Monday, February 11, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day...Well, Sort of

Growing up, like all little girls, I loved Valentine’s Day..or the promise of having a grown up valentine of my own one day. Red roses, shiny jewelry, heart-shaped boxes covered in pink satin and filled with decadent treats. What’s not to love?

Maybe being married for so long to such a practical guy has rubbed off on me, but I came to the conclusion a long time ago that Valentine’s Day is the most offensive, insincere excuse for a holiday there ever was. Card companies, jewelry stores, fancy restaurants and florists aside, who is really benefiting from this tradition?

Romance is delightful and every effort should be made to keep it alive and well in marriage every day. If you need a special day on the calendar to spice things up or show a little extra sweetness to the one you love, maybe that money would be better spent on counseling or a good book on improving your marriage.

My husband and I don’t exactly boycott V Day, but we sort of ignore it. We both think it’s dumb. Early in our marriage he said to me, “I’d rather not send you flowers on Valentine’s Day because it feels like I’m fulfilling an obligation rather than fulfilling an impulse to demonstrate my feelings for you.” Fortunately he sends flowers and does lots of sweet, impulsive, romantic things throughout the year. I’d hate to be a woman that just can’t wait for that one special day each year when her husband steps up and makes a romantic gesture simply because it’s expected. Marriage can’t possibly be sustained by romance. It’s all about the F words: forgiveness, faith and fortitude.

While it is a secular holiday, the sentiment surrounding it is love. God is love, so why not take that day to show love to those in your life who don’t have a “Valentine” to remind them they are special throughout the year. Single friends will enjoy being remembered and included on this day. At least put a positive twist on an otherwise cheesy holiday. Hope I didn’t burst your big heart-shaped bubble!

Diane Markins

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

All I have to say is "Right On!" I was raised by that practical guy so I have never been the biggest fan of Valentine's Day. To me it is a day for retailers to make money, kids to get hyped up on sugar then sent home to their parents, and people who aren't in a relationship to feel sorry for themselves! All in all nothing about love or true romance. Like you said, those things can not be forced or they are not at all genuine! The randomness and unexpeced are the best part of a relationship, not the scheduled Hallmark holiday!