Has the commercialization of the holiday of the heart gone too far?
In the past, I’ve always left the Valentine’s Day hating to the bitter single girls who are fed up with unrealistic Lifetime Channel love story movies, and Walgreens morphing their aisles into a pink stuffed animal nightmare at the beginning of January. But the more I think about this holiday, the more I understand the hate.
Valentine’s Day is obviously something created by greeting card and chocolate companies to push consumers to purchase more than they usually would. Good ole’ V-day is sold as the one and only holiday that gives you a chance to show off your love for your significant other. If you’re in a relationship, you better comply or risk severe consequences that probably involve a crying girlfriend or wife.
I admit it – if my husband didn’t comply with the rules and regulations of this ridiculous holiday, I would be that crying girl, blubbering to friends and family members about his inconsideration. But as I think more and more about Valentine’s Day and what it represents, I’m realizing I’m starting to question my warm and fuzzy feelings for this holiday. Here’s why I’m banning together with the V-Day haters to expose the negatives of this sham of a holiday.
I want to appreciate you every day.
Do lovers really need a national holiday that pushes them to show appreciation of their significant other? If the relationship is strong and healthy – no, they don’t. I want to be appreciated by my husband in my marriage every day. And I’m sure he’d say the same about me.
I try to find the little things my husband does that are impressive and for my well-being. I try to appreciate these characteristics he has and the hard work he puts in as much as possible. I’m not the best at vocalizing all these times I’ve appreciated him, but I’m diligently working on it.
With a holiday like Valentine’s Day looming around the corner, I feel easily enabled to give up on my quest to express these small appreciations. I mean, I’m going to buy him a card and I’ll need something to gush about in those six inches of blank card space, right? So I might as well save those little precious nuggets of love for that V-Day card. I can’t waste those sweet compliments on just some random Wednesday night as we’re brushing our teeth.
If Valentine’s Day didn’t exist, I might work a little bit harder on vocalizing my appreciation for him any moment the mood strikes. I think he might work harder at it too.
I want to yell at you if I need to.
In a marriage, it’s important to talk about your problems. There’s just no way to grow as a couple if you don’t have those difficult talks about your significant other’s wrong doings.
What if my husband does something that upsets me on February 14? I can’t start a fight with him on Valentine’s Day — what kind of wife would that make me?
This made-up, ridiculous holiday may be the block that would prevent me from navigating us as a couple through a disagreement (complete with yelling and door-slamming) that might bring us out on the other side having learned something.
As a couple, it’s hard enough to have the courage to start a hard conversation that may hurt your significant other or that leaves you vulnerable to be hurt. Since Valentine’s Day is supposed to be all about flowers and kisses, it blocks the chance for an open (and sometimes ugly) conversation that a couple might need to have for a stronger relationship.
I want a spontaneous gift.
I can’t even count the number of times I’ve Googled ‘Unique Valentine’s Day gifts for husband’ over the years, hoping a link would pop up to some treasure he’ll love. It seems when you’re not looking for a gift for your significant other, you can find a thousand things he or she would enjoy. But when V-day is making it’s impending descent, I choke from the pressure and the deadline.
I know my husband has trouble with what to buy me for this holiday too. And I don’t want a forced gift from him. It doesn’t feel like it’s genuinely full of his love and thoughtfulness. Also, it’s usually something he spent too much money on and I won’t use anyway.
My favorite gifts from my husband are when I’m not expecting them. That time he stopped by Sports Authority for a new softball glove, saw a pink running top he knew I would like and brought it home just for me. That time he ran to the grocery store for onions and grabbed me some dried mango because he knows it’s my favorite.
Those spontaneous gifts make me feel more loved and appreciated than a proper “Valentine’s Day gift” ever would.
I’m not saying Valentines Day is completely useless. Any time a holiday pushes a couple to make the time to spend together — out to dinner, a glass of wine at home, a full-on date day alone, etc., — it’s a great thing.
I just wish this holiday didn’t put so much pressure on couples to find perfect expensive gifts, push them to stay mute about appreciative compliments, or stifle an otherwise important argument. After analyzing this holiday and how it can have an affect on our behavior as a couple, I’m starting to understand the haters and possibly join in their cause.
Can you do me a favor, though? Just don’t tell my husband about my possible change of heart. I still don’t mind receiving those flowers and chocolates when February 14 rolls around.