I have a confession. I'm one of those freaks that has always loved Valentines. Especially when I was single. My mom always got me chocolate and jewelry. Nothing fancy, and always age appropriate. When I was little I would get plastic bead necklaces and as a teen she would get me the funky clunky type of things you may find in Hot Topic.
It was a simpler time.
As a teen and young adult I would get tons of flowers to hand out to my girlfriends and make brownies. I didn't like the forced romantic aspect of coupling up for the day. I received my first real valentine with chocolate and flowers from a boy when I was 10. His Mormon-ish parents were already planning our wedding. Even as a child I knew enough to be disturbed and slightly creeped out.
As a teenager, every year I was in a 'couple' I got some horrible illness over Valentines.
My junior year my boyfriend and I had the flu together. My mom let him spend the night. We took cold medicine, spooned and slept, between coughing and sneezing bouts. My mom made us soup, probably laced with Tylenol PM, and made sure our temperatures didn't spike over 102.
It was actually rather sweet.
My Valentine's Days were always a positive experience that transcended romance. My mom would tell me the story of how the King forbade his soldiers from marrying because he believed it made them weak. So, premarital sex was on the rise, children were conceived out of wedlock, and labeled bastards, and daughters were cast out of their homes. (Yeah, I think my mom was going the After School Special route with this story, but I didn't know it at the time)
Anyways, Father Valentine was in horror of what was happening. He believed these couples should be married, and they deserved to be a family whose union was blessed by God. Defying the ruler at that time, he of course married these couples in secret until he was found out and beheaded for his efforts.
There are different versions of this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Valentine, if you want to study up on your Saint Valentine trivia.
Now that I'm married Valentines feels different. As I said before, I don't like the forced romance aspect of the day. Media continuously perpetuates the idea that if you are single on Valentines, you are a pathetic loser.
In a way, being in a relationship can be even worse. Jewelry companies are putting the pressure on men to put a ring on it, and ladies are pressured to buy every fancy negligee and sex toy out there.
When you're in a couple it feels like the world and all the advertisements are saying "You better think of something sweet, loving, and sexy, OR ELSE!".
We still have sex and candy for breakfast, but my husband and I have tried to steer away from over the top plans since our Valentine's Day Debacle. *Dun Dun Daaaa
Yeah, it was bad. Our first Valentines together was seven months into our relationship. I guess my husband's college g/f (the ex) was pretty uptight about getting fancy on Valentines, so he was not really understanding my free love feeling for the holiday.
I wanted something from the heart, and he was still thinking commercial. He drove me to a hotel blindfolded. I got car sick. Once there he had a barbershop quartet come to our room to sing to me. They were nice old men, very fatherly, grandfatherly looking. And they came to the hotel room I was going to have dirty slutty sex.
That was kind of awkward.
The thought was nice. He totally got points for creativity. Execution needed some work. Never, I repeat never, have someone come to your hotel room to sing or play music, unless you are throwing a crazy party or they are going to be part of the hotel room sex-a-thon.
I think the grandpas put a hex on my young nubile self getting sexed up, because right after they left, I got my period.
it was bad
We went to the movies since hanky panky wasn't an option. My husband, (boyfriend at the time) gave me the cash while he went to the restroom. I lost the cash while waiting in line.
Dinner was nice, but I still remember the harassed look on my husbands face. I could tell the night was not going according to plan and he was ready for it to be over. We had a long talk that night about feelings, expectations, and what I meant by 'from the heart'.
We have made each other cards for the past eleven years. When I told him he needed to make me a card, he was pissed. He has since gotten into the spirit of things and some years his cards blow my out of the water. Last year's card made me cry. This years card I seriously want to frame.
I still make a fancy dessert and I usually make something special for dinner or my husband takes us out. Some years are romantic, some years are not. This year my husband is working late, so I'm ordering take-out, and I'm painting the dinning room. When I informed my husband this is how Valentines night was going to go down he left the Google search engine, on my phone, open to How Amazingly Awesome Is My Wife.
We have 364 other days to be uber romantic and sexy. I'm cool with that.
Now that I have a kid I'm trying my best to instill in him the spirit of the day my mom instilled in me. We put together valentines for his class. I get him card and candy every year. I tell him the after school special version of Valentine's my mom always told me. My husband usually let's him in one the secret of what he has planned for my card and takes him with to get me my special confection. He knows that my husband and I make each other cards and do sweet things for each other, and I hope that sets the correct tone for when he's in a relationship.
In parting, Valentine's Day is what you make it. Buy flowers for your friends and for yourself. Have dessert. Make sure it's something chocolate. Then celebrate a guy that didn't want anyone having premarital sex, to the point he was willing to be beheaded to make sure all those promiscuous couples got hitched.
Poor Valentine, he's so misunderstood
Happy Valentine's Day
*And remember, chocolate will be 75% off the day after!!!