Great Expectations

Great Expectations


It’s that time of year again when cupid makes an appearance, roses quadruple in price, and chocolates come in heart shaped boxes. I’ve read a lot of blog posts bashing the holiday, and while I’m by no means “for it” per se, I think it deserves a little credit.

We have these great expectations for what the day should entail, and what type of gift shows just how “appreciated” we are. Clearly a little blue box shows WAY more appreciation than flowers. But does it really? Is it really a gesture of gratitude, love, and affection when it’s forced upon you by a holiday? Last time I checked, that wasn’t the meaning behind Valentine’s Day. Great expectations combined with a sense of obligation are what ruin Feb. 14th. No wonder people hate it – where’s the romance?! It’s hard to see it behind all those marketing gimmicks, but it’s there…hidden beneath the tacky displays of bright red and pink. Hidden underneath the mountains of plush toys (what the heck do you do with those after Vday anyway?), behind the pile of everyday chocolate made romantic by the box shape, and just to the right of the flowers that were half the price yesterday. There, buried under layers of Valentine’s tchotchke’s, is the romance that has long been forgotten.

So, instead of another obligatory gesture, why not do something you both enjoy this year….together? Take this day as a moment to put the rest of your life on pause, and reinvest in romance. For my husband and I, that meant going to a record store and picking up a few new vinyls as our “gift” to each other. It also meant forgoing the fancy dinner and investing in a snazzy new record player that we’ve both wanted for awhile. I’ll take a good bottle of wine and music any day over being packed like a sardine at a restaurant. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.


Besides, I’m a huge fan of surprises, and there just isn’t anything surprising about the traditional Valentine’s Day roster.

I don’t mean to preach; if roses and dinner are your thing, I hope you get them! But it’s not for me. I’m tired of having the Valentine’s message shoved down my throat, and seeing every business (no matter what the genre) jump on the love-wagon.

Why not make this year the start of a new tradition? Buy those concert tickets you’ve been eyeballing, or that fancy bottle of wine. Indulge in a little romance. The memory will long outlast the flowers (unless they’re carnations, which last a freakishly long time).

I still like nice dinners, adore flowers, and have a serious love affair with chocolate – just not on this day. I’ll take “surprise” sunflowers on a rainy Monday any day over roses on Vday :)

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