Valentine’s Day…do we have to?

I was single for more than 30 years. In high school my friend, Nora, and I would dream of the day we would have a boyfriend on Valentine’s Day. In the meantime we lived vicariously through our friend, Risa, who always seemed to have a boyfriend on Valentine’s Day! Throughout College, Grad school, and various jobs, a few boyfriends came and went, but still no boyfriend on Valentine’s Day! Actually, I was once “dating” a guy long distance, but the 1,500 miles between us made celebrating difficult!

You can imagine how excited I was my first year of marriage when Valentine’s Day approached. Finally, I would really get to celebrate the “day of love”! My husband of six months, however, had other ideas.

A week before the big day I mentioned it to him. His response wilted my newly married, fairy tale dreams. “Why do we have to celebrate Valentine’s Day?” his voice dripped with frustration. “I resent the fact that Hallmark invented a holiday just so they can sell a lot of cards and candy. I’m not going to let them dictate when and how I tell you I love you.” I don’t know, maybe it was the look on my face, but Brad knew immediately that he’d blown it…big time!

Today we celebrate our 19th Valentine’s Day and he’s never complained about it again! We laugh as we recall how he tried to explain that his comments weren’t a reflection of his love for me. He said he would prove his love by buying me a card, flowers and candy on Valentine’s Day. I said I didn’t want any of it and he could just forget it for the rest of our lives…not my most mature moment!

Figuring out this radical thing called love is a life long education! I haven’t been a model student myself. If grades were handed out, I would receive a lot more F’s than A’s! But, we hang in there and keep trying. That’s what real love is about.

Brad shows me he loves me in a million ways throughout the year. I’ll take that over a Valentine’s card, flowers and chocolate any day…but the chocolate never hurts!