Like most people, I love holidays – even when I don’t actively celebrate it. Perhaps it’s the festive atmosphere or the fact that everyone just seems happier. I would also say I love how you get some of those holidays off of work (or school), but I only get the major holidays off – mainly about two weeks for Christmas and New Years and, of course, Labor Day. The occasional July Fourth is off as well, if my bosses decide to go that route. Quite honestly, though, I still work from home on those days or at least am required to routinely check my work email, so getting holidays off doesn’t quite hold the same clout for me.
However, there is one holiday that I frankly have mixed feelings about: Valentine’s Day. America is notorious for turning holidays that originally had this deeper meaning and turning it into this overly commercialized thing where people put more worth into physical displays of the meaning that may or may not hold anything deeper. This is somehow exacerbated during this day that is saturated in roses and shades of red and pink everything… or at least this is my opinion, though I’m sure I’m not the only one to share this thought.
It’s the Monday after Valentine’s Day and everyone I met today asked me one common question: What did your husband do for you for Valentine’s Day? Although a small part of me likes little gestures like giving flowers (I’m mainly stuck on getting chocolate…. and good-quality chocolate – none of those overly, sweet excuses of brown-colored sugary cocoa butter), I’m honestly not that much of a romantic and my husband? Less so. Much less so. Not to mention the fact that before Valentine’s Day, people would ask what your plans were for that particular day. I don’t know about you, but it seems as if they’re unconsciously comparing — whose plans trumps whose? Who is the better couple? Should I be jealous or – better yet – you’re the jealous one?
I teasingly asked my hubby if he had any plans for me a couple of days before. He just looked at me and merely said, “I already got you chocolate.” Technically speaking, we get ourselves chocolate on a near-weekly basis because we’re awesomely fancy like that (not really, I just like the stuff and have horrible self-restraint when it comes to food and indulging). Hubby also has the odd habit of having other people get chocolate for him… for me. Then he elaborated a little more and asked if those outward displays were really important.
Important? No. Fun? Yes.
The week before, I playfully considered sending him flowers to his office the day before Valentine’s Day for the reaction of his coworkers and other people that might see, since Hubby is known as the serious guy and after meeting me, he apparently is more “open” and “smiles more”. Plus, I don’t like social traditions of males being the one to do all the giving. Even so, it died within twenty-four hours – a waste of money for flowers that only had a week to live. Don’t get me wrong: I greatly appreciate flowers. I just get really sad when they die so I tend not to get them. Now, if I had a ton of money to throw around, I would probably try to have fresh flowers in my house all year round. Alas, no, that is not the case. Plus, Hubby doesn’t care about those things – “those things” being more materialistic and superficial things. It was actually one of the reasons why I liked him to begin with.
He didn’t try too hard. What you saw is what you got. Personality-wise, I’m quite similar. I hate sugar-coating things and I hate having to hide parts of myself (probably why I loathe job interviews). Though I think I’m a better liar than him by far. Off topic, sorry.
The reason why I came to this conclusion that Valentine’s Day is merely an outward gesture of that one day you treat your significant other special is because a majority of people tend to spend money on the usual things: flowers of some sort, a sweet, a special meal. It seems so generic. I’m sure there are a few that take it seriously and plan it months in advance doing everything from scratch (they have my respect and if I wore hats, I’d tip it in their direction), but I’m talking about the vast majority, here. There are these “walk-through” stands outside of markets complete with everything you would need for your beloved: cards, flowers, chocolates. And this was on Valentine’s Day. It was utterly ridiculous. Even more so was the fact that there were several people there. I forgot to mention that not only was this on The Day itself, it was the Night of The Day.
I think the most important thing is to make sure you find the Right One. Sure, anyone can treat you extra special one day out of the year (or try to), but can they continue doing that every single day for the rest of your life (well, almost every day, since no one’s perfect)? That is the question. And is that really what matters most to you? I assure you, if this person’s showering you with things, you’re either (1) still in that Honeymoon Phase (2) he’s rich or (3) it’s Valentine’s Day or your Birthday… or Christmas. There may be more, but those are the three main reasons. It will die soon and you will be in for a rude awakening.
Even though as somewhat-newly weds, Hubby and I are pretty happy with how we are. Not needing to do unnecessary things to express something that the other should already know. I can tell by how he insists on doing the dishes after I cook even though he hates it and he can tell when I wake up really early every morning to make everyone a breakfast fruit smoothie. That’s what truly matters. I could very well continue living like this and I suppose that is why I married him. Plus, I already get chocolates on a regular basis… and it’s none of that overly sweet stuff, either. 😉
And so, I leave you with the following – something someone posted on Facebook on Valentine’s Day (it was originally in Chinese):
To all the females out there, don’t go crazy over this holiday.
You will understand the true meaning of Valentine’s Day once you get married: the person you marry will decide what kind of Day you will have for the rest of your life!
If you marry the right person, every day is Valentine’s Day.
If you marry the wrong person, every day is like the Ancestral Tomb Cleaning Day.
If you marry a lazy person, every day is a Working Day.
If you marry a rich person, every day is a Holiday.
If you marry a player, every day is Singles Day.
If you marry a childish person, every day is Children’s Day.
If you marry a liar, everyday is April Fool’s Day.
Marriage has its risks, so be cautious before getting married.
With that said, Happy Valentine’s Day! hahaha…
My 2015 Valentine’s Day wasn’t oriented around this day of supposed love (though it does make me happy when I see happy [and awkward] couples walking around… and they were EVERYWHERE that day – whatever floats their boat, right?). The only special thing I did was make this wonderfully delicious, moist, vegan chocolate cake covered in ganache (made with 85% dark chocolate) and invited my entire family over to my place (and a friend) for Veggie Burger Night. Mmmph. I want more!
Perhaps I’m just too simple or I just like the simple things in life, but sharing these holidays through little get together’s (my family get-togethers usually number at around 9 people so perhaps it’s not that little) is all I need. Plus, I get to use them as my guinea pigs for my attempts at culinary masterpieces!