It’s all about us

If you’ve been watching the supermarket shelves during the past few weeks then you’ll know Easter is coming up soon. But you probably knew that in January, when they started putting Hot Cross Buns and Easter eggs on the shelves.

Oh, and you may have also realised it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow.

Yep, tomorrow’s the day when people show their love for someone by buying them a plush toy with “I love you” printed on its chest, along with a greeting card someone else has already filled with clichés.

Can you think of anything more romantic?

Don’t get me wrong: I’m as romantic as the next person. But I refuse to let a total stranger at Hallmark tell me what to say. If I was buying a card for my wife (we’ve agreed to forget about them this year), it would be blank. Well, apart from “Australia – $5.95” printed on the back.

Unfortunately I’d then spend the next hour staring at the card, trying to come up with the perfect way to say “I love you” without actually writing “I love you”. Unlike practically every other Hallmark event, you can’t screw this one up because there’s so much riding on it. (I’m just waiting for the pet industry to start cashing on the whole thing and start advertising exclusive Valentine’s Day dog houses.)

In the end I’d probably do something like this:

Outside: “How can I tell you how much I love you in a greeting card?”

Inside: “There are no words…”

The gift has even more riding on it, because choosing the wrong thing translates to “You don’t love me because you don’t even know what I like”. (Note: this only happens on Valentine’s Day, and possibly birthdays. And other time they’re fine with whatever you bought them as long as you kept the receipt.)

And let me tell you that even when you’ve been together for a while (14 years in our case), it doesn’t get any easier. If anything it gets harder because you worry you bought them something similar before.

We haven’t bought each other anything yet. We may do it tomorrow, we may not. But that’s not what Valentine’s Day is all about.

It’s all about us.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Gayle Howard February 14, 2010, 9:18 am

    Valentine’s Day needs to be divided into two categories. For the teenage and young lovers it needs to be all about teddy bears (stamped I love you) and cards and candles and romance, gifts and special dinners. Young people, new to love, need the reassurance; something concrete so that when they’re apart that newly vulnerable heart can have proof that they know-what-they-know.

    As for the second category, after 32 years of marriage, cleaning up the kitchen after dinner and making me a coffee, has been known to make me swoon!

    Reply
  • Susan @ Reading Upside Down February 14, 2010, 1:44 pm

    I’ll take a night off kitchen clean-up and a cup of tea I didn’t have to make for myself over a plush toy any day!

    Reply
  • Russell Smith February 14, 2010, 10:43 pm

    I wholeheartedly believe in Valentines Day. Just as long as we don’t call it that, and it’s not on February 14th.

    The advertisements all say : “…Surprise the one you love on Valentines Day…”. It’s hard to surprise them, when they know it’s coming.

    Buy the love of your life a bunch of flowers, or tak them to dinner, make them breakfast in bed – or whatever it is that will surprise or make them happy. But do it on 18th March, and 5th July, 18th August, on Thanksgiving Day – preferably all of the above.

    Part of the surprise has to be, being surprised. The surprise of receiving the gift, not the expectation of the gift – and the surprise that its only a stuffed bear, not the keys to Porsche 911.

    The Caveat to this theory is, that if the surprise is instead shock (why did you make me a nice dinner? did you break something !) – then you may not be surprising them enough.

    For me, a small unexpected gift or gesture means more to me than the inevitable questions on Febraru 15th – “So, what did you get for Valentines Day?”.

    Reply

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