Valentine’s Day. The annual day of love and (neu)roses, when the world is awash in sweets, the countryside is stripped bare of flowers, and the town is painted pink.
It is simultaneously the best day in the world, and the most awful; you either look forward to it, or dread it and think it’s lame and commercialized. Because I am old and doddering, and have experience with both sides of this particular coin, I am here to tell you what you already know: it all depends on perspective.
There are the ones who celebrate because they aren’t alone in the world. It is a heady thing to love and be loved right back. Everything always seems to come up roses, and life is sweet, so of course, romance must be indulged. Enter candy hearts and teddy bears, cards and gifts and bouquets and perfume and romantic getaways! (It can be a very expensive day.)
There are the ones who don’t because they’re alone (nobody loves me, waaah), and don’t want to be reminded of it, which is hard when there are hearts and naked babies armed with bows and arrows everywhere. Valentine’s Day can induce the worst sort of insecurity in singletons. I know, because I was a singleton. I was glumly informed by another equally-depressed singleton that the dateless are all members of the “firing squad” on Valentine’s Day – the idea being if you don’t have anyone, you may as well be shot. Not the best club in the universe, but hey, whatever kept our boats afloat.
What I didn’t quite realize then was how much pressure couples put themselves under in the name of romance. All the planning. Picking out the perfect restaurant with the perfect theme and the perfect gift and the perfect outfit and the perfect picture for the perfect Facebook/Instagram/Twitter post. Everything has to be perfect, and it’s exhausting.
The shamelessly- rampant commercialization doesn’t help either. Not that I’m against ephemera. (I’m a girl. We will always be suckers for flowers. And jewelry.) Still, when everyone’s doing the same thing, and giving out the usual treats, making Valentine’s Day special is just getting harder and harder to do.
How can you make Valentine’s Day special? Here’s what I propose: give the one you love a sack of rice (or if it’s me, a case of Montaño Spanish sardines, I’m not picky). Since Le Hubs is not Asian, and does not eat rice the way I do, I am going to substitute a bag of potatoes; I am confident he will see how much love went into this decision.
This the best way to show you love someone, hands down. Ensure they are fed. This makes more sense than the usual chocolates and flowers. Forget the grand romantic gestures, the flowers, the candy, the jewelry, the candlelit dinners, the three hours in shady flea-bitten motels. This is true love! There can be nothing more romantic than a great big sack of milagrosa with the words Be My Valentine emblazoned on it, and a pretty red bow on top. Your significant other may not see it this way at once; give him/her a few weeks, and the appreciation will grow. I guarantee it.