “We’ll still be able to hit the newest restaurants. And our child will be that much more cultured for going to all of these hotspots!”
And then Quinn was born.
Oh sure, we fought change in the beginning. We would take Quinn to restaurants, struggling with feeding her and taking turns to walk her outside. We slowly realized we could no longer visit the chichi venues and opted for family friendly restaurants, such as Coco’s Bakery. Eventually we decided to forgo trips out, instead staying home to both save money and face – buying Quinn a meal that wound up mostly on the floor often taxed our sanity and patience.
Although my mom lives with us, asking her to watch Quinn so we can spend money on dinner out every week – or even every month – became a frivolous idea neither of us could entertain. Any spare time we have – after adding up the time spent away from Quinn while we’re at work – is devoted to quality family time with our child.
So while my husband and I are still very much in love, the 365-days-a-year romance finally gave way to 365-days-a-year parenting.
As a result, we have come to cherish the two calendared holidays – our anniversary and Valentine’s Day – that force us to slow things down for the briefest of moments and nurture our marriage.
And because Valentine’s Day is a day for sweethearts, that means we get a guilt-free date night to catch up with each other. My husband will likely give me chocolates – we’ve agreed to hold flowers off until after Feb. 14 to avoid blowing a month’s salary on a dozen roses – and I will try to find sushi to satisfy his usual craving. We’ll also give each other sappy heart-filled greeting cards with equally sappy messages in them that I will read over and over and over again.
After all – for those of us who don’t have the luxury of year-round romance – one day of romance amid a hectic family life is enough to sustain the love until the next anniversary.