I never was a big fan of the ‘holiday’. As a kid it was sweet – exchanging little tiny Valentine’s Day cards and making paper hearts.
As a teen, it was a painful day – whether or not I was dating someone. Alone as a teen on Valentine’s Day, your friends with boyfriends ditched you HARD. If you did have a date for the day, it was accompanied by a goofy card that was completely inappropriate (…pledging your eternal love? WTH? I’m 16!) and really corny, cheap gifts because that’s all a 16 year old boy can afford. Totally worth the effort though, especially when your non-boyfriend-having friends see your oh-so-shiny heart necklace with diamond chips dangling around your neck. I actually got ‘married’ once on V-Day. I was 15, and the roller rink I was at 3x a week – hey, it was the 80s – had a V-Day party complete with mock wedding ceremonies.
Fast forward to my early 20s. My head is still filled with the notion of a Hallmark Holiday. It all seems possible with the current boyfriend. Instead I get dumped via a phone call. The next year about a month before V-Day he and I get back together, and make dinner plans for the ‘big day.’ He’s an hour late to get me and not answering his phone (this was before cell phones folks). I’m all gussied up waiting in my living room only to have him pull up in his car – with another girl in the passenger seat hiding. He comes to the door, tells me he’s sick (but is all dressed up) and walks away. Crushed does not even begin to cover it.
From that day on I have always worn black, and even if dating, avoided doing anything *on* the 14th.
Enter my husband. When we first started dating 11 years ago, he took me out for dinner ON V-Day, although I remember strongly recommending against it. No dice. But I did wear all black! The restaurant we went to was crowded of course, and a clumsy guy at the bar kept bumping into me and spilling his drink on my shoes as he tried to look cool to his date. I, in my typical self, totally FLIP OUT on this guy in front of his date – and mine. I swig down some straight vodka and finish the evening as quickly as I can. In hindsight, if my date didn’t go running and screaming to the door, I should have known right then and there he was ‘the one’ for me.
Two years later the amazing guy that didn’t take off after our V-Day dinner from hell proposes to me. ON VALENTINE’S DAY. I told him that he could propose ANY DAY BUT THAT DAY. No dice. He takes me out for a great dinner, and at dessert reads me a poem he wrote for me and gives me a ring. Best decision in my life, even if it was on Valentine’s Day.
Up until maybe two years ago, I still always had it in my heart that I would finally get this whirlwind day packed full of flowers (not roses!), dinner, candies and romance. I never did get that but find I’m much more practical now and don’t really want/need those things. I’m much happier with a hand drawn card from my daughter and spending some time alone with my husband. For that, my mom is watching the kids Saturday so he and I can go to dinner alone and have a conversation like adults.
This year my husband is getting me a new cell phone, and I think that ROCKS (he knows what I like)! Plus it lasts way longer than flowers and doesn’t make my ass fat like candy.
I’m not exactly anti-Valentine’s Day, but more Valentine’s Challenged, as I’ve bungled it far more than I’ve scored.
Didn’t matter if it was with my mom, my girlfriends, my ex-wife or my girlfriend since.
About ten years ago I accidentally found a local pizza joint that makes a killer heart-shaped Sicilian pie for the occasion, and ever since, I’ve been a huge hit with my kids. 😉
Happy Valentines Day, Lynette.