2.14.2012

Valentine Musings

Do you know about the three step Valentine process?

Step 1: Get tired of not having someone special on Valentine's Day
Step 2: Find a significant other (it seems that anyone will do in some cases)
Step 3: Spend each Valentine's Day wrapped in each other's arms, sharing kisses, candle-lit dinners, flowers, chocolates, and other romantic gifts

Doesn't that sound nice? Now, let me give you a little reality check.

I remember that period of life (short though it was, in my case) when every Valentine's Day was a slap in the face that I had never had a boyfriend, and there was no one waiting in the wings to give me flowers and sweep me off of my feet. I remember feeling sad after watching Sleepless in Seattle (or any other chick flick), sitting there, longing to be held and no one around to hold me. Yes, it stunk.

Then I met Peter, and before you knew it, we were celebrating our first Valentine's Day together. He was a poor college student with $5 in his tight budget to use on a Valentine's Day celebration. We ended up at a local florist shop where we were told we could buy two heads of daisies for $3.50, and the remaining $1.50 went towards a chocolate rose. It was cheap, it was sweet, and it cemented the daisy as my favorite flower.

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By the next year, we were engaged and living in Boston, with a slightly larger budget. Peter gave me two Godiva chocolates (13 years later, I still have the velvet rose from the top of the box) and my Valentine flowers came from Home Depot. Talk about smart thinking by the Home Depot! They had inexpensive cut flowers right by the check out, so the guys who forgot about it being the most romantic holiday of the year could get out of the dog house while they were picking up a box of nails - brilliant! We happened to be shopping together for a new drill, so I picked out my own flowers.

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Fast forward another year: We're Now Married. Time for the ultimate Valentine's Day, right? Wrong-o. I can't for the life of me tell you what we did or how we celebrated, except I think I had the flu and I know that our newly purchased house was missing a few walls and a kitchen. {Did you hear that? It's the sound of romance...dying a slow, painful death}

Right from our married start, we decided to stay at home on Valentine's Day rather than fight the crowds at the restaurants. After a few years, I informed Peter that it seemed silly to pay inflated holiday prices and would he please skip the flowers, after all, I like flowers just as well in March or July. One of the best gifts from him was the year that he got me a new vacuum (which I'm still using). I bet that when lonely, single people picture the perfect Valentine's Day, they probably don't envision a sleek, maroon, dust-bunny sucker with detachable hose.


So where am I going with this? First off, if you're single and you want to be married so badly it hurts, I am sorry and you do have my sympathy. However, I was just thinking about it the other day and I realized that the majority of my childhood acquaintances are divorced, in the process of getting divorced, or have already moved on to their second (or third) attempt at happily-ever-after. It was a rather sad and sobering realization considering the fact that I'm only 30, and most of the people I thought of were younger than me. It makes me say to all those who think that they can't wait to be married: Don't be in a hurry and never, ever settle just so you can have someone for Valentine's Day!

I have friends who have stuck it out in less-than-perfect marriages, and others who married Dr. Jekyll and woke up sometime later with Mr. Hyde. Just because you think you've found Mr. Right, doesn't mean there aren't going to be difficult times. You may even find the man (or woman) of your dreams, only to have those dreams shattered when you find yourself alone as widow(er), and often, a single parent. I've known several of those as well. There are no guarantees in this life.

Here's the bottom line: if you're married, don't rely on one day a year to make you happy. There are 364 other days that you need to work on your relationship with your spouse. Make an effort to be romantic, make sure your spouse knows you're glad that he/she is home for the day, turn off the TV or get offline and spend time talking and dreaming about the future. Give her flowers for no reason. Pull out the honeymoon lingerie and surprise him when he walks in the door (or if you have kids, once they are in bed). Make an effort and HAVE FUN!


Happy Valentine's Day!!

6 comments:

  1. Excellent thoughts on love, marriage and the ephemeral Valentine dream :-)

    Funny story--my husband asked me to marry him on Feb 5th, so when Valentine's Day rolled around a few days later, I expected some kind of fanfare. To my chagrin, he didn't even realize what day it was! HA! He's farily non- (or anti-) conformist, so he may give flowers on Feb 5th, a gift on Dec 22nd, and nothing on Christmas :-)...something about John that has become endearing to me after 36 years.

    I wish all single people (especially of our gender) would read your post and learn..as all of us, that everyone, in one way or another, learns contentment. It doesn't come from a contract or a ring. It comes from trusting the Lord with each day of our lives.

    Thank you so much! Blessings, and Happy Valentine's Day <3

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  2. This was a great post! I think your musings on love and marriage are absolutely right on. I was totally shocked to learn that marriage is actually really hard work that you don't want to enter into with just anyone :)

    I love that you included your pictures and Valentine's day memories. I love the $5 Valentine's day.

    I hope that you and Peter are having a fantastic day!

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  3. Lovely thoughts Carrie. Your writing is sizzlingly good these days. Am enjoying!

    Ali in Switzerland in delicious snow and cold

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  4. fantastic post Carrie! so true!!!!! Love that last photo of you and Peter, how funny!

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  5. Great post!
    I love getting house cleaning objects for holidays. It's probably my favorite kind of present.

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  6. Thanks for all the kind comments - I'm glad it struck a note of truth for all of you.

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