Valentine’s Day the Rachel Way
Every year I complain about complaining. Yup, you know the drill. I can’t handle the incessant Valentine’s Day whining that is so ubiquitous during February. For crying out loud people! Is doing something special for your special someone really that much of a burden? If they aren’t worth a little effort then one would have to wonder about the accuracy of their “special” title.
Valentine’s Day, that abhorred and adored holiday, just hit again and once more I heard lots of griping over it. For instance, one of my coworkers was grumbling about how Valentine’s Day is the stupidest of holidays because he has to buy his wife flowers. Since, out of all the February moaners, those that object to doing something nice for their spouse annoy me the most, I will focus the venom of this preachy post on that sorry group.
In contrast to the pathetically unromantic mentioned above, I love Valentine’s Day. It means I GET to do something thoughtful for the man that I adore. It provides an excuse for me to remind Jason, AKA the best husband in the world, that he is my favorite person. I would never waste this occasion with whining and neither would my fine hubby.
This year it was Jason’s turn to plan our Valentine’s Day activities and he wisely chose to get us tickets to Cinderella the ballet. (Yes, you men can go to the ballet with little risk that images of leotards will be permanently burned into your retinas.) We had a great time laughing at the clumsy stepsisters and admiring the grace of the other dancers. A couple of days later, Jason surprised me with another round of Valentine’s fun: a Mexican flavors cooking class up at Sur La Table. I’ve got one smart man. I love to cook and Jason’s culinary skills could use some improving so this tutorial was an excellent idea. Jason’s motives for signing us up for this course may not have been entirely selfless though. I’m sure he realized that this class would increase his chances of getting yummy Mexican food in the future. Whatever his reasons, we thoroughly enjoyed preparing and chowing our flavorful dinner of pork-and-cheese arepas, pork and beef-stuffed poblanos, chipotle-rubbed salmon tacos, and Mexican chocolate pots de crème. Tasty! Obtaining culinary masterfulness obviously requires a lot of eating; I’m willing to make the sacrifice.
Even though it wasn’t my turn to head up our celebrations this year, I still plotted plenty. I sneakily planned a series of treats for Jason. First, I took some fancy donuts and hot chocolate to his office for him to share with his coworkers. Next, on another day, I took some balloons and handmade chocolates to his office for him not to share with his coworkers. And then, on Valentine’s Day, I showered him with a whole slew of presents that I had fastidiously wrapped.
Jason too wasn’t content with just going the extra mile on Valentine’s Day…he wanted to go the extra hundred. He brought a gorgeous bouquet of flowers to me while I was at work and then, a couple of hours later when I suspected nothing, he had another bouquet delivered. This second bouquet was made of delicious fruit and chocolate covered strawberries. I have to say that I got a twinge of warped delight from the shocked look on my coworker’s face, the one that had been complaining about having to give his wife flowers on Valentine’s Day, when he walked by my desk and saw everything Jason had sent me. That’s right dude, there are plenty of fabulous husbands out there that, unlike you, aren’t content with a mediocre marriage and I’m wedded to one of them.
I have the happiest marriage imaginable because both Jason and I see occasions like Valentine’s Day as opportunities not inconveniences. There’s more than just a correlation between our outlook on matters like this and our atypical bliss. I know that some of you, even after my poignant words of wisdom, are still thinking that Valentine’s Day just isn’t for you. For that group, here are a couple of the most common excuses I’ve heard for ignoring Valentine’s Day and the reasons I think that they’re invalid, especially for the permanently committed:
Excuse 1: Doing something nice for my significant other on Valentine’s Day is too expensive.
While I tend to bestow my hubby with a few too many gifts, such is my way, one can show someone how much they love them through many other means: cleaning out their car, making them a yummy dinner, serving them breakfast in bed, selflessly volunteering to take care of the kids while they have a guilt-free day out with their friends, giving them a relaxing foot massage, baking them cookies, writing them a thoughtful love note, cleaning the house, watching their favorite chick flick with them without complaint, surprising them at work with a lunch for two…like the Energizer Bunny I could just keep going and going. The point is that financial limitations are no excuse for not celebrating Valentine’s Day.
Excuse 2: I don’t like the expectations of this holiday and would rather surprise my significant other on some random day when it will actually be a surprise.
While I get this, I’ve found that those that don’t do anything special for their spouses on Valentine’s Day are usually the same people that are thoughtless the rest of the year and the least likely candidates for ever surprising their partners out of the blue. Putting effort into a relationship is a habit and a refusal to do something considerate for your significant other when given the chance, even if it’s expected, is typically indicative of a trend of marital laziness. I enjoy surprising my husband often and am known for bringing treats unpredictably to his work. (I’m quite popular with his coworkers.) But I still delight in concocting Jason-related Valentine’s Day schemes, even if he expects such shenanigans. After all, he should expect to be shown how much I adore him constantly. If he ever ceases to expect that then I have failed him as a wife.
Jason and I are supremely content with our life together and we have a blast celebrating Valentine’s Day. If you can’t say the same then perhaps you should consider putting forth a little more effort. Any physicist can tell you that you have to put energy into a system to get energy out of it. If you aren’t putting any energy into your relationship, why should you expect to get anything worthwhile out of it? Do I say this with smugness? Absolutely. I’m not exactly known for holding back my opinions on any subject but, considering the strength of my marriage, I think I’m in a pretty good position to give advice on this particular topic. So go forth and celebrate Valentine’s Day and think twice before you come crying to me about having to remember your valentine. Frankly, you’d fare better just buying those flowers without comment.