Recently, I had a conversation with some others about Valentine’s Day.
The conclusion: We all think it’s dumb.
I’m married to the love of my life, and we stopped “doing” Valentine’s Day many years ago.
It got to be too much with having babies at home and fighting insane crowds of people for a table and an okay meal.
Plus, I can get two giant jars of Nutella for $12 that will last
four days a while, instead of spending inordinate amounts of money on gamble chocolates that most likely have coconut (or toothpaste) filling.
In my younger, more stubborn days, I used Valentine’s Day as a test. How much does he really love me? Let’s see what he does for Valentine’s Day…
Of course I applied that same testing formula to our anniversary, my birthday, Christmas….
Believe it or not, there were days (years) I believed my marriage was only ever about me and how loved Hubs could make me feel.
Valentine’s Day, I’m sure at some point, was a day to do something extra special for the love in your life. It has become, however, a day of exorbitant expectations, competitive pressure, and senseless spending.
Thankfully, I’ve grown up a bit since our early married days. I don’t need to test Hubs anymore to see if he loves me “enough”. I don’t need special candies or flowers to feel secure in how much he cares for me. I don’t need certain days set aside each year for him to prove by card or candlelight I still matter to him.
I see how much he loves our kids when he plays with or snuggles them. I see how much he loves his family when he works so hard to keep us cared for.
I see how much he loves me when I come home from appointments or events and he has washed the dishes or even folded laundry.
He proves his love for me when he reaches across the littered console of the mamavan to hold my hand while he’s driving.
He proofs all my columns and business web copy, even when he knows I don’t like his (often very helpful) suggested edits.
(I usually don’t ask him to proof blog posts, however – you get what you get here.)
He listens to my audacious ideas and encourages my lofty pursuits. He believes in me, even – and especially – when my own self-confidence is lacking.
I don’t need a fancy card or a sugar rush or a gift to understand my husband is every bit the man I always prayed for.
And for Hubs? He couldn’t care less if he has another card to open. He doesn’t have his heart set on getting chocolate or power tools or a night out. (Well, he might really want the power tools…)
I know Hubs is perfectly content spending Valentine’s Day with all of his loves, snuggled up on the sofa reading a book out loud, or playing Carcassonne, or destroying me in a game of Pinochle.
He’ll take a home-cooked meal over a 45-minute wait to be seated any day, and my homemade pumpkin cake with cream-cheese frosting is a preferred favorite over any potential coconut filled chocolate.
If Valentine’s Day is your jam – I’m glad. I’m glad you have a day that’s fun and special for you, and I hope you establish meaningful traditions to keep spending time together.
For us, though, it’s less about a day on the calendar, and more about an intentional practice the whole year through.
I’m thankful for every day Hubs shows me and the kids just how much he loves us, and hope I do an okay enough job showing him throughout the year, too.