Family life

Our anti-Valentine's Day

Tracy and her husband kicked this holiday to the curb years ago and never looked back (well, one of them never looked back)

By Tracy Chappell
Our anti-Valentine's Day

Photo: Saint Angel via flickr

We don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. There. I said it for the whole world to know. Does it make us unromantic? I don’t think so. But I didn’t always feel that way.
Sean was the one who started it. When I learned that my then-boyfriend didn’t “believe” in Valentine’s Day, I did get my panties in a knot, so to speak. What’s not to believe about Valentine's Day? It’s not that I thought it was some monumental holiday, but it’s a day set aside to celebrate love. And we were in love. Right? Right?
My reaction made him backpedal a bit for the early years of our courtship but, since then, he has won me over in his anti-Valentine campaign. To him, Valentine’s Day is meaningless, an occasion that dictates insincere romance. He likes to be romantic when he feels like being romantic, not because it’s expected. He asked me, “Does getting a box of chocolates and ridiculously expensive roses really make you think ‘he sure loves me’?”
Well, if you're going to put it that way ...I admit it made sense. I think I was just mourning the loss of an occasion that got me chocolate and punctuated the February blahs with a little la-di-da. I remember saying to him, though: “Ditching Valentine’s Day means that you are required to feel like being romantic at other times.” And that seems to be working.
Once we kicked V-Day to the curb, I didn’t miss it. It took the pressure off, as well as the unnecessary expense to celebrate something that meant nothing to us. Then we had kids, which turns Valentine’s Day into an entirely different event — one about glue and sparkles and doilies and heart-shaped pancakes. And celebrating love with your kids is a lot more fun than trying to find lingerie that still fits.
But then — but THEN — Sean comes home last Valentine’s Day with roses. Two dozen of them. Seriously? I think he was expecting delight, but I just looked at him, perplexed and a little bit mad. Yes, mad. “Why did you do that?” I exclaimed. “It’s so much money!” And I meant it. How dare he after all those years of Valentine’s Day bashing?
“I just felt like being romantic today,” he said with a smile. He kissed me. And I stopped being mad. But he better not do that again.
Men. Who will ever understand them?

Are we alone in our shunning of this day of love? How do you celebrate (or not) Valentine’s Day?

Photo by Saint Angel via flickr

This article was originally published on Feb 09, 2012

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