Boycotting Valentine’s Day

I hate Valentine’s Day. HATE IT. To me, it’s the most offensive holiday ever invented. Men are bombarded by advertisements for everything from jewelry stores to flower delivery to stuffed animals and crappy pajamas, all in an effort to say “You aren’t capable enough to be romantic on your own, so we’re going to stick a date on the calendar in order to force you into it.”

Valentine’s Day is the equivalent of telling your husband or boyfriend, ‘You know, it would be nice if you brought me flowers’ and having him come home from work with them that very day. That’s not romance; that’s coercion.

Valentine’s Day is about guys making Grand Gestures and overspending for things that we really don’t need. Teddy bears? Heart-shaped filigree pendants? Ugly pajamas?

And the worst part is that women buy into it! We have expectations for receiving presents from our significant others just because American Greetings and Hallmark like to pepper the airwaves with vignettes suggesting that men can’t possibly think of their wives and girlfriends on their own.

Now I’m not suggesting that people who celebrate Valentine’s Day are automatically unromantic. I’m simply stating that romance is about more than picking one arbitrary day and placing importance on something that should be part of your relationship year round.

You know what’s romantic? My husband makes sure that I have money in my wallet, gas in the tank of the van, and windshield wiper fluid. He scrapes the snow off my van and asks if I need anything from the outside refrigerator. He shovels the sidewalk and puts down salt to make sure that I don’t fall. He brings me a beer and builds a fire so that we can sit and talk about our day while I knit. He tells me my hair is pretty (when it isn’t) and that he likes my face when I’m not wearing a stitch of makeup. He offers constructive criticism on my meals and calls to thank me for packing his breakfast and lunch every day.

That, my friends, is romance. It cannot be shouted from the radio or played out in a sappy television commercial. Real romance is the bond that makes you want to do for your spouse, to give to them, to make their needs and wants important to you. Romance is in the small details of daily life, not just in the grand gestures of holidays.

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