Sweet Nothings

Last week was kind of a blur and I didn’t get around to writing like I normally do. So let me do some catching up. Did you spread some extra love yesterday? Add a little romance over the weekend? Wine and dine your sweetheart? Or was it just another day? We don’t really do the Valentine’s thing. And we only consider it a legitimate holiday if you still need a hall pass to go use the bathroom. Yep. That’s my take. I’m not cynical. Or a hater. I just don’t believe the hype around this date. I don’t want a dozen roses that my husband spent a hundred dollars on when you can buy the very same ones for thirty bucks the next day.
Or an expensive box of chocolates when a bag of my favorite gummy bears will do. sweet-nothingsAnd unless I’ve been mistaken for a sixteen year old girl, please don’t get me any silly stuffed animal. Would a nice four carat diamond make me swoon? Heck yeah. But we have two kids to send to college. So let’s be real. We don’t do gaudy and we don’t do pricey. Because we both know it’s an idealized day that has become overly obnoxious and a tad dramatic. Retailers have their niche. Since the celebration of love has become so much about things, they’ve found a way to capitalize on it. And this is what keeps the holiday relevant. Before you get your pink panties in a bunch, I’m not saying anyone who believes in the hype is sappy or senseless. I’m just saying we don’t play the same game.

A celebration of love is about the divine moments of a relationship. And those can’t possibly be committed to one annual day. I love my husband. LOVE HIM. But I appreciate his sincerity and endearment when it catches me off guard rather than the automatic affection spurred by a calendar. I get it. We all get lost in the everyday. And the first thing that usually gets sacrificed are the important relationships in our lives. Enter a holiday to remind us of the love. That’s fair. And if that’s what the date really focused on then I would be all over it. But I’m put off by what it’s really turned into. What did your man get you? Where did he take you? No. It should be, how did you celebrate? Want to know what we did? My husband and son had basketball practice. I worked. And we each grabbed a bite to eat at home on our way out the door. Did my husband get me something? Yes, of course. But it wasn’t traditional and it wasn’t extravagant. It was thoughtful and made me laugh. Give me practical over petty, any time. A few years ago my car really needed new wiper blades and I mentioned it to my husband. Valentine’s morning, I came downstairs to find some flowers, a touching card and some wiper blades. Know what I loved the most? The wiper blades. Because that’s our kind of love.

When I left for college, my younger sister used to flip through my father’s planner and pencil in notes that would remind him to buy my mom flowers or leave a sweet note. You know, the kinds of things that most men need a little nudge with from time to time. But those are the moments that my mom appreciated most. Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be the only time you love on people. It shouldn’t be a day filled with so much expectation. Demand. Or money. Because that’s not love. That just makes love harder. And let me tell you, if we let high expectations get wrapped up into one frivolous day then we aren’t doing the world any favors.

No harm to those who do the Valentine’s thing in all its glory. But I hope it’s because you legitimately like pink candy hearts and overpriced flowers. And not because you’ve fallen victim to the pressures of one lonely date. There are 364 other days wide open with no strings attached. And if that means adding in a dose of romance, a sentimental gift for no reason or offering up kind gestures when kindness matters; then schedule THAT into your calendar. 

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