Lest anyone not have noticed that the grocery store displays changed right after Christmas to heart-shaped boxes and red bags of chocolate, Valentine’s Day is on Friday. And for three weeks, I have been hearing television and radio advertisements encouraging us to buy that special someone roses, chocolate covered strawberries, and sexy pajamas. There is too much pressure on people, men especially, to buy their loved one that special gift on what has turned into a commercial holiday.
No amount of flowers, chocolate, lingerie, cards, or jewelry given on one day can make up for the failings in a relationship. Nor can they mean more than the little things that matter in strong relationships. Sure these popular Valentine’s Day gifts can solidify the beginnings of new love and they are nice to receive, but I am not going to buy any of them for my partner for Valentine’s Day. Here’s why:
Flowers — We have three beautiful children, so I think we are all set on spending money on beautiful things that need our care.
Fancy Chocolates — Either I or my toddler will eat most of it, leaving my partner to hide her sweet gift, whose location will be lost on the memory of a sleep-deprived brain.
Lingerie — Because what is sexier than watching your partner shiver in skimpy pajamas? Besides, if there is time for what lingerie suggests, an outfit change or foreplay does not fit into the window of time someone isn’t crying.
Cards — After I look past the cards meant for heterosexual relationships, there are about four cards that apply. I have either received or given all of them. Besides, the Indigo Girls-laden mix tape I made for Amy in college said it all.
Jewelry — Nothing will look good with sweats covered in vomit and soggy Cheerios.
Romance in our house does not consist of surprising each other with things. Everyday thoughtfulness and generosity keeps our fire burning. Making the bed, not pooping in the bathroom before the other brushes her teeth, and doing the dishes are all pretty great gifts.
The National Retail Federation polled consumers in early January 2014 about their Valentine’s Day plans. It’s estimated that Americans will spend nearly $17.3 billion celebrating love.
If I spend any money on love, it will be February 15th on the discounted bags of candy being shoved out of the way for St. Patrick’s Day clovers and leprechauns. I know what gets my Valentine hot: a bargain. And a bargain on heart-shaped Peppermint Patties? Look out, Cupid.
Do you buy Valentine’s Day gifts for your partner? Why or why not?