The Valentine’s Day Grinch

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sexandrelationships.com

Roses are red,
Bacon is red,

Bacon.

With a week to go until Valentine’s Day my social networking feeds are becoming filled with sweet messages of love and ideas for gifts…

Oh joy.

Before I begin, I would like to make it clear that I love love. I love being in love, reading romantic stories and watching romantic films. I’m an advocate for all things heartfelt and passionate and while I don’t believe in the idea of ‘soulmates’ I truly believe that there is somebody out there for everybody. I love celebrations and holidays and I look forward to them every year.

However, there is one particular celebration that I dislike: Valentine’s Day. I am the Valentine’s Day Grinch.

I’ll never forget the jealousy I felt when my friend received an enormous anonymous card on her doorstep. It was beautiful, with ‘Will you be my Valentine?’ carefully written on the inside. I was 13 years old and had gone to her house after school for dinner – we heard the sound of the letterbox and there it was, staring at me.

“Who’s it from?” I asked, forcing a smile.

“I’ve no idea!” she squealed at me. (To this day, she still doesn’t have a clue who sent it).

I tried to be happy for her, but secretly I was suppressing a desire to punch her in the face. Why didn’t I get one? What was wrong with me?

This scenario, however childish, is just one of the many reasons why I don’t like Valentine’s Day, despite being in a committed relationship for years. In many circumstances the day serves as a huge slap-in-the-face reminder to single people that they haven’t met ‘The One’ yet, and while most of my single friends in their 30’s are past the point of caring, there are still plenty of those that do. Since the middle of January I have read posts from single bloggers with advice for preparing to spend the day ‘alone.’ I dislike the fact that some are made to believe that their self-worth is defined by their relationship status, and I dislike the pressure that the day often puts on our male counterparts, particularly in the younger generations.

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
I can’t rhyme,
Refrigerator.

However, scientific studies (and by scientific, I mean I asked my friends – I’m sure there are far more scientific studies out there however) have shown that couples equally dislike everything that the day has come to represent. In the shops the masses of Christmas tat is replaced with Valentine’s tat, accompanied by a sea of red cards as soon as the holidays are over, advertisements for flowers, chocolates and cuddly toys appear everywhere and the inevitable conversation between The Bloke and I happens at the end of January:

“Are we doing anything for Valentine’s Day this year?”

“We can if you like, but I’m not that bothered.”

“Me neither. Shall we just stay in?”

“Yeah, fine by me.”

“Are we doing the card thing?”

“Yeah, we can do the card thing, but let’s leave the presents. The vet/car/council tax bill is due next week.”

“Ok.”

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brucesallen.com

Most couples always start with good intentions and the excitement of the ‘Honeymoon Period’ is all consuming. I’ve been there on several occasions and those times have been the most exhilarating of my life. The first date, the first kiss, the first ‘I love you’ and everything else in between is a magical experience and everything the new spouse does or says is music to the soul. Family and friends start to roll their eyes as you regale them with yet another story of how wonderful/funny/sweet this person is and the passing of time seems to drag when you aren’t in their company.

However, after a while, life inevitably gets in the way. The cute little underwear bought to impress starts to morph into enormous knickers and sexy night dresses become flannel pyjamas. The hair goes up and the make-up comes off. What is left is essentially the real versions of ourselves.

While I love love, I condradict myself in that real life I am not an overly romantic person and I resent the fact that on this one particular day I am expected to be, in essence, ‘romantic.’ Yet February 14th has no connection for me and The Bloke – our anniversary is in November. What if we’re not in the mood that day? What if one of us is ill, or we’ve had a bad day at work. What if I have a stack of marking that needs to be completed?

I appreciate that the positive message behind it is that it is important to take the time to show your loved one that you care and before I start receiving indignant messages I am certainly not begrudging or judging anybody who wishes to go all out on Valentine’s Day, but the real us shouldn’t have to wait for a specific day of the year to demonstrate our feelings in the form of a hurriedly bought gift that has been picked up on the weekly shop. Of course, I’m generalising here, but shouldn’t we try to show our other half how much they mean to us as often as possible rather than on a day that has been created for the purposes of consumerism?

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Here’s a poem,
Now shut your face.

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Dryicons.com

The Bloke runs me a bath in a morning before work. When I’ve had a crap day he cooks me dinner and rubs my feet. Β He would buy me flowers, but the cats take it upon themselves to eat them. He records TV programmes that he think I’ll like. We surprise each other with little gifts, cards and date nights. My family and friends like him and the cats worship him. On the rare occasions when I return home from a night out after consuming my entire body weight in alcohol he politely ignores my endless wittering and then brings me breakfast in bed the next day to help with my inevitable hangover. We’re occasionally grumpy and can snap at each other, and at times he’s the most irritating person I’ve ever met. We’ve seen the best and the worst of each other. It isn’t perfect, but regardless of whether the day has been good or bad, I know that he’s the person that I want to wake up to each morning. I am an extremely difficult person to live with, he’s a very patient man and I’m very lucky.

However, I don’t need the validation of being given a card once a year to prove that I am worthy of being loved.

So Valentine’s Day, quite frankly, can kiss my foot.

What about you guys? Do you go all out for Valentines’s Day? Does it depress you every year, or do you just simply ignore it?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog

43 thoughts on “The Valentine’s Day Grinch

  1. I always thought of Valentine’s day as more of day for those who were dating or newly in love. I do think after you’ve been together for awhile (try 26 years) that you don’t need all that. Romance kind-of falls by the wayside. Don’t get me wrong – we’re romantic and we love each other. Life gets in the way of all that smushy gushy stuff sometimes.

  2. I have never bothered with Valentines Day, as a teenager I was A) To shy to speak to girls, so I never sent a card B) I Never received one.
    Don’t get me wrong there were plenty of girls I wanted to send a card to and wanted to ask out but I was a very shy person where the opposite sex was concern, I just fumbled, tongue tied and my bladder wanted to empty!.
    Then I met my future wife 30th November 1981 and we were married 13th February 1982 (No she wasn’t pregnant) So because our anniversary is the day before we have never bothered with it.
    I was introduced to her by my NCO who knew her and she told him that she fancied me as she had seen me in the local pub where all the airmen & wraf’s from RAF Stanmore Park went. My future wife worked as a nanny at a Jewish finishing school 10 minute walk away.

    I think Valentines is another way of shops to take your money, there is far to much commercialisation and really all you need to do if you are sincere about the one your love is to tell them so and hand make a small card, make it special by making the card, it will give you satisfaction and make the one you love feel extra special. You can get ideas for making Valentines cards, just Google ‘Make a Valentines card’ Believe me if you make the card you will make the day extra special ‘wink wink’ πŸ™‚

    Don’t just send cards to wife, husband, girl friend, boy friends, try sending one to your sister or brother, you love these people also don’t you?
    How ever you are going to celebrate the day of love, take a moment to think what makes you love each other and how you can enrich each others life. πŸ™‚

  3. You’ve pretty much summed up every reason why I hate Valentine’s Day (or as I’ve my friend calls it, “Single’s Awareness Day”).

    I’m one of those singles who hate this holiday, and even more so because I have yet to know what it’s like to be in a legitimate, romantic relationship. I know some will say, “Oh, your still young, you have plenty of years to find someone.” Gee, thanks.

    For the past couple years, I’ve had lousy V-days and I would feel depressed seeming like everyone on campus has a significant other. However this year I’m going to try not to have a lousy one. I might do something with a couple of friends, since most of them are singles too.

  4. Sorry to say…I don’t have any problems with Valentine’s Day in general. I love Japan’s version more though. In Japan, girls give chocolate to friends or a crush. And they use it as an excuse to confess to people they like. If the chocolate is received, then the friend or crush gives a “return gift” on “White Day”, which is on March 14th. I like the idea of confessing with chocolate….probably because I am a total chocoholic.

    Beyond that…well, my dad always bought a ton of chocolate for all the girls in the house when I was younger…so I guess I have fond memories of Valentine’s Day. However, I was always a little jealous of the girls in high school who got HUGE bouquets and gifts of chocolate sent to the classroom, along with an annoying song that the choir girls and boys sang in small groups. I always thought it was pretty rude to interrupt classes for something like that.

  5. I completely agree. I’ve been with my hubs for six years, and we have never been big into celebrating Valentine’s Day. We do usually get each other cards (funny ones – no sappy cards allowed!) and now that we have a daughter we always have her make cards for each other. But other than that, we just spend time as a family, like any other day. Because as you said, we don’t need to be showered with gifts and cards to know that we love each other!

  6. This got me laughing and thinking! I was totally amused and will think that it was the perfect way to cheer me up and now, on to my Mom’s and that will finish the happy day for me! Much better than the past 2 weeks of brooding and sadness. Thanks, Suzie!

  7. My wife and I have been married for over 35 years and we don’t really need gushy stuff. I make her breakfast every morning (except for today because at this moment I am 250 miles from home). I sometimes just get a card – because – but generally the day passes like any other day. I think we ignore it more that anything – unless it falls on a Sunday when we have a family dinner and it might be mentioned in passing. We don’t need gifts and cards, we are just as happy without them, and as Suzi suggests – there’s a power bill due soon….

  8. As most we did it all when we first met, but time goes on and life changes. It’s pretty well ignored now. For us, our relationship is about showing each other regularly that we love them. Hubby works away so every fortnight when he’s home we do the date day thing, and well, there’s plenty of the bedroom Olympics as well. I always say I love him when we talk on the phone, even after nearly 20 years of marriage.

  9. Reblogged this on suzie81's Blog and commented:

    I will be spending Valentine’s Day in hospital – they’re not letting me out till the weekend – so I’m reblogging this. Tell someone you love them tomorrow if you wish, but take the time to show them how much they mean to you whenever you can…

    • I agree with you, love, and showing your love for your partner should be for every day, not just Valentines Day, and if you buy flowers or go out for dinner etc on Valentines day, you are going to get stung. I know, I’ve been in catering,; I’ve been a stinger!

  10. ROFL! The one commercial I am totally over is the big dumb teddy bear! I am completely with you that one should not wait for one day a year to show love and affection. And, yes, it is all about marketing and selling. It can be a real mood-killer. We had chocolate-covered strawberries last night, not because of any occasion, just because we wanted to have them. Why not? Who needs a big dumb teddy bear?!

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