February 11, 2013
Valentine’s Day is Thursday; did you remember that? If not, you can thank me later. Hard to believe that Christmas and the beginning of the New Year are already in the rear view mirror, and the Day of Love is right here upon us.
I have a lot of single friends. Some are flying solo by choice and others by heartbreak, but pretty much all of them detest Valentine’s Day. It can be hard to struggle through a day celebrating something that carries such emotional weight; I remember very well myself when it seemed to be the longest day of the year, and seeing young, starry-eyed couples everywhere I turned made me want to retch. Of course, that was back in my single days.
My husband and I will celebrate this year, God willing, the same way we always do. In 15 years, he has never missed giving me roses on Feb. 14. We will go to a quiet, romantic dinner and exchange sweet but inexpensive gifts. That’s been our tradition since our first Valentine’s Day, and I hope it never changes.
Some people think this is weird, but we still give our adult children little surprises for the Big Day, too. I know Thursday is a day for lovers, but we send our children gifts anyway. I miss the days when they were little. They would decorate shoe boxes to receive the trendy little Valentine cards they’d exchange in class, and I remember they’d be so excited to both give and receive the flimsy, cartoon-y slips of paper. I still like to surprise them with, well, little surprises.
I read an article this weekend about the Holiday of Love. It was in a New York newspaper, so I should have known it would contain some odd ideas. This writer, a woman, set forth the assertion that couples in general, no matter how long they’ve been together, find Valentine’s Day to be an awkward bother. She wrote that both men and women, truth be told, would rather skip the day altogether than go through the motions of demonstrating their love for another by purchasing and exchanging gifts.
I’m not sure that’s true, but I haven’t done my research on the topic. I, for one, enjoy the celebration. I don’t see a thing wrong with taking one day out of the year to make extra sure those whom you love know it.
Besides, how can you go wrong on a day when chocolate sales are projected to be around $759 million, and the next day, what’s left over goes on sale? Sounds like a win-win to me.
Carole Townsend is also a Gwinnett Daily Post staff correspondent and author of two books: “Southern Fried White Trash” and her newest, “Red Lipstick and Clean Underwear” (released October 2012). Townsend has been quoted on msnbc.com, in the LA Times, USA Today and the Christian Science Monitor, been featured on FOX 5 Television News and CNN, and is often a guest on television and radio shows nationwide. She currently travels throughout the southeast, meeting readers at festivals and book signings, and speaking publicly at various events.