Monday, February 10, 2014

I Don't (HEART) Valentine's Day




My youngest son called me “The Killer of Love” the other day.

I was shocked. All I had said was that I hate Valentine’s Day decorations and that when I see a house with a frilly heart-shaped wreath on its door, my first instinct is to want to blow it up with a bazooka.

Is that so wrong?

Boom.
It’s true. I do have a love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day. Some years have been great with flowers and fancy dinners, while others, no so much.

It’s not that I hate the concept of Valentine’s Day. We all could use a little more love in our lives and a special time to celebrate it is a nice thought. I think what I really dislike are the trappings.

First off, why so much pink? Used to be, Valentine’s Day was red and white. Good, solid colors. With the age of everything for females having to be pink, the infernal color commandeered the holiday and drove it off a cliff.

Yuck.
Second, although I am female, I feel sorry for men at this time of year. There’s so much pressure, especially with the constant barrage of jewelry commercials guilting them into spending more money than they can afford. It’s not right.

Third, I am not a populist. It’s etched into my DNA that if everyone is celebrating lovey dovey stuff, my first impulse is to ridicule. It comes from my father’s side of the family. We Wojciks are a sarcastic bunch.

But, “Killer of Love?”

No, I think not.

When I’m so sick all I can do is stare at the television, my go-to movies are Something Borrowed, Pride and Prejudice, and Bridget Jones’ Diary. I have read many quality, well-written romances and chick lit novels. I just don’t like the old bodice rippers and the predictable, tired cliches. (I’m talking to you, Nicholas Sparks.) As a matter of fact, my work-in-progress is a romance, and there was plenty of love for Catherine in Until My Soul Gets It Right. Will is a great guy, no?

I enjoy sending Valentines. Even as a little girl, I looked forward to making out my cards for the class and coloring my makeshift mail box paper lunch bag with RED hearts. Except for that one year when I pretty much detested everyone in my class, including the teacher. But, once out of the entirety of grammar school’s not bad.


During the dating years, V-Day was a mixed bag. My first boyfriend put an ad in the local newspaper saying how much he cared about me, which was pretty great for my fifteen-year-old ego. He set the bar extremely high. Year upon year, my expectations eroded to the point where it was a good Valentine’s Day if I got a flower, one flower, of any sort, whether it was from the student council flower sale or the restaurant where I had lunch.

When I got married, I remember actually thinking how great it was because now I had a permanent Valentine. Until, of course, you’ve been together so long you’re tired of the same thing year after year and both end up just getting cards.


Being a mother rekindled my enjoyment of Valentine’s Day. I was a room parent when both of my boys were young, and the little kid V-Day parties are the best, watching them deliver their cards, playing games, and having fun. One year, I even managed to sneak in a party with the “We Love Reading” theme. T’was a bibliophilic Valentine’s Day to be sure.

That's more like it.
As I get older, I think I like Valentine’s Day as much as the next person, although if you’ve been a long-time reader of this blog, you know my heart belongs to Halloween.

I take pleasure in the everyday illustrations of love in my life and am truly grateful for my husband, family, friends, and all of you.

May you all carry around a little extra love in your hearts this week, dear Bibliophiles.

I know I will.






10 comments:

angel011 said...

Valentine's Day isn't a big thing here (not actually our holiday), although merchants are trying to do their thing, of course. I occasionally buy a box of candies for SO and me, and we devour it together, just for the fun of it.

Karen Wojcik Berner said...

Who doesn't love a good box of candy, right? :)

Kelly Hashway said...

My husband has it easy since I don't like this holiday either. We decided to buy a new bed instead of exchange gifts for Valentine's Day. I'll enjoy it a lot more.

Karen Wojcik Berner said...

Good call, Kelly!

Deborah said...

The trouble is that we independent types don't like being pressurised on any given day - or hectored by pink! Surprise and delight are the keys.

Karen Wojcik Berner said...

I concur, Deborah. Thanks for stopping by.

Leah Griffith said...

Happy sappy day girl! I don't heart it either. Actually, I've been married 35 years and I have no memory of ever receiving a Valentines gift from my husband. He's not one to make a fuss...EVER!

So, I gave up on Valentine expectations in order to keep myself from hating my husband. This seems to work well for me.

I'll take Halloween over Valentine's Day—at least I can go trick or treating and get my own damn chocolate.

Karen Wojcik Berner said...

Amen, Leah! You're a woman after my own heart.

Margo Dill said...

I love how you said that being a parent has rekindled your love of Valentine's Day--me too! I have a 3-year-old daughter who gets very excited about all holidays, as she should. And her excitement is catching. Of course, she's no dummy and has figured out that most holidays come with a present AND cookies at school. :)

Karen Wojcik Berner said...

Little kid holiday parties at school,are the best! Enjoy those times, Margo. They go by fast.