Thursday, February 14, 2013

V-Day... Meh.

Image stolen from here.
It seems like the older I get, the less Valentine's Day matters to me. A year ago, I published a somewhat humbuggy post about AntiValentinism. The year before that I went to see the throne speech & hobnobbed with some MLAs that we know in Victoria on V-Day. The memorable thing about that day was standing in the viewing gallery as the Lieutenant Governor came in, all the while breastfeeding six-month-old Sprout. Breastfeeding was definitely top of mind those days, hence the list of odd places I've breastfed Sprout.

I know I gave out Valentines in elementary school & I remember some floating around that were half-ironic in high school or maybe even post-secondary. I got a bouquet of carnations sent to me by my first boyfriend in 1994, I guess it would have been. There was an expensive dinner at a restaurant downtown with another boyfriend a couple years later, but I can't really remember any other V-days. Even when there was the customary exchange of gifts, it always felt a little forced. All the TV advertising for jewellery, chocolate & flowers, not to mention the stores being taken over by pink & red foil-wrapped sugar bombs just made it feel way too commercial.

I guess all holidays are like that nowadays--Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Thanksgiving--somebody's always trying to profit as much as possible from them. But Valentine's Day seems like the worst offender somehow, as it doesn't really have the family togetherness or historical traditions to make it seem all that valid to me. I feel like I can make Christmas what I want it to be & I like the underlying family-togetherness vibe that comes along with it. Halloween I love because of the costumes. Something about trick-or-treating, going to visit all your neighbours was really awesome this year & I look the other way with the ingredients lists when it comes to the candy.

Valentine's Day just seems forced no matter how I try to do it my way, so I give up. This year, I decided not to bother doing anything particularly Valentiney. No heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, no overpriced roses, no expensive but disappointing dinner at a packed restaurant. I think Oliver was relieved.

Though I'm really not into it myself, I don't have any issues with other people celebrating V-Day. It's not a bad thing that lots of little independent local businesses get a boost in the after-Christmas slump by selling more flowers, jewellery, chocolate or serving dinner to people. If you're a romantic & V-Day floats your boat--have fun!

What about you? Do you like Valentine's Day? Are you doing anything special or are you more of a humbug like me?

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  1. Shannondell and I have spent three Valentine's together (this being the third). Two out of three of those she was pregnant. Because we never had much time to just be a couple before children came along, I do try to make the day special. This means a lot of the typical Valentine's rituals: chocolates (no heart boxes!), flowers and dinner (no chain restaurants!).

    However, I do agree that much of this is wasteful or unnecessary. Most of my Valentine's Days in the past were either spent alone or in bad relationships. Shannondell doesn't demand that I spend a certain amount of money on her, nor does she "compare notes" with her girlfriends. She doesn't expect anything. Rather, it is just one of the rare chances that we get to go out together.

    1. Oh I hear you on the rare date nights. :P Hoping to have our third one since Sprout was born sometime soon... :S

  2. I got a bouquet of flowers yesterday-apparently so I can enjoy them all day today? ;) And Paul put in his order for butter that's what he's getting for V-day.. 2 dozen butter tarts to feast on. Dinner will be whatever is in the freezer, and I suspect my Christmas bottle of Muscatel will be drank tonight after the kids go to bed. I made the kids some treats with white chocolate melted over little pretzels and heart-sprinkles on them. There's our Valentines Day!
    Oh, and the kids had a heart-themed breakfast-watermelon cut into heart shapes, heart-shaped toast with red jam, and heart shaped cheese slices. The big romantic holiday is rather diluted after 11 years together! ;)

  3. Awe I love V-day even when I didn't have a love.I guess growing up my dad always asked each of us girls to be his and there was always a small box of candy waiting for us in the morning as we headed out to school. Its those little things I guess. My parents still send us cards in the mail for no reason at all and sneak an inexpensive gift to us for each holiday. They're old romantics that way.


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