I am cynical about a lot of things. I hate the commercialism that surrounds our major holidays these days. Hate it. It's like the marketing reps in the world have taken the true meaning out of Christmas, Easter, and Valentine's Day.
Yes, Valentine's Day. I said it.
Part of me thinks that it is sad that there is one day a year that the pressure to be loved and to show love is close to unbearable. I remember in my single days being somewhat depressed that there was no one out there who "loved" me enough to get me candy and flowers or take me to dinner, especially when I was surrounded by people getting deliveries by the minute. Girls wearing pink hearts were showing off teddy bears and other cheesy gifts and there I was. Alone. Again.
But there's this other part of me, a part that was there even back then, that remains hopeful in the day. You see, while there should be love every single day of the year and while one should SHOW love every single day of the year, it is just plain NICE that there is this one particular day where love is recognized as something good. Something of value. Something actually worth acknowledging.
I'm a romantic at heart. It might be all of the Harlequin romance novels of my grandmother's that I've read. I don't know. But I love LOVE. I love romance. I love romantic gestures. I love flowers and chocolate and fancy dinners. I love having an excuse to go out to a nice restaurant and blow $100 on a bottle of wine. And I love that the world recognizes that while there shouldn't be a need to celebrate love just one particular day a year, it's nice to focus on it for a change, especially with everything else we have to think about (war, poverty, famine, politics, natural disasters, murder, economic recessions, etc.).
Dr Pop and I typically do not go in for an all-out Valentine's Day deal. We have an understanding that it is insane to pay 3x the price for flowers and that the money could be better spent. Plus, February is kind of an expensive month for us as there is Valentine's Day, my birthday, and our anniversary to think about. We also do not typically go out to dinner on the night itself for a multitude of reasons (it usually falls on a weekday, limited menus available, crowds). But this year, for the first time in four years, we are going out tonight, Valentine's Day. I'm looking forward to it.
And today and tonight and from this point forward, I am going to make more of an effort to follow the Dr Laura rules of living happily ever after. Don't get me wrong, I do make the effort, but this being Valentine's Day and all, I've got to be honest with myself and with my husband that I slip up more than I should.
Want to know the secret to a happy marriage (at least according to Dr L)?
Be the kind of person you want to come home to every day.
And the number one rule of marriage...
Never forget that real, mature, and romantic love that lasts a lifetime is not about what makes YOU happy. It is about doing all the little and big things in life that makes THEIR life worth living.
Happy Valentine's Day to all of you out there, but especially to the man I love.
I can't wait for tonight!