While dropping my little one off at school, I couldn’t help but notice the parade of balloons, flowers, tiny stuffed animals and other assorted celebratory knick-knacks making its way into the building. All I could think was, Awwww, ain’t that cute, while reminiscing of a time long ago when Valentine’s Day meant something.
As my son is young and able to somewhat understand this Hallmark holiday, I made sure he joined right in the festivities. I even tried my hand at some DIY dinosaur valentines and heart-shaped Rice Krispy treats for his class party. He was going to enjoy all the excitement this day had to offer while he was still young. After all, as an adult, especially a married one, this day comes and goes just like any other and eventually loses all meaning,right?
As I ran errands around town, I encountered more and more people carrying these extravagant adornments in the most hideous shades of pinks and reds. The more I paid attention to them, the more intrigued I became by their obsession with this day. These people, who were stricken with some sappy sickness, were older than the school-agers I witnessed earlier. Some were even in my age bracket and beyond.
In complete denial about what was happening all around me, I convinced myself that maybe these individuals failed to outgrow this phase and immaturely held onto it – almost as if their youth was refusing to die. The more I was out in the world on this morning, the more wrong I proved myself to be.
People of all ages were shamelessly gallivanting around in disgusting excitement, their eyes shining and gleaming in the most irritating fashion. I couldn’t escape the heart-shaped shit everywhere and balloons so big, these poor stuffed animals somehow became trapped inside. Besides realizing how ridiculous gifts have become, I started to wonder if I have unassumingly turned into the Scrooge of V-Day.
It’s not that I never participated in the holiday and its outlandish festivities. There was a time I considered February 14 an official holiday right up there with Thanksgiving and Christmas. What happened?
Life happened. I got married. I had kids. Priorities shifted.
My husband and I have become wrapped up and concerned with our lives raising three kids under the age of four. Any significance of the day has long been replaced with the importance of keeping our lives afloat and everyone alive. We are in full-forced survival mode – anything beyond just doesn’t register as important.
Do we love each other? Of course! Just because we don’t participate in this holiday doesn’t mean we aren’t reminded in other ways of our love and appreciation for one another. I applaud couples who take advantage of this date to adorn their partners with assorted gifts. Somewhere along the years, my husband and I chose to opt out of this day’s celebration.
We decided we didn’t need a day to make us prove our mutual admiration or remind us of our love for one another. I see it every day in his actions and behavior. I see it in the way he loves and takes care of his family, the sacrifices he makes on a regular basis, and even how every morning he kisses me goodbye and, most importantly, makes sure coffee is made before leaving the house.
I’ll take this over a day full of flowers, cards, chocolates or even the most obnoxiously large stuffed animal any day.
This post was originally published on Bless This Beautiful Mess.