I must confess when I read the topics for this month's Marriage Monday ("Top Ten Tips For the Ultimate Valentine's Celebration" or "My Most Memorable Valentine's Day Ever"), a little growl slipped out. I've never been a fan of Valentine's Day. For so many years it was only a reminder that I didn't have a "valentine" and once I did fall in love it seemed overrated. Call me a grouch, but most holidays gear us up for things that rarely materialize and Valentine's Day is no exception. We set ourselves up for disappointment. We dream of romantic getaways without the bank account to support it. We envision moonlit walks, holding hands and talking for hours and then we get outside and freeze our bejeebers off. We imagine steamy nights which, more often than not, are preceded by a day so crammed full all we feel like steaming once we finally can is milk.
I don't like what it does to me either, giving me expectations. Those jewelry store commercials get me thinking I would like diamonds. And when is he going to whisk me off to Paris for dinner? I dream of flowers and sappy cards and candlelit dinners where he showers me with adoration and simply can't take his eyes off of me. I start yearning for extravagant gifts I know he won't buy because he knows my practical side would hyperventilate if he actually brought it home. I look for and think about things I normally wouldn't. It doesn't seem quite fair, does it? Do we have to do this to ourselves?
I guess I don't understand why we need a special day to proclaim our love for each other. Why do we need to celebrate it when we live it every day? To me the perfect Valentine's Day is free of hype and expectations. It would be any old ordinary day that my husband showed me he truly loved me without provocation from a commercial world. It means more to me when he brings home flowers because I "seem a little down" than when the holiday dictates it. I find it kind of romantic that nearly every week he asks me out to lunch and even though it's only lunch, it feels like a date with his asking (which is why I always wear perfume and lipstick). I prefer his "I love you"s accompanied by a lingering hug, every single day, than the same sentiment expressed in a card for Valentine's Day. And Paris, who needs Paris when unexpected steamy nights (and sometimes lunch dates!) occur right at home. . .ooh la la?!
It's my prayer that we don't wait for Valentine's Day to celebrate our love. I pray we give each other the same consideration every day, not just when it's expected.
And to my dear, sweet husband, Wanna do lunch?
For more valentine ideas, check out Chrysalis.