The longer I am married, the less Valentine’s Day means to my relationship with my wife.
I have learned that my wife operates by a simple but sometimes confusing philosophy: if everyone else is doing it, she wants no part of it. Therefore, if I come home on Valentine’s Day with a dozen red roses, I get the third degree on why I overpaid for flowers.
But, if I show up with a dozen white or pink or even yellow roses for no reason in the middle of June, I’m a hero.
The same is true for cards. If I go out and spend $4 on a Hallmark Valentine’s card, no matter what the message, she questions my sanity. If I take a blank piece of stationery and write a heart-felt note on a random Tuesday in September, I’m a champ.
Don’t even go there with chocolate. If I want to induce self-loathing in my wife, there’s no quicker way than to give her a giant box of chocolates that will tempt her until they’re gone.
I can only imagine her utter horror if a box of pajamas or a giant teddy bear was delivered. In fact, if there’s a commercial for it during the two weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, she finds it distasteful. As much as she may appreciate diamonds, she has an involuntary convulsion every time she hears the jingle “Every kiss begins with Kay.”
Don’t get me wrong. Carla wants me to shower her with love and affection, just not on the same day and in the same way everyone else does.
Over the years, I’ve come to the inevitable conclusion that Valentine’s Day just doesn’t mean anything for us anymore. And maybe there are others like us.
Carla has this theory that the earlier you are in your relationship, the more important Valentine’s Day is. Insecurity is at the root of all the card-writing and gift-giving, not romance.
After you’ve been together for, oh, let’s say 15 years as a completely hypothetical duration, there’s less insecurity in the relationship. Demonstrating love and commitment comes in more practical forms.
If I really want to make my wife’s day, I’ll take the kids off her hands, send her out shopping or let her watch “Say Yes to the Dress” uninterrupted while I read to the boys. If I really want to show her how much I love her, I will leave her alone completely.
Before you think we’ve lost all sense of romance, let me say that we enjoy date nights from time to time, and any day other than Valentine’s Day is a good day for me to show up with flowers.
Truth be told, I think more women subscribe to Carla’s view than the Valentine’s Industrial Machine wants to admit. It requires no thought, no planning, no special effort to give your loved one the same gifts that everyone else is buying.
It’s like “Romance for Dummies.” There’s nothing about those traditional gifts that have meaning once you reach a certain stage in your relationship.
So while the rest of the guys out there are shelling out $50 for roses, $30 for chocolates or $100 for an oversized teddy bear, I’ll score major points by putting the kids to bed early, turning the lights down low and uttering those three little words that melt her heart:
“Here’s the remote.”
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Am I right, people? If the over-commercialized ideal of Valentine’s Day still appeals to you, speak up! Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
22 thoughts on “Love means never having to say ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’”
Here’s the nail. You hit it right on the head!
I agree with you Lance.
My *parents* still buy me presents for Valentine’s Day. I really hope they don’t read your blog. I love my new shirts, gift card, and subscription to some magazine I’ve never heard of.
Oh, it’s very different with parents and grandparents. I think flowers, chocolates, cards are all welcomed by kids.
yes… and on behalf of B,H,&C… don’t you ever forget it!
Lance, you are SO right!!!! Too funny!!
I was thinking about this yesterday and here you are penning it down spot on :))
Blake and I had this discussion the other day with a friend who couldn’t believe we don’t do anything for Dia del Amor. The only time we’ve ever done anything was our first Valentine’s Day, back in 2005–which goes to support Carla’s theory. After our conversation with a romantic Chilean, though, I decided I’d make a cookie cake like we had on our first one. Of course, that’s only because I really want to use the gringo powdered sugar I just got in a care package…
Still single here…this might just be one of my non-negotiable criteria for “Mr. Right” whenever, if ever, he comes along. Glad to know that there are good men out there who truly get it.
I couldn’t agree more! By the way, I have the same reaction to the Kay’s commerical as Carla. 🙂
This sounds very, very familiar!
Amen! Thankfully, I have a hubby that gets that too..well, most of the time! 🙂
I scored 20 roses for $10 last month and gave them to my Sunshine for no reason at all. I will be in the dog house if I get her $50 roses anywhere near Valentines Day.
I like Valentine’s Day — but like your wife, I don’t want the commercialized, overpriced stuff. Keep in mind, I dragged my husband outside on Groundhog Day to take photos of shadows. I like holidays and reasons to celebrate. For me the best way to celebrate isn’t by spending lots of money, but by spending time or being creative. And that doesn’t just go for my marriage — I made Valentine cookies for my coworkers this last week cause it is fun =0)
Glad we aren’t the only ones that don’t go in for Valentines day:) I’d rather have a handwritten note over flowers any day!
Joanna (my bride of 37 years) told me last year she doesn’t want cards – birthday, Valentine’s Day, etc. – anymore. To her, they’re just clutter – expensive clutter, at that – that she’s going to wind up throwing away, anyway. Me? I love giving cards, and I love getting them. We’ve had a tradition for years with our kids (who are, of course, grown now & have kids of their own) of giving one funny card & one serious card. So I’m trying to convince Joanna to let me compromise my way through this disagreement – maybe I can drop down to just the serious card and not the funny one??? Or maybe the other way around is more appropriate at our age? (Maybe I can win this one if I ramp up just a little bit on doing those little things that she appreciates, as you suggest.)
Perhaps you could peruse cards, find wording you like then use that to expand on as you make your own card or love letter to your wife? You could have the funny part as the post script. Suggest the “kids” do the same. Then offer to take the cards she receives from you and the kids after each birthday or holiday and scan them. Then at the end of each year you can upload them to Shutterfly or another site and make a personalized, hardbound book with all of the cards from the year, one card per page. Then instead of a box full of cards she’d have one tidy, compact book from each year instead of trashing or boxing the cards, and you’ll have another thoughtful, creative gift you can give her each year.
I got this idea from professional organizer Peter Walsh who suggested taking all the pictures and paintings the kids do each year but that can take up so much room or fall apart over time and doing a book of artwork each year.
That is a great suggestion! Thanks, Sarah. I’ll do that.
“I think more women subscribe to Carla’s view than the Valentine’s Industrial Machine wants to admit..” Yep.
Like Carla, I prefer when a gift or kindness is done spontaneously, thoughtfully and often in simplest form – not when and how commercialized pressure dictates. Call me silly, but for some reason receiving long stem red roses and mass produced heart-shaped chocolates and/or jewelry identical to what X.2 million others receive on the exact same day (as specifically and repeatedly prompted by advertisers) doesn’t make me feel special. It makes me feel like just another one of the X.2 million whose significant others succumbed to the peer pressure. I admit, I feel a big indignant and offended that a greeting card company would try to shame my husband into making such purchases and overtures on they day THEY chose. I prefer my husband chooses if, how, and when he wants to express his love – and that makes me love him all the more!
If Lee or anyone else shows up w/that giant teddy bear, the garbage man will have a laugh on Monday!
I’m perfectly fine with no V-tine gift exchanges, as long as we discuss it in advance. If it goes totally ignored and there’s no thought or explanation, well, I feel different about that. This yr, I told him we ♡ each other even w/out V-tines Day & to not spend $$. I plan to make lasagna maybe, sshhh…dont tell him
I like Carla more and more all the time 🙂