February 14th. Valentine’s Day. Sentimental holiday or corporate commercial juggernaut? I think, for a lot of us, it’s a bigger deal the younger you are, and that significance can diminish as you get older. I’m pretty confident that this day single-handedly keeps Hallmark in business (according to their research, over 188 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually).
I have many friends who go all-out on this date every year, and conversely, I also know many who are in relationships and don’t do much of anything to celebrate it. I’m of the belief that if you want to do something to commemorate it, then go for it. It shouldn’t be a requirement, however, and anyone who makes a big fuss over not doing enough on Valentine’s Day probably isn’t worth your time anyway (we can start a whole other blog soliciting me for relationship advice – THAT should be swell…).
I proposed to my girlfriend of nearly 2 years on Valentine’s Day of 1997. I know. “Go big or go home”. I was young and stupid. When you’re that age, you don’t think about how you’ll look back years later and realize that doing such a thing on a day like Valentine’s Day is so cliche and just ridiculous. It’s okay – that relationship clearly didn’t last.
Valentine’s Day 2005 was the first VD since 1996 that I didn’t have someone to spend it with, and that was my own doing. My stupidity and selfishness took a 4+ year relationship and broke the foundation of it. For that VD, I went and got a tattoo to tie in with the occasion. The left side reads “broken-hearted” (for both how she felt at the end of things, as well as how I ultimately felt for making HER feel that way). The right side reads “spiritual awakening” (an eye-opener for what I’d done, and to not do the same in the future).
To me, Valentine’s Day is what you make of it, ultimately. I’ve gone to movies. I’ve had sit-down dinners in sushi restaurants. I’ve sat around in a hotel room and listened to Dee Snider’s “House Of Hair” with someone I’d known online for over a year but only had met in-person 2 days prior after driving 4 hours to do so. Gotta love the internet.
What am I doing for Valentine’s Day this year? I won’t disclose the details just yet, so as not to potentially tip her off. Let’s just say that my approach is “simple, but memorable”. The two things I’m looking forward to this afternoon and evening are seeing/hearing her reaction to what I’ve set up for her, and to get all the details from our daughter’s Valentine’s Day class party at daycare.
Whatever you’re doing for today, whoever you’re doing it with, no matter how big or how little, hopefully you enjoy it.
(updated 2/15/2013, 8:45am)
Now that Valentine’s Day has passed, I can disclose the details of yesterday’s plan. Since work schedules have my fiancee arriving home from work before our daughter and I do, I left her a scavenger hunt to work with once she got home. The hunt took her into every room of our home except one, and rewarded her with five different pairs of earrings. Once the two of us got home to meet her, she was given her other gift – a rose made of Legos. A rose that will never die.