I never liked the feeling that I’m being taken advantage of – by mechanics, taxi drivers, sales people, you name it. Give me a half smile, and a tone that even remotely insinuates that you think you’re talking to a ‘little lady’, and I’m off running in the other direction. I think that this is part of the reason I’ve never really looked forward to, or invested much interest, in Valentine’s Day. I’ve never really been able to get past the feeling that we’re all being taken for a ride. One that most of us would probably rather do without, were it not for the immense pressure to avoid being the one person in the circle of friends who didn’t do or receive anything.
Those red heart shaped boxes? To me they are always going to evoke a sort of band-aided solution that was so likely found at a place where one would, in fact, buy band-aids. I don’t care if you dropped a hundred bucks for a dozen chocolate covered strawberries the size of avocados, drug store is the first thing I’ll be thinking of. Long stemmed red roses? I think of roadside hawkers pacing back and forth next to my window. And the ‘80’s. Champagne? Got me there – I would if I could, but I can’t (allergic to alcohol), so I won’t. Lingerie? I can’t exactly remember how I felt about this before kids, but these days… Let me get this straight. After stuffing me with oysters, surf and turf, and chocolate (and yes, when I realized how much we were paying for dinner, I did feel the necessity to consume every last bite) – you actually want to see my food-baby in a baby-doll?
Now, I know I’m a minority in this case, and I certainly don’t judge anyone for adhering to it. Statisticbrain.com states that spending related to Valentine’s Day comes in at $13.9 Billion annually. However, I do appreciate grand gestures, and I know that many people buy and give these things because it does make their loved ones happy, and that sometimes the only way to find the time to focus on each other takes putting it in the calendar (with two young kids and no family around to babysit, boy do I know.). But for me, all of the red and pink pressure that is focused on this one particular day, will always dredge up within me, resistance. Fortunately for me, I hit the jackpot, because so too does it for my husband.
Last night we were catching up on Skype as he’s been out of town on a business trip this week, and here’s a snippet of our conversation:
Me: So, I have a Valentine’s Day card to you from the kids, but I forgot to slip it into your computer bag before you left. Mommy Fail.
Him: Wait, Valentine’s Day is when?
Me: Same time as every year. The fourteenth. Thursday?
Him: Oh. Daddy Fail. Do you want me to get you something?
Me: No, we’re good. I said the KIDS got you a card.
Him: Ok then, we’re even.
Now, we may not necessarily see eye to eye on everything, or take part in the ‘grand gesture’ that is Valentine’s Day, but when it comes to the ‘night of romance’, our solidarity in resistance, and unspoken understanding to skip it all, has an opposite effect, and somehow makes us feel even closer.