If you think Valentine’s is romantic, wonderful and provides a chance to reconnect with your love, then you might want to move along to another article, you won’t like this one.
Still with me? Good.
So what is it with these Hallmark holidays anyway? There is so much red heart-shaped shit in the stores, I feel like I am having a bleeding cardiac nightmare that I can’t escape. The pressure of expressing love monetarily, or even finding love boiled down into this one contrived day is ridiculous.
In particular, I kind of feel bad for dudes around this day. The pressure they are under is enough to make coal into diamonds in their colons. As a for instance, random Joe six pack assumes his honey- bunch wants something, but what that might be: clueless. Joe then waits until the very last minute, which is why 711 stores do a booming business on February 14th.
Poor Joe. He worries about all the trappings that the retail industry foists upon this “holiday”. He maybe coughs up for a dozen roses, or perhaps spends a paycheque leveling up by hitting the jewelry store and maxing out his VISA card for a special gift. Many men are vulnerable to the siren song of the jewelry shop lady and spend their last dime to get you that latest offering from Peoples. But you hate it. The “tender hearts” necklace of 2009 sits in its original box being passive aggressively never worn because you actually wanted a spa day.
The struggle is real isn’t it ladies? You want something, but you wish he would just somehow know what that is. That yearning for him to be able to read your mind eventually recedes, I promise. Because if you are north of 30, you likely already told him that if he brings home one more box of heart-shaped wax with the label “chocolate product” on it from the corner store, you will jam it in his gob, or somewhere nastier. If you are in your 40’s you probably went and got yourself something, wrapped it and made a tag of love from him. Kind of like Christmas and your birthday. Once you hit 50, his job gets easier… just wine and a gift certificate for Uber so you can go out with your girlfriends.
We ladies don’t get a free pass on the Valentine’s pressure either. Why should the responsibility of showing love by spending money be his alone? We love our dudes and want to do something nice for him. We all know what that is, so you can dispense with the card, the chocolate, the dinner date and spend the money on some fancy lube and self heating lip balm – all good.
If he is a guy that buys you lingerie, simply wearing it for him is gift enough because let’s be real, he bought himself lingerie. However, if you don’t feel at least some stress around jamming your saggy arse into the inevitably mis-sized teddy he bought, then you are one in a million women. Lingerie bought by your husband is inevitably too small. For some of us, it triggers the same chemicals of panic and rage as when that 20 year old bathing suit store clerk brings you bikinis to the change room. You just know the day will end in tears.
Take heart honey, if he is still buying you lingerie and wants to get it on, be happy. Many people spend Valentine’s eating Ben and Jerry’s in bed watching the W channel specials, or Officer and a Gentleman on a loop all day long.
Although I have dissected the mentality of Valentine’s for straight people, I am not going to venture into the possible permutations and differences in gay couples celebrations of the day because I am not familiar with those dynamics. Normally that wouldn’t stop me from having an opinion anyway, but I am going to assume, as in all things, they just do Valentine’s better than us straight couples.
As for the old man and myself, we drew up the “phony holidays” agreement early on. No shmoopy cards, no flowers, no expenditures at the jewelry store, none of it. The clause is a codicil to the section of our overall relationship agreement that states he is not ever to buy me clothes, it extends over lingerie…forever.
I hope, dear reader, that you have a person to love and who loves you back, truly. I got lucky and appreciate my beloved all year long, and don’t need a day to make it special. As for him, he isn’t the best gift buyer, but he loves me every day, and I feel cherished.
Love doesn’t come from chocolates or grand gestures. Real love is when he never ever forgets to prepare my morning coffee…. ever.