Monday, February 15, 2010

let's discuss...valentine's day

how was your weekend? did you have a nice valentine's day? okay, that's a leading question...i want to discuss.

it seems like this year, there was more cynical talk about valentine's day than i've heard before, from single and committed people alike. perhaps it's because a lot of people aren't feeling very festive right now, and aren't in a position to splurge the way they might have in years past, so a commercialized holiday is particularly bothersome.

but those signs-of-the-times things aside, there is a sort of pall over holidays like this, don't you think? so many people feel resentful of the fact that this "hallmark holiday" puts the pressure on to buy flowers and chocolates and jewelry and spend large amounts of money on price-fixe dinners. i get it - trust me, i can not STAND all those roses and baby's breath - so stale and cheesy those arrangments can be.

but i know a few people who say they refuse to celebrate valentine's day at all, to dedicate any money or effort towards it. they feel like any day of the year is as good as this one to show your love and care and the mere thought of celebrating this prescribed day just makes them angry.
my feeling on this is...LOOSEN UP.

i totally and completely get ignoring valentine's day if you're single - while some people make it about friends and family and the love between them, i get that it's a lovers' holiday and if you don't have a lover, you might not feel the need for celebrating on february 14th.

but i feel like if you're in a relationship, why not just acknowledge valentine's day? it doesn't mean you have to haggle for an expensive dinner reservation or buy long-stemmed roses - you could set a $5 spending limit and use it as a way to be thoughtful and clever. you could make it a no-expense affair and spend much-needed time together, and just say "happy valentine's day." what's the harm in that? and doing it on that day doesn't mean you can't do it another day too, so why withhold? what are you proving, and to whom?

i just don't relate to the idea that you'd deny yourself or your partner the simple pleasure of recongnizing love on a day designed to celebrate it, regardless of who designed it that way. in a way, especially because we're so inundated with hearts and roses and expressions of love around this time, it takes more effort to ignore valentine's day than it does to just accept it and make it your own. and what does that say to the person you love?

i guarantee hallmark doesn't care whether you abstain from telling someone you love them an extra time on valentine's day - but that person probably does. and no matter how many cards you don't buy, valentine's day isn't going anywhere in our lifetime.

mitchell and i were lucky enough to have a gift certificate to a nice restaurant to use so we embraced it and enjoyed the red napkins and roses and candles that warmed up the very cold night.

and we laughed about the heart-shaped tuna tartare, the heart-shaped pasta, the rack of lamb positioned in the shape of a heart, and of course the heart-shaped chocolate cake. did those feats of culinary shaping make the night romantic? no. but they made it fun and they made it feel like valentine's day. (it isn't every day you see someone like mitchell eating a piece of heart-shaped ravioli.)

if we hadn't had a gift certificate, we would have had dinner at home, and we might not have even had candles or flowers. but i can tell you this, either way, had mitchell not given me a card, or said happy valentine's day when we woke up, i would have been hurt, and i'm not ashamed to admit that. to me valentine's day isn't a big deal, but it would become one if forgotten or ignored by my husband.

is it because our relationship hinges on commercially imposed standards? no. but an avoidance of things that most people just accept as part of life sends a resentful and negative message and why would you want to do that to someone you love?


just had to get that out there since the whole anti thing was annoying me. what are your thoughts on this, dear readers?


jackie fo said...

I definitely think its cheesy and commercialized. BUT I always love an excuse to celebrate... we cooked a big awesome dinner and it was perfect!

Culture Snob (Nina S) said...

Hey Honey Living!!!!

I hope that you had a lovely Valentine's Day!!! I'm going to list myself as a follower of your blog so I can get to you more easily!

Thanks for writing!

P.S. I found a picture of a really elegant kitchen. Incredibly Elegant. TOO Elegant. I'm wondering what you think of it! It sort of fits with the style of that dining room that I found before!

Erin said...

RIGHT ON. I feel exactly the same way as you. I've been single my share of V-day's so I know it can be annoying in that regard. But the worst was the year my bf didn't "believe" in the holiday...he wouldn't acknowledge it or even wish me a happy v-day. That was the the beginning of the end, a path down resentment I never got off.

This year was perfect. Fantastic dinner at home, long walk in a park...I savored every minute of it!

LOVED these pictures. They totally cracked me up!

Kim @ said...

Cute blog!

Kim @

jackie fo said...

hey - i cited this vday post on my blog - hope thats cool!

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