Late last night, I stopped by the grocery store for some throat coat tea. It’s been one of those winters. I was completely shocked and not the least bit surprised to find masses of cut flowers, a full length aisle of pink-themed (non-fair trade) candy, bunches of huge home decoration items (including those giant inflatable lawn balloons), and more. Really, more. I didn’t even notice if there were silly, pre-printed cards, but I guess the holiday isn’t what it was when I was in elementary school.
I don’t get Valentine’s Day.
A very kind friend who doesn’t know me very well sent me cut flowers. I hate cut flowers. When the delivery guy brought them to the door and I said, “Why?” he seemed confused. I had to fight the urge to dump them directly on the compost. They are sitting there ignored but for me rolling my eyes at them periodically. Tomorrow, I am going to call her and tell her, with 100% sincerity, how much I appreciate the thought. But, what to say about the flowers?
I have trained my husband not to respond to pressure to buy me anything. No pink candy. No heart-shaped diamonds (as if!). No cut flowers. No greeting cards. He’s welcome to bring me chocolate any day, as long as it isn’t every day, but I seldom take that as a sign of love. My husband’s friends and colleagues never believe him when he tells them that we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. (“Dude, you’d better get something on the way home or you’re going to be in trouble.”) But, we don’t.
Other than a welcome opportunity to spread love through little notes of gratitude, the point of this holiday eludes me. I absolutely adore my husband, but what a pathetic wife I would be if this were the only time I said so. I might whisper in his ear, “Will you be my Valentine?” but I didn’t buy him anything. I didn’t even make him anything. I just love him all of the time.
If you love the holiday and you love the people around you, please celebrate! Spreading love is always good. If you can soften my somewhat cynical and somewhat anti-consumerist heart with the reason why you celebrate, I welcome it. Leave a comment. I will listen. But, please don’t send me any flowers.
In the meantime, I don’t think I’ll mention it to my kids. For them, it’s just another buy-seasonal-stuff holiday where you see colored candy at the grocery store. Those things play around the edges of our reality without really coming in.