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.