Friday, February 5, 2010

A Valentine Confession

Confession:  I like Valentine’s Day,
I really like it.

Now, I realize this confession may really irritate those of my friends who are a little more hardcore than I, and I also realize this opens me up for some pretty antagonistic humor.  But I, being a lover of holidays, do embrace Valentine’s Day.

Don’t get me wrong, there are certain elements of the Happy Hearts Day which are, for lack of a better term, grating. 

A particular commercial comes to mind which (in all fairness, I should point out has been running since Christmas, but still) epitomizes the sappiness which the holiday hounds (card companies, jewelry hawkers, and yes, chocolatiers) force feed us every year:

Uncomfortably Sappy Jewelry Commercial

Seriously folks, it’s only natural to revolt against such drivel.  I mean, I get where Kay’s was heading, but sadly somehow they overshot romantic and landed solidly on creepy.  Honestly, when the lightning strikes and girl gives the expected female response – leaping into the nearest man-arms (c’mon girls, we’ve all been there; up in the caaabin, stormy niiight, potential aaaxe murderer outside with niiight vision goggles) – guy tells girl not to worry, reassures girl that he’s right there, then pulls back, smile fading, fixes girls with this stalker-sultry gaze and says, almost under his breath and to no one in particular, “And I always will be.”  Never mind that he’s pulling some kind of velvety box out of his sweater vest – any sane woman would be running, shrieking and arms flailing, down Restraining Order Road, axe murderer lurking outside in storm or no axe murderer lurking outside in storm.

And listen, I realize Valentine’s Days themselves can go awry; I’ve had my own share of bad ones.  The worst was when I spent the better part of a day carefully making homemade candy for a boyfriend (who really should have been let go months before) and he showed up with a lone red sucker in his pocket (in hindsight, it might have had some sort of Valentine’s Day emblem on it, so yeah, he should've gotten points for that) and shrugged that he hadn’t had time to shop.  (Ehh, I now chalk that experience up to learning; sometimes you have to know what stinks in order to not step in it again.)

But let’s bypass the unfortunate experiences of the past.  Let us ignore those vapid commercials for now.  And let’s do our best to block out the garish red and pink oozing from store aisles and looking like it just popped out of the belly of Christmas like the alien from Sigourney Weaver.

Let’s examine the fun parts of Valentine’s Day.  When I was single and in college, one of the best Valentine’s I had was spent with two friends at a local Shari’s (borderline decent Denny’s-like restaurant of the Pacific Northwest).  We talked, drank super cheap, barely drinkable coffee, made each other laugh til the coffee came out our noses and had a great time.  For Jason’s and my very first Valentine’s Day, he flew in from Stockton, CA (where he was living at the time) and I had dinner for him – I’d ordered a heart shaped pizza from Abby’s Pizza (great local pizzeria).  I found this terrifically funny, I mean, a heart-shaped pizza!  How corny can you get?  I could hardly stifle the giggles enough to place my order to the unimpressed Abby’s waitress.  (I guess when you spend an entire work day dealing with heart shaped pizzas, the novelty dies, right?)  Then for dessert I made him a homemade white chocolate banana cream pie.  Hey, I liked the guy, okay?  (By the way, he did manage to do better than a sucker; besides flying in to spend the holiday with me, he'd got me a whole mess of flowers and other fun surprises.)

Now that we’ve been married 6 years and change, my husband and I still enjoy Valentine’s Day.  We don’t really do much that would impress the Valentine's Day purists, although he will send me flowers (I confess, I do like that) and then we’ll try to go out to dinner and hit a movie (c’mon, like we aren’t going to use any and every excuse we can get to do dinner and a movie?).  Yesterday I got a new pink shirt at Costco (try to hold back the envy, ladies) and plan on wearing that out for the big Valentine’s Day date.  I may even wear those new brown pointy-toed shoes I scored from my sister-in-law Anne.  Since I’m writing so much about the Happy Hearts Day, I may even get a corny oooo-they’re-heading-out-on-a-date-gag-me-with-a-spoon Valentine’s Day picture of Jason and me to share with you (that way you can see my new pointy-toed brown shoes).

Bottom line: Valentine’s Day can be fun.  Whether you have somebody to smooch with or not, embrace the corny, get some friends together and indulge in too much coffee and laughter, buy a shirt at Costco, score some new shoes from your sis-in-law, indulge in some chocolate and avoid the overpriced roses - and be happy!  Life is good.


The Boob Nazi said...

I feel like my hands are tied with this post. Must. Not. State. How. Much. I. Hate. It. :)

Anthony and Kristi said...

Awww...I love this post :) And, I love Valentine's Day too! One of my favourites was when I was boyfriend-less and my brother and I saw a double feature at a cheap movie theater and gorged on popcorn and chocolate :)This year, Anthony and I are going out for bruch and a movie :) I haven't bought a new pink shirt, but maybe I should...Hope you have a ton of fun!!

Rebekah said...

I almost gag every time those commercials come one. So cheesy and not real. I wonder what those actors think? Must be hoping for a spot on a Soap.

However, I am loving Valentines now that B is in school and gets to exchanged them. I still have my first real V's from a boy in 2nd grade.

Oh and how cool is it that you have someone named Boob Nazi commenting and following your blog!

Momae' said...

I am so proud of you. Marriage is rich. Memories are worth all the effort. You all are going to hear my love all we need is is from the 70's..but timeless.