It's crazy to think that I've been in the dating world for a decade, but I suppose measuring things in decades is all part of getting older. In those years I've had Valentine's Days of all shapes and sizes, though I seem to have had more bad ones than good. The one that sticks out most in my memory is the first year that I had a boyfriend on Valentine's Day. I carefully selected various cutsie gifts along with a couple of CDs by his favorite punk bands. I spent the better part of the afternoon primping getting more and more excited for my first Valentine's Day as part of a couple. I was fifteen and neither of us had driver's licenses yet, so my father drove me over to his place where I was supposed to meet him after he got off work.
My dad waited as I walked to the door and rang the bell, box-o-gifts in hand. The house was awfully dark and and my disposition became exponentially less sunny as I started to realize that no one was home. Walking back to the car and getting in was the probably the worst part of the whole evening. Fathers aren't supposed to like their teenage daughters' boyfriends anyway; but they're especially not supposed to like the ones who ditch their little girl on her inaugural V-Day. After sitting at home and wallowing for awhile I got a call from the guy, who had been held up late at the office - and by 'the office' I mean his bus boy job at a local pizza place. He was extremely apologetic and thusly forgiven, but this was the first of many experiences that kind of ruined Cupid, candy hearts and chocolate that comes in heart shaped boxes for me.
These days, I'm a recovering V-Day smack talker. I recognize the weirdness of my boyfriend having to buy me flowers every February 14th or face Cupid's and my wrath. I've decided to let Valentine's Day back in, albeit on my terms.
Rule one: Be honest. If you want flowers, dinner, chocolate or any of the other staples - tell your boyfriend. If you tell your significant other that you don't want want to do anything then you're not allowed to get angry when that's what you get. If you have a naturally romantic man in your life then this rule may not apply to you, but the other 90 percent of you need to keep this in mind.
Rule two: Valentine's Day is supposed to be about love and couples. Yes, it's obviously something that ladies get more excited about, but I think a lot of ladies end up disappointed because they put too much pressure on their guys, give little direction and, ultimately, end up disappointed. And in all honesty, I've been there myself.
Rule three: Do not compare your V-Day swag to everyone else's. Remember that episode of The Office where Pam told Roy that she wanted a laid back V-Day, then she got nothing and watched Phyllis get flowers, candy and stuffed animals non-stop? This ties in with rule one, but try to remind yourself how nice it is to be together on Valentine's Day and focus on the good things, not three bouquets, mass of balloons and giant box of chocolates that your roommate got.
Ok, those are pretty much the rules, but I'm becoming much more of a Valentine's Day optimist than I used to be. I've come full circle - I think I may have even written an Anti-Valentine's Day column during my college newspaper days. This year I even made crafts!
What are some of your best, worst and funniest Valentine's Day memories? Are there any rules you would like to add?
I can't help but find these anything but sinfully cute. I'm definitely not crafty;
however, I think these came out pretty cute.
The little mailboxes were a whopping $1 at Target, as were the packs of stickers.
We can leave each other little notes in our respective boxes and pop up
the little flag as an indicator.
Is it just me, or are these super cute and mushy? I sense I'll be pulling these
out every year. I love starting traditions.