I am not anti-Valentine’s Day, per se, just studiously cautious.
It all started with my first real boyfriend. We decided to start dating (over the phone) on February 12th. But when we actually saw each other the following afternoon, it was so awkward we couldn’t even kiss. So, the next day—the illustrious February 14th—I was hoping for flowers and candy on my first not-single Valentine’s Day, but all I got was my first break-up. Yup, a broken heart–not a chocolate one–on my first-ever Valentine’s day.
Of course, on February 15th, with the aid of a movie and dim lighting, we finally got over the embarrassment and had ourselves a haltingly inept and self-conscious make-out session. After that, we dated for like four months—which was essentially my longest relationship until senior year of college.
I was never much for dating. Sure, I was curvy and blonde by age 13, but I went to all-girls school, had straight A’s, and a biting, sarcastic tongue. Somehow, I didn’t understand why I might have been a little scary for my opposite-gender peers.
Once I got to college, I smoked and swore and had everyone convinced (even me) that dating “just wasn’t my thing.” I had a pretty good-sized chip on my shoulder, which didn’t get any less chipped over time. (It didn’t help that my standard uniform in college was running shorts, sweatpants, sports bras, and t-shirts.)
But as all good adolescent defense mechanisms should, my hard, cranky exoskeleton came apart slowly as I figured out what real self-esteem was and how to get some. Nowadays, I’m a regular softie—I actually cried over a scholarly article this afternoon. (My 16-year-old self would be disgusted.)
In all honesty, I can’t remember any specific Valentine’s Days. I don’t recall flowers, chocolates, or cards. There were probably some nice dinners, and I might have gotten some jewelry. But, on the whole, I have a habit of being single on the big V-day. And truly, that never bothered me. What bothers me is being in a relationship on February 14th.
I am a big proponent of loving people 365 days of the year. If I do that, do I need to make a big show of it on one particular day? I don’t think so. But who hates nice dinners, candlelight, and affectionate gifts? Not me. Thus, I am not about to get all up in arms about consumerism and greeting card company conspiracy.
So. What are Tony and I doing on Valentine’s Day? We’re going to see the Vagina Monologues. Yup, that’s right, friends—we’re going to see a feminist play about genitalia. (I mentioned it as a joke. He insisted that we go.) Anthony is adamant that it is a play about empowering women, and that it’s unbelievable and in-need-of-immediate-remedy that I have yet to see it. Romantic? Somehow, I think so.
My boyfriend is giving me empowerment for Valentine’s Day. Take that, Hallmark!
(We’re also making these amazing curried mussels.)
Hooray for the Vaginia Monologues! (I was in them in college) I agree, I’ve never been much for the mushy mushy of Valentine’s Day. It’s much more romantic if he brings you flowers and makes you dinner on a random Tuesday night.
Andy doesn’t “believe” in Valentine’s Day. And as much as I give him a hard time about it – I kind of don’t either. We usually do the card thing – and then, we enjoy a nice bottle of wine or some champagne and a well-cooked meal. But it’s hard to get on his case for not making a big fuss on February 14th when he plans surprise trips to France or buys concert tickets to see my favorite band when their in town.
Also Shaz, I am so jealous – I’ve always wanted to see the Vagina Monologues. I guess asking if we could double date on Valentine’s Day could be a little awkward?
Like you, Sharon, I prefer to love generously, give spontaneously, and eat well year-round, but you’re also right. It doesn’t hurt to set aside one day to make us do it up right. I mean, when else would you two have planned a night out at the Vagina Monologues? 🙂
I like your V-Day plan, and I’m here to assure you that empowerment is VERY romantic.
I adore this post. Absolutely love it. It sounds like something my husband would do….one of the many reasons I am so, completely, breathlessly nuts about him.
This blog is wonderful. I love that your posts encompass food, family, life, school, work, and relationships — and all in a very modern, enlightened manner.
I absolutely love this one! Reason number one why I’m a bit amused with this is I remember you 16 (and younger)… enough said. 😉 Reason number two, I would like to request that you and I trade boyfriends… i wish you luck with mine. hahaha! Have a great weekend!
You just crack me up Sharon!!
I’m with Elaine — Sharon, what I love about you is you just put it out there — and we love you for it!