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Valentine’s Day Blues

Before you ask, I’m not doing anything for Valentine’s Day.  Because you were going to ask.  Because everyone seems to ask that.

Wait, that’s not entirely true.  In a fit of romantic passion, I asked Josh if he would rather I defrost the vegetarian chili in the freezer or continue with the original plan to eat a tofu and snow pea stirfry for dinner.  See, I love the boy.

I’m not anti-Valentine’s Day; I’m just not pro-Valentine’s Day.  I think of it in the same way as Arbor Day — a holiday that exists on the calendar, but I don’t do anything to mark it.

The twins are in those sweet Valentine’s years when everyone needs to give a valentine to everyone else in the class.  Every child receives the exact same number of valentines and the exact same cupcake and the exact same pink plate.  I think fourth grade was the first year that people could give valentines to just the people they wanted.  I got a totally average amount of valentines, but the cutest boy in the class had to have two decorated paper bags to hold all his cards.  I knew that we all thought he was the cutest boy in the class, but I didn’t realize quite what that meant until I saw those two bulging bags of valentines next to my completely average single bag of valentines.

Then we got to high school, and no one delivered those little cards anymore.  Instead the cheerleaders sold roses as a fundraiser, and they delivered the roses to your classroom during the day with a note attached to it.  So instead of bulging bags of valentines, the visual cue was a rose.  People who were dating someone usually got one rose.  Some girls received full bouquets from their boyfriends.  Pretty girls who were single received what amounted to a full bouquet from random guys — the equivalent of the bulging bag of valentines.  My best friend and I always sent each other a rose to be safe — so we’d have at least one.  And I could usually put my best male friend up to it by explaining that if he was going to marry me if we were both single at 30, the least he could do was suck it up and buy me a $1 rose right now.  So again, completely average.

And then I got married, and I decided that I never had to stress about Valentine’s Day again.  I’m not a fan of flowers.  I don’t eat chocolate right now.  I definitely don’t wear perfume.  I get cards from Josh randomly throughout the year.  I sort of wish I did like Valentine’s Day more, but I don’t, and I can’t really figure out a way to celebrate it that makes me happy and doesn’t remind me of that boy’s two bulging bags of valentines or stressing out over rose buying.

What are your memories of Valentine’s Day from childhood?

Photo Credit: Barbtrek.


1 Emma { 02.14.12 at 8:32 am }

I think the most fun I had on Valentine’s Day was decorating the shoe box for everyone to put the Valentine’s Card in.

Instead of roses, our school did carnations (red = love, white = friendship…). I remember, months before we even started dating, my now-husband got several white ones from one or two anonymous girls. He came up to me in class and asked if I was the one who sent them to him. He looked so sad when I said no! And I was surprised that he even thought I was the one who did 🙂

I’m not a huge fan of the holiday either. I don’t even really like calling it a holiday. It’s not like we get off of work for it 🙂

2 JustHeather { 02.14.12 at 8:55 am }

I remember making the boxes for valentine’s in school and the roses in high school, but none of that has too much of a special or fond memories. I too was the average girl, but never received roses in high school.

My serious BF after high school was not into Valentine’s day and the one time I really tried to do something sweet for him, it blew up in my face. My husband doesn’t do VDay either, but that is mostly because Vday (or Friend day here in Finland) is an even more commercial “holiday”, if that is possible. Although, this year I did manage to get him to agree to go out to dinner with me today because a local chain is having a special (buy 2 of the same main courses, pay for one). Unfortunately, I’m home sick.

One thing I’d like to try to get my husband to do more often (I’ve gotten him to do it once or twice) is to make each other a card for Vday. No need to spend money and it is all about the thought. It was what my mom asked for (homemade) on Mother’s day instead of buying stuff. I’ll be doing that with my child when s/he gets here. 🙂

3 Blanche { 02.14.12 at 9:06 am }

When you grow up with a last name like Valentine, it’s hard not to celebrate a holiday named after you.

Our HS offered singing valentines (a fundraiser, usually performed by the “popular” kids) along with the carnations so I got a couple of those as jokes from my friends. Not actually very kind of them since I would get painfully embarrassed being singled out like that.

A better Valentine memory is my mom’s friend bringing us homemade heart-shaped, iced sugar cookies. I always looked forward to getting those since it wasn’t a thing we had on a regular basis.

4 loribeth { 02.14.12 at 9:06 am }

I do remember decorating boxes or bags & exchanging valentines with classmates in elementary school, but nothing much after that. Certainly not flowers in high school, wow. (When we were cleaning out my parents’ basement, I found tons of old valentines. I think I must have kept every one I ever got. I tossed just about all of them — but I did keep one from the boy I had a crush on in grade school, lol.) My mom used to bake heart-shaped cookies with pink frosting for us, & my sister & I would each get a little box of chocolates at breakfast or lunch that day.

Dh & I don’t do very much, just exchange cards. I wouldn’t mind going out for dinner, but he HATES waiting in line for anything (especially when it involves food, lol) and even if you have a reservation, it’s crowded & expensive. And I love flowers but not at the prices they charge on this one day. :p

5 serenity { 02.14.12 at 9:13 am }

I have always thought Valentine’s Day was a little silly. I remember asking my mother when I was in 1st or 2nd grade why I had to give something to someone I didn’t even like just because it was a holiday. (Mostly because there was a girl in my class who I knew didn’t like ME, and she still gave me a valentine that year.) It just didn’t sit well with me, the whole lying about who you loved. And I didn’t understand why there was a day where you told people you loved them. Shouldn’t you do that EVERY day?

I still feel that way today. That said, I gave Lucky a card today which he thought was a hoot – a heart being shot out of a cannon. And I left a card for Charlie Brown before I went to work, too. Because I do love my guys. 🙂

6 Chickenpig { 02.14.12 at 9:42 am }

I remember we had to decorate a paper bag, which was always fun. We also didn’t have to give a valentine to everyone in the class like they do now, so I usually only had a couple of valentines in my bag, which always made me sad. Also, my mom didn’t have money to buy valentines from the store, so I always made mine, which was fun but made me stand out even more than I already did 🙁 So, I’m not a big fan. My husband went out last night because I totally forgot to get valentines for my boys to give out. I was up until 11:30 addressing the damn things. It seems so darn silly to me. Last year their were valentines with pencils and homemade treats attached and stuff. I guess my boys will be labeled “the kids whose mom just buys the valentines left over at Target at 9 oclock the day before”. whatever 🙂

7 magpie { 02.14.12 at 10:36 am }

doilies with a heart glued on. and one year, my mother made me a heart shaped pillow with my name on it.

8 Cristy { 02.14.12 at 10:57 am }

I hated Valentine’s Day because of everything you stated. When I was young, it was forced (class V-day exchange), when I hit jr. high, the whole flower exchange started. My parents made sure to purchase a couple of carnations so I didn’t miss out, but everyone knew what that meant. By high school, I had given up.

What’s resparked my interest was when Grey pointed out it could be a craft day. We’ve gotten into the tradition of making one another cards which we stash into the other’s bag before work. Though it is sweet to get a card, seeing him the night before with a glue stick, crayons and construction paper is priceless.

9 Alexicographer { 02.14.12 at 11:07 am }

My preferences are closer to yours, but my DH thinks we “do” Valentines day, so we sort of do. We’re going out to dinner tonight, his arrangement (lovely, if silly), and I gave him a box of toffee this morning. Actually the real thrill (warning: child ment.) was that last night I put in our bedroom a Mylar heart balloon such that when, as he does every morning, our son traipsed in this morning to climb into our bed, he saw said balloon. It is impossible to describe the joy an unexpected (Mylar!) balloon brings into that boy’s heart and for the next, I don’t know, 15 minutes as we lay cuddling in bed he watched the balloon afloat nearby and smiled the insanely joyful smile that is unique to a four-year-old. At one point he told me the balloon was dancing. It was utterly delightful (and then I got to go to my office, so that when the Mylar balloon escaped — happily still within the house but in a section with very high ceilings, it was DH calling me to ask where the “grabber” is and not me trying to retrieve the balloon.)

10 Balancing Act { 02.14.12 at 11:38 am }

I’m not into Valentine’s Day with the hubby, but with the kids. We made heart cupcakes and heart shaped crayons for my oldest to give to her classmates. I’m all about letting the kids have some fun with the holiday, but as far as sharing with the hubby we both think it is just another marketing tool to make money and don’t see the need to play into it.

11 Elizabeth { 02.14.12 at 12:31 pm }

Ok I can’t remember much about valentine’s day as a kid, but I can tell you about the worst valentine I ever received – a CACTUS. Yes, the plant that says “don’t touch me,” from the guy I obsessed about in college. I should have known then he was a loser.

12 Rebecca { 02.14.12 at 1:59 pm }

I’ve never been “into” Valentine’s. For our first Valentine’s Day together, my now-husband and I gave each other things. Once we were established as a couple, I, too, was glad to give that wholet hing up! This year, he asked me if I wanted anything. I asked for french fries. Mmm…. French fries.

13 Erica { 02.14.12 at 2:07 pm }

I’m a little bothered that the trappings of romantic love are foisted off on kids at such young ages, albeit in pretty watered-down forms (conversation hearts, anyone?). And it still brings up incredibly awkward child- and young adult-hood memories. I tended to mostly get “pity” Valentines, though one time my best friend gave me a small heart-shaped sachet and then told me not to let anyone know that she’d given it to me, which pretty much summed up our friendship at that point.

In spite of all that, I try to take Valentine’s Day as a time to remember and be grateful for all the love in my life – romantic and otherwise. I still remember being very happy about the deep burgundy bath towel that my dad gave me on a Valentine’s Day long, long ago. It was, now that I look back on it, sort of a precursor of my all-time grown-up Valentine’s Day present – the “bouquet” of red wine N gave me the first year we were dating. N made me see Valentine’s Day as something to be celebrated instead of endured, and we still try to take V-Day as an opportunity to make each other feel special. We do that on other days, too, but with our lives both so crazily busy right now, I admit that I appreciate the reminder (Hallmark holiday or not).

14 Melissa Stirrup { 02.14.12 at 2:17 pm }

Hey I’m Mel Stirrup, I googled my name and this keeps coming up.

15 jjiraffe { 02.14.12 at 7:57 pm }

Ugh, Valentine’s Day. I’m not a fan. My kids’ preschool has banned giving cards and I heartily agree with that decision. Plus, Darcy and I have a history of only fighting on Valentine’s Day. It’s just too much pressure!!

16 Delenn { 02.14.12 at 8:43 pm }

I hated hated Valentine’s Day as a child. Because I was the nerdy kid who never got many valentines and who wanted to have my valentine MEAN something to the boy I had a crush on…to only be crushed by the acknowledgement that he did not know I existed. So, yeah, not a big fan of V-Day. Never had a real boyfriend until college…and at that point, V-Day is nice and all, but it is not the end all be all thing. So, a few years of that…and now married. And I totally agree with you.

17 a { 02.14.12 at 10:21 pm }

My memories of Valentine’s Day involve my dad actually going out and purchasing little heart-shaped boxes of chocolates for all the kids (or maybe my mom did it, but I think it was actually my dad). As memories go, I like that one – I’ve totally blocked out the school ones.

We don’t do much for it these days. Sometimes my husband sends me flowers. That’s nice, but I’m not offended that he didn’t do anything this year. He’s coming home this weekend – I guess that’s our Valentine’s treat.

I was, however, horrified when the daycare told me to get valentines for all the kids in the class when my daughter was…2! I have no problem with a party or decorations, but valentines? Really?

18 frankiesoup { 02.15.12 at 6:30 am }

I passed my driving test the day before Valentine’s and to me, that’s a much more important date. It’s the day I got my freedom. Growing up in a farmhouse in the middle of the Scottish wilds was fairly lonely, so being able to suddenly jet about in the car was intoxicating. It’s also something I achieved myself – Valentine’s day just feels a bit flukish to me. If you happen to be with someone on the 14th of February you get a prize. Bingo.

19 Deathstar { 02.15.12 at 4:27 pm }

I just recall the high school roses thing. My girlfriend, blonde cheerleader usually got lots of roses. I usually got roses from my friends. Years later, my husband always treated me to roses and lovely dinners. This year, no roses but I got lovely cards, a spa gift certificate and a family dinner out. No romance whatsoever, but I’ll take a glass of wine and a family dinner out any day.

20 Battynurse { 02.16.12 at 6:40 am }

Like all other holidays I wasn’t allowed to celebrate it. Occasionally I’d get a card from someone in grade school who’s mom forgot. I usually felt like I stuck out even more not participating in various celebrations even though I never really wanted for gifts at home. In Jr high and high school I lived in a state of hope vs dread on the 14th. Hope that someone would send me something and yet dreading that it likely wouldn’t happen. The couple years I actually had a boyfriend were pretty anti climactic. To this day I pretty much hate the holiday. I don’t need the retail stores to remind me I’m single and make me feel bad about the fact that no one is sending me stuff.

21 Battynurse { 02.16.12 at 6:41 am }

Oh and it usually has the worst holiday candy.

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