Christmas has ended and all of the sudden my senses are assaulted with all that is pink, red, and over-the-top lovey dovey! It’s that dreaded holiday Valentine’s Day. Yep, you heard it right, “dreaded”. I do not like Valentine’s Day.
You may think “she must be single that is why because she never gets anything.” Nope, I am happily married. “Then, she never got Valentine’s during school”. Again, nope. I always got loads of Valentine’s from classmates, crushes, boyfriends, and my lovely mother. “Well, why in the world do you dislike Valentine’s Day?”. Why you ask?
When I was younger I saw Valentine’s Day as a day of getting gifts. My mom always made a big deal of Valentine’s day. Honestly, she made a big deal about any holiday. I would get stuffed animals holding hearts, flowers, chocolates, and love enamored cards. The works! I never questioned the holiday. Why question something where you get stuff?
As I got older this question started to dawn upon me… “Why would we only take one day a year to celebrate our love for one another?” That question has mulled around in my mind for many years though I continued to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
When I was young (21) I married my first husband. He had many downfalls to his personality and one was never showing his love for me unless it was a special occasion like Valentine’s Day. I never got sweet messages, flowers, candy, a meal cooked, nothing. The only times I got something was if I prompted him, repeatedly. Then, it felt like such an empty gesture. There were times where I just bought myself flowers to make me feel better. The special holidays, the ones where it is practically written in stone that you must give affectionate gifts, quickly become ridiculously important to me. I yearned for those days where I would feel loved in what soon was becoming a loveless marriage.
The marriage ended before we even reached our two year anniversary.
Soon after I met the man that would become my husband and my world was rocked to its core. I would come home and there were flowers waiting for me. “Why did you get me flowers?” I would ask. “Because I love you.” was his response. It didn’t stop at flowers. He would leave me cards with sweet notes, buy my favorite candy because I had a bad day, do the dishes without even a hint about them needing to be done, and so many more things. All of these things “because I love you”.
You might say “well, you just haven’t been use to this kind of affection.” Yes, my ex didn’t do these kinds of things but my mother did. I can’t count the times growing up I opened a bag, went down to the bathroom in the morning, or came home to a note telling me how much my mom loved me, a small gift, or just a Hershey’s kiss. She still sends me cards in the mail just “because” to this day. Even my mother-in-law sends us cards too! Neither my husband or I have doubts that our families love us.
With my husband it isn’t an one-way street either. I would do things for him to show my love. Leave him notes, buy his favorite snacks, on a few occasions buy him flowers (which was a very interesting reaction the first time I did this), bring the trash cans back from the curb, and many other small things. My husband knows through my regular actions that I love him.
When the holidays came around, the ones where it says you must give loving gifts, started to feel awkward. I knew my husband would get my something. I had no doubt. The holidays began to feel scripted, forced. The gifts felt almost disingenuous because I knew that I would be getting them. There was no surprise.
This Christmas we decided to just get what we wanted without any pretense of a surprise. We did it weeks before Christmas since we would be travelling. I wondered as Christmas approached how I would feel about not getting an unknown gift all wrapped up in mystery Christmas morning. Would I feel upset, disappointed, sad, or cheated out of the “spirit of Christmas”? Christmas came and went and I didn’t feel any of those things. I had no doubts of my husband’s love. Everything went on as normal.
After Christmas when I wasn’t able to go to the store without being constantly reminded of the upcoming red and hearts holiday I decided to tell my husband I didn’t want to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year. At first he was very apprehensive. “I’ve heard of other women saying this but when the day comes they get mad because they didn’t get anything.” Nope, not me. I was serious. After many days of discussing this idea I finally had him understanding that it wasn’t some trick. That I was being extremely honest that I did not want to celebrate if he felt the same way. Once he truly understood he agreed wholeheartedly that this was a good idea. We showed our love all throughout the year without anyone telling us to do so. Why did we need to do what society expected us to do?
We don’t and we won’t.
We will not be celebrating Valentine’s Day.