I’ve secretly always liked Valentine’s Day, even though we’ve had a bumpy relationship in the past. Looking back over the years is both amusing and embarrassing.
- 8 years old: wondering if the roses on Zeb’s Valentine meant he liked me.
- 9 years old: my Mom always gave us candy, a card, and a small toy before school every year on Valentine’s Day. My favorite was the stuffed animal schnauzer like our dog Henry.
- 16 years old: My high school let you order carnations, which lead to a crisis about which color to pick – if you bought a red flower for a boy, everyone would think you liked him, but white was “too boring.” So on Valentine’s Day everyone got pink carnations. I loved that all the girls bought each other flowers, although finding out that Mrs. Sattler was your “secret admirer” was always disappointing (no one wants a pity Valentine, especially from your teacher).
- 20 years old: Sophomore year of college, stuck in a dorm room with Lisa’s heart decorations on every surface, and Karen who HATES hearts. Also, Karen mentioned that Teddy, the guy I’m not-quite-officially-dating, is getting me something, so I should get him a present too. Cut to a desperate last minute Walmart dash trying to find the right gift for my not-quite-boyfriend.
- 22 years old: Gift-buying panic mode because I have 7 birthdays around Valentine’s Day; two sister-in-laws, my mother-in-law, two college roommates, Teddy, and me. And I’m still recovering from Christmas gift shopping… And it’s our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple! Oi…
In the past it’s been really easy for Valentine’s Day to either feel overwhelmed by the barrage of pink and red (which also happens to remind me that I’m single), or an unspoken pressure to have a “perfect” romantic celebration. And honestly, I think that takes all the fun out of what should be a fun, kind of goofy holiday. I think that Valentine’s Day is really what you make of it. Mad at your ex? Grab some Nutella and a friend and watch John Tucker Must Die. Single and tired of all the hoopla? Invite your girlfriends over and bake some salted caramel brownies (and scoop up all the discounted candy on February 15). Too tired to get all dolled up to go to a hectic restaurant? Have a cozy date night in with some pretty grocery store flowers, a fun pink cocktail and your comfiest pjs.
Personally, I’m hoping for a date night in with This Means War, something spicy, and something chocolaty. What about you? Do you have any fun plans for Valentine’s Day? Do you love it or hate it?