Ladies and Gents, I’ll just be up front. I hate Valentine’s Day.
For SO many reasons.
First and foremost, it isn’t a REAL holiday!!!
I mean, YES, the holiday itself has its origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, usually held mid-February, to celebrate the coming of spring. (source)
Historically, and for many years, the holiday has been recognized by romance themed cards and small gifts.
What does this so-called holiday really mean in the 21st Century?
Right now, it is a commercial holiday. The winners are not the wives or the husbands. Instead, it is the companies that sell the things that people are driven to spend their hard earned money on.
Now, I’m not saying this to villanize the companies.
Lord knows that I am a capitalist, and believe that people should have the freedom to spend their money as they wish, even if it is on c-r-a-p that doesn’t really mean anything.
But I hate the fact that people treat it like it is a legitimate holiday when it is actually an advertisement masquerading as a holiday.
(Jeff Bezos…Mark Zuckerberg…Google. These guys LOVE Valentine’s Day).
In the United States at least, people are expected to spend a lot of money, and the recipient’s happiness at the end after receiving the gift is often dictated by how much money is spent, or how good the gift it.
In general, what I see is on Valentine’s Day is a bunch of men going to the store on Valentine’s Day and buying something (ANYTHING) to make it so that their woman/wife isn’t pissed off when he gets home.
Maybe it is flowers, or an overpriced box of ribbon wrapped candy. Just to have something to walk in the door with in his hands.
This holiday is supposed to be about love and romance, right? Showing your partner that you care about them, right?
How does some crap candy do that?
And here’s another thing.
Why does it need a price tag on it?
Why does more money spent mean more love? Does it mean that?
And while I’m on this rant, I hate that Valentine’s Day is one day a year where people are supposed to show each other how much they love each other.
What? Is everyone off the hook for the rest of the year (except birthdays and Christmas or other present giving holidays in your religion)?
It feels that way. People do a great job on Valentine’s Day and then go back to spending the rest of their time with their partners looking at their phones or watching reality competition televisions shows (singing competitions, the Amazing Race, etc, etc).
There are people in relationships everywhere just living day to day, married or living together, but completely unfulfilled in the relationship. Not that the people shouldn’t be together, that’s not what I am saying. I just mean that the two people don’t interact, don’t engage, don’t do anything with or for each other. The ships passing in the night analogy.
I wish Valentine’s Day wasn’t a day about buying stuff. I wish it was a day where people reaffirmed how much they love each other, and recommitted to making each day with each other count.
But without the price tag.
I wish that people tried harder in relationships, and that romance was something that was trending all the time, not just one day in February a year.
I wish that, instead of searching the internet for something to buy their partner, people spent that same time paying attention to their partner, so that they’d already KNOW what to buy them when it came time to put down that credit card.
Am I speaking from some bitterness about the holiday because I am divorced?
Maybe. I’m not going to lie and say that my crash and burned relationship isn’t a factor.
When I was married, I was with someone who felt about Valentine’s Day the same way I did. That it was a commercial holiday and that it pretty much should be disregarded.
But you know what else got disregarded? The attention. That man NEVER knew what to get me for my birthday or for holidays. He made no effort to find out what I liked or wanted.
And you know what happened? He ended up buying stuff that he liked, and told me he figured that it would be something we could do together. (Beer brewing equipment, for example)
He just never paid attention. He didn’t ask me questions. He expected me to make him a list and just tell him what I wanted him to buy.
That’s not romantic. Not at all.
Yes, that is clear and non-confusing, but it is also the easy way out. This way the man has to expend no effort at all. And how does that make me feel more loved?
Message to Men Everywhere: It’s not the THING that you buy that makes a difference. It is that fact that you paid attention, that you know what she’d like, that you expended the effort on her behalf, that matters to your woman. The price tag isn’t what communicates your love….it is the thought.
For this reason, I’d be just as happy with something that cost nothing or very little, if it showed me how much my man thought about me.
I have kids, as you should know by now. I am going to teach them about Valentine’s Day as a day to show your partner how much you care about them, and how to go about doing that.
And maybe later in life they’ll fail to land the fish that wanted them to be big spenders. But my hope is that their eventual partners will be happier with them because they have a partner who understands that it is the effort and attention that counts.
Maybe one day, they’ll thank me.
Read my digital journal for more about my life, my kids, and personal parenting struggles, located here: https://momadviceline.com/category/personal-parenting-journal-emilys-life/
Emily Anderson is a mother of three children, all under the age of 10. Located in the Pacific Northwest of the US, Emily is a full-time mom and part-time blogger, jumping in front of the computer screen when the kids are occupied or sleeping. She started this blog in April of 2019 and is proud that the blog is now paying for itself. If you want to know about her journey as a blogger, check out out her personal digital journal or her post about failing her way to blogging success.