Well, it’s Valentine’s Day. I considered writing today's blog about the history of the holiday, but here’s a good piece from NPR on that topic. I thought maybe I’d share my thoughts on how florists, retailers, and restaurants have turned a simple day of celebrating love into an opportunity to market to everyone, from seniors to preschoolers. But I guess you can probably figure out my opinion on the subject from that statement alone.
Honestly, though, I have nothing against Valentine’s Day—we send our Grandboy a greeting each February 14 because the cards and the kid are both so stinkin’ cute, and I’ve made construction paper valentines for Husband and even spent money on romantic cards. This morning, we’ll have mimosas at breakfast and tonight, we’ll make an especially nice dinner, open a bottle of wine, and probably light a candle between us on the table. But we do that pretty regularly anyway.
It’s just that we don’t break the bank on chocolates, flowers, or a fancy dining experience. I always resented the whole valentine exchange thing when I was in school and I hated my kid having to do it. To me, Valentine’s Day is a lot like wedding anniversaries--private--and I appreciate how the French reserve the day exclusively for lovers. They don’t make their preschoolers sign twenty-five cards for their classmates, they don’t expect to send flowers and gifts to their moms or grandmeres . . . instead, it’s a day for lovers to celebrate their relationships. A time for two people who’ve committed their lives to each other to show a little extra care without any expectations or demands for jewelry or pricey lingerie or ski weekends.
A little extra care—mimosas for breakfast or dessert for supper when dessert isn’t usual or a bottle of wine you’ve been saving for a special occasion. Or maybe just a couple of special kisses before you go to sleep on February 14.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody.