I Cancelled Valentine's Day

4 years ago

We don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day in our house. I cancelled it years ago. (I’m a fan of cancelling things.) I’m just not a big believer in the overly-commercialized holiday. I never have been, but it really doesn’t help that Valentine’s Day is within the same three-week timeframe as my husband’s birthday and our wedding anniversary (piss-poor planning on my part). It gets exhausting buying shit for Dan.

But honestly, I’ve never been a fan of Valentine’s Day. It was never a big holiday in my family growing up. I can’t think of even one thing that we ever did to celebrate it. (Or maybe I’ve just blocked that out.) Then, in junior high, when you could send a heart-shaped card to someone for 25¢ or a carnation for $1, Valentine’s Day became a popularity contest of who received the most cards and carnations. (I was not a winner.)

And all through high school and into college, I worked at a flower shop. For weeks prior to Valentine’s Day, I prepared for the ridiculous holiday. I cleaned about 50 million roses. I made 10 million lace bows (did I mention that I hate lace too?). I poked the shit out of my fingers with those thorns, and my hands turned green from removing so many leaves and handling so many stems. I think I even got early onset arthritis from twisting and tying so much ribbon and wire. And, on Valentine’s Day itself, I had to deal with rude, last-minute customers who all wanted a $100 bouquet delivered across town in the next 10 minutes. But they only wanted to pay $20.

After working with flowers for so many years, now I don’t even like them. Actually, that’s not true. I love beautiful flowers. I hate cheap flowers. But I can’t justify spending a fortune on flowers when they are just going to die within a week. (Never mind that I’d spend that same amount of money on a bottle of wine that would die within a few hours. Just never you mind.)

Also, I don’t eat chocolate, another traditional Valentine’s Day gift. Actually, I don’t eat much in the way of sweets. Part of it is my anosmia—I can’t taste very many desserts or candy. Part of it is when I eat sweets and drink wine, I gain 5 pounds instantly. INSTANTLY. And in the knock-down-drag-out-fight between sweets and wine, wine will always come out the winner. ALWAYS.

To add to all of this, I am not exactly a sappy, romantic person. I hate stuffed animals, stupid flowery greeting cards, and frilly shit. I am far more likely to armpit-fart out a love song than to write one for my husband. In fact, one time at a romantic dinner together, Dan was telling me how much he loved me and how our marriage and family make his life complete. I paused and pressed my lips together trying not to blow air out of my mouth. Finally, I replied, “I love you too, but I had to burp first.” Awwwww, now that’s love.

While Dan is definitely the romantic type, I’m sure somewhere in there (deep down), he’s relieved to not have the pressure of Valentine’s Day gift giving. Although he might appreciate some sort of acknowledgement of the day. But I gave that up long ago.

After the kids were born, however, I felt a slight twinge of guilt over my dislike of what could be a fun holiday for them. So then we turned February 14th into Family Love Day. Inspiration came from sleep deprivation, wine, and a Blue’s Clues episode that celebrated Love Day. (Quick! Who's your favorite? Steve or Joe?)

Regardless, a tradition was born. On Family Love Day, we give the kids small gifts (usually journals and their favorite candy), and we all go out to dinner to celebrate love and our family. Now THAT is a holiday I can support.

So Happy Family Love Day to all of you!


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