Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I Like Valentine's Day - So Sue Me

So I didn't want to post an update to the Unicorn sagas on Valentine's Day. Apparently, from all the blog posts I read, single people REALLY REALLY hate Valentine's Day. And as it turns out, coupled and married people do too. Being reminded you are alone or the pressure to give something great and do something nice, the cost, threat of cavities from all the candy, not to mention all the pink and the red -- OH THE HORROR!!!!!!

I have to say this all really surprised me. I've always had a Valentine. Whether it be my parents, my classmates (when you're little and every makes their own construction paper, white doily heart mailboxes), my girl friends, my single friends or yes, many times my boyfriends. But regardless of the company I've kept, I've always liked VDay. So what if its a corporate holiday and corporations trying to sell shit? So what else is new? What's wrong with taking the time out to be nice to one another? And eat candy or chocolates? And wear pink? I don't see the problem here. Then again I'm always a sucker for any occasion to eat gluttonous food accompanied by drinking an inappropriate amount of champagne.

I think I'm allowed to say that I don't understand what the big deal is here? I know, I know - I had a Valentine's Day boyfriend this year - a great one - but still - I didn't have a boyfriend for Valentine's Day 2007, 2008 or 2009. 3 years of apparently sad and lonely single VDays at the ages of 24, 25 and 26. Prime mid-twenties dating years. Seriously. So I can say for certain - that I don't understand why VDay makes singles soooooo unsure of themselves and feel oh so bad they're single. I mean I guess you either feel inadequate and depressed about it all the time. Or you don't. But why is Vday any different?

My parents were married on Valentine's Day 35 years ago. In Washington, D.C. Their home and mine. VDay to me was always a celebration of the strong marriage my loving and supportive parents had for with one another and for the love they had for their children within the family that they built out of that marriage. My father still calls my mother "the love of his life." My mother is hopeful that I will find my own "true love." And they both refer to their marriage as "strong as a rock." Thus, Valentine's Day REALLY meant something to them, to me and to us (our family). Ergo, my mom always gave my brother and I treats. One year, my mom gave me a beaded necklace with lettered beads that spelled out my name. Another year we went and got manicures and pedicures. There were always Hallmark cards and bowls of those hard candy hearts. This year, my grandmother sent me a package from California with a red heart shaped card and one of those red heart-shaped box of chocolates. You know the one - the one where all the chocolates suck and you're always disappointed by the strange fillings in each one and thus end up having one bite of each and throwing the rest out. But hey, it's the thought that counts.

I had a Valentine this year. But we wouldn't spend Valentine's Day together. Not exactly. And it didn't matter. (You'll have to read A Date with A Unicorn: Part 19 to get the scoop. B/c that's how I roll...) Ultimately though, I like taking the extra day and the extra time to put in some extra effort to think about those special people in my life and to do something nice for them. But its not a day to make any one feel bad. And its not a day to spend money you don't have or put pressure on someone for not doing enough. To me its a day that reminds me that "true love" exists in the form of my parent's marriage. Which makes me happy for them. And hopeful for myself.


WashingTina said...

I never understood the hatred for it. Sure, I'm married now, but I spent all of my high school and college years (and much of my 20s) without a Valentine. I still always got cards from my parents, grandparents, and friends. It's fun. It's an excuse to eat candy.

BUT! Here's what I don't like. When you go out to dinner on Valentine's Day, most restaurants have the damn pre fixe menu. You can't order off the regular menu, so you're sucked into a $100+ dinner, even if all you wanted was a taco and a margarita. That part does suck!

Sassy Marmalade said...

Hey, my parents were married on Valentine's Day, too! I was telling someone yesterday - who was bitching about how much they hate the holiday - that I think it has a lot to do with why I love it so. My Mom always made a big deal out of Valentine's Day - even this year, my parents sent a card to The Dude and I, with a hefty note inside, telling us to make sure we put the money towards something left on our "bucket" list. So sweet!

But it's been that way all my life and most of those years, I haven't had a boyfriend on VDay. But I've always enjoyed sending a little love, eating candy and celebrating the color pink, whether it's for family and friends or a significant other. :)

Tricia said...

I've always had a guy in my life on VDay since I was 16. While I can definitely see how VDay is special to you and your family (and for very good reason!), I've never been a fan of the holiday (obvs if you read yesterday's blog post of mine). We all have our own opinions, and I respect each one's rightfully so. But I'm not one to blow up FB or Twitter to exploit my feelings like many people seemed to do yesterday. To me, it's just another day. And while my boyfriend may have been in SC yesterday (which he felt badly about), I told him it made no mind or matter to me. Being with him is enough, as was getting to speak with him for a precious few minutes last night and wishing each other a "Happy Valentine's Day" and "I miss you; see you soon".

I'm glad people appreciate each other, and I feel it should be shown, but I'm the kind of girl who would rather have things like that performed on a regular so that I can feel appreciated year round (which I currently do and which I seem to think you do as well with Mr. U).

So, what I'm trying to say is, EVERY DAY IS VALENTINE'S DAY FOR US! :)

bupkiss said...

Yeah, I'm a VDay hater. To me there's already a day to celebrate love and your relationship, and that's your anniversary (whether wedding or dating). When it's this mass ritual it can feel forced, like it's this obligation to give displays of affections, which is not romantic.

But it occurs to me that getting married on Valentine's Day could actually be a brilliant way to actually wipe out this horrid holiday. That way, every year on Feb 14, you can celebrate your ANNIVERSARY, and when you see all of the pink and flowers and chocolate everywhere, you can say to yourselves, "Huh? I wonder what that's all about? Maybe the WHOLE WORLD is just really happy for us!!"

And hopefully you don't get divorced cause then the day is really ruined for you.

Paulette said...

I love Valentine's day. It reminds me of being a little girl and exchanging cards and candy with all my schoolmates. And it always will, relationship status notwithstanding.

Toddy said...

Washingtina- I completely agree. I like holidays. Being celebratory. Wearing a particular color like pink/red on Vday, green on St Pattys, red/white/blue on 4the July. Eating whatever the holiday food is be it cookies or beer or Kings Cake or bbq or halloween candy. But yes I can see how nice/romantic things being overly priced or over the top could be annoying.

Sassy- love the parental anniversary coincidence. very cool.

Tricia- I've read your post and its definitely a good point about how SOs should act all the time and not on VDay, I guess my point is that I dont see Vday as a day JUST for SOs but a day to be lovey dovey and sweet to everyone! And also, I didn't spend the actual day with my boyfriend either. We did head into work together and then I got a couple of short but sweet emails. Thats it.

Bupkiss- I see what you are saying about mass ritual and forced but I guess I've also been a "When in Rome...do as the Romans do." Vday is here to stay so we might as well enjoy it not hate on it. My personal philosophy anyways.

Paulette - 100% agree. Those classroom Vdays sharing those little square cartoon/teenybopper themed valentines are my fondest memories of the holiday. Such a cute tradition. Just noticed you have a blog. Looking forward to checking it out.

Cheers to all! -T.

Sarah said...

I am glad I got to read a positive account for the day. Thank you!

I guess I've been programmed to believe that men hate it and therefore it feels like a burden to the rest of us.

J said...

I'm with you on the Vday love! To me it just seems like a good excuse to do nice things for yourself and for others, significant others or not. And any day that promotes chocolate and baked goods is fine by me.

Toddy said...

Sarah- thanks for your first comment on my blog and glad I could help! I've just started reading yours. Its great albeit a bit Sylvia Plath-ish. Cheer up girl! As to men hating it - so the fuck what really? How much wonderful stuff do you think women do all the time for them and put up with for them? They can buy us a damn card and be nice to us because WE WANT them to. How hard is that? On the other hand, I sort of knew I cared more about Vday than my bf, so I did all the work. I cooked a really romantic dinner for us at my place and all he had to do was show up and make time for me. And talk to me and listen to me and he did some other things for me. But yeah. I wanted something special. I created it. For myself. I even told him I had done it 60% for him but 40% for myself. so there you go...

J- I am soooo with you. When is an increase in baked goods ever a bad thing?

Susanlee said...

So with ya sister. As far as I'm concerned Valentine's is a day to celebrate flowers and chocolate and pink and love (romantic or otherwise). Nothing wrong with any of those things.

singlegirlie said...

Honey, you shouldn't have to apologize for liking Vday or anything else and no one is going to sue you. If you like it, you like it, and if you don't, you don't. Either way, it's your choice and no one should judge you for it. I personally am not a fan, for many reasons. Same with a lot of others. And that's okay.

Anonymous said...

I'm just going to ditto singlegirlie's comment and leave it at that!

Toddy said...

Susanlee, Singlegirlie and Quarter- thanks for commenting. It just goes to show ya - to each his own -and it takes all kind to make up the world. Keeps things interesting that's for sure. At any rate, there isn't another V-day for almost a whole other year. So that's that...well...almost...I haven't written about my Valentine's Day yet. Check out a Date with a Unicorn Part 19 for the scoop. :-)

Cheers, T.