I am lucky: my wife is not a big Valentine’s Day kind of girl. In some ways, that makes my life easier, but in others it can be a bit more of a challenge.
For me, the worst part of Valentine’s Day is the pressure and the timing. I am not a month of February kind of guy. It is a short, super cold month; I just want to get through so things can warm up in March with spring. My classes are in full swing at this point, football is over, and just when I am starting to get acclimated to everything, here comes Valentine’s Day. Now in the middle of grading papers, I am being told that I have to be romantic since it is Valentine’s Day
Growing up I always hated Valentine’s Day. It was always the most nerve-racking day of the year. Kids used to give out Valentines, and this was fine for the most part, but it was horrible when you liked someone in the class. Do you send her a special note? What if she gets it and laugh?
The one year in high school I had a girlfriend, the school was doing a fundraiser where you could do rose deliveries; I had one delivered to her homeroom class and she really liked it. (See, somewhere under all the layers, there is a little romantic trying to get out.) And now that I have a wife, I like to do something for her on Valentine’s Day, which entails either getting her something or even some times make her something. But that is also where some of that pressure comes into place.
Having a wife who doesn’t really care about the holiday is awesome until you go to buy her something. You know automatically that the overly pink and red section of Wal-mart is off limits. So I have to get creative. The worst was the time I went to a local jewelry store and bought a heart necklace. My wife doesn’t do hearts and I knew this when I bought the necklace. I ended up going with what an advertisement said my wife would like instead of thinking about my wife’s jewelry tastes. But it did work out in the end because we exchanged it for something she likes and wears a lot.
Her dislike of hearts reminds me of my grandmother’s own pickiness with the holiday. MaMa said that my grandpa first started to buy her flowers as a Valentine’s Day present, but she didn’t like that because they died so fast. Instead their tradition was that he would always get her some “good smelling stuff” and also the same scent so she could have a signature smell!
I think there is some great advice in that. Valentine’s Day is a holiday that can cause stress and pressure, but I think that the best way to start celebrating it might be to establish your own traditions as a couple. I know Carrie and I have started to forgo gifts and use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to have an adventure. Two years ago we ate a catered meal at an aquarium and had an awesome time. This year, who knows what the adventure will be. Maybe a brewery complete with a food truck? Doesn’t matter really, because I will be with my wife and enjoying our tradition of Valentine’s Day ‘Ventures.