So, Valentine’s Day

I grew up in a house where we did not celebrate “greeting card” holidays. No Mother’s day, Father’s day, definitely no Valentine’s Day. My dad just did not believe in it and as kids we ignored my mom on this subject and did what my dad said was right. He wasn’t right, not on this subject, not at all. It is good to pause and remember the people around us, who are in our lives and matter to us. I get that lots of flowers and chocolates get sold, but I don’t think that is the most important thing about Valentine’s Day. The most important thing about Valentine’s Day is letting the person you love, or like a lot, know that you feel that way. You really should not wait for Valentine’s Day, or Mother’s Day or Grandparent’s Day. You should be telling those people all  the time, but at the very least you should do something to show they are special on that day.

My dad was not trying to be a jerk and I think that many of the men (and yes it is usually the men) who resist Valentine’s Day are not trying to be jerks. Some of them are jerks, but many are not trying to be that.  They are trying to resist a culture that tells us to over do everything. “Don’t just get her chocolates, buy her a diamond…or a car!” Resisting culture is perhaps a good thing, we can debate that another time, but don’t resist culture at the expense of the people you love. That is not jerky, but it is foolish. In relationships both sides need to feel valued and special, or they seek that elsewhere.

I love my wife, very much. This year I did not buy her flowers (not her favorite thing anyway), I did not buy her chocolates either. I did make her a cheesy/funny card (but I forgot it at work). What I did was to make her a gift, I put thought into it, I tried to make it special, it didn’t come out as nicely as I wanted, but I still gave it to her. It didn’t cost me much except time and thought, but I wanted her to know today and everyday, that she is important to me, that I still, today, after 17 years, choose her. I want her to be my special someone as long as she will have me. It is funny that sometimes it takes the prompting of a special day for us to remember to say the things we mean. I hope that she knows, and that I tell her in ways that mean something to her, how important she is to me, how much better my life is for having her in it, that I would choose no other for this journey we are on. I hope she knows that already, but at the very, very, very least, I am going to make sure she hears it today.

Sure Valentine’s Day is a greeting card holiday, sure we have the romantic gesture shoved down our throats, and sure some of us kind of dislike that, but don’t take a stand and discover you hurt the person who is most important in your life. She likes flowers, does it really hurt to get her some? To have them sent to her place of work so she can let others know that you value her? Is that wrong? She likes chocolate (and really who doesn’t), is it so bad to go and buy something before they go on sale so that she knows you value her more than money? She likes jewelry, is it so bad to watch for something that might catch her eye and get it early in anticipation of how she will feel when you give it to her?

I love my wife, and I didn’t spend money this year, but I was not taking a stand, I was trying to show her how I feel in a different way. The money is irrelevant to this. I wanted to express something and tried to find a way to do that. I hope I succeeded.

Go thou and do likewise!

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