Valentine’s Day

OK, I got the over 50 thing off my chest and I promise not to gripe anymore. It is what it is and I’m dealing with it. I want to get on to better things. My art. My writing. Hopefully feedback from friends!

It’s Valentine’s Day! Unfortunately, it seems to be another blatenly commercial excuse for spending money. It also strikes me as a sad statement on contemporary relationships.

I remember women in an office where I worked obviously chalking up whose husband was the best depending on how long it took the flowers to show up on Valentine’s Day-and how elaborate the arrangement was. They even compared notes on how much “reminding” they’d had to do in the days prior to Valentine’s Day. It was also made clear to anyone listening (and by the end of the day I sure wished I wasn’t) that the expense and size  of the flower arrangement would be mirrored in the length and quality of the sex that night. Oh, please, I prayed, let me go deaf for just this one day!!!

They asked me (it was my first Valentine’s day there) where my flowers were when lunchtime came and went with no arrival of red roses. I shrugged and said (the truth) “we do that kind of stuff at home.”

“Oh, so in other words you don’t get flowers?” the woman asking smirked and rolled her eyes knowingly at the others sitting nearby.

She  complained, on a regular basis, about her husband. About everything- his lack of willingness to help with their two small children, how he had to be reminded to mow the lawn, wash the car, how she found sales receipts hidden in the garage because he didn’t want her to know how much he paid for the new drill. I looked at this woman and thought “Poor thing.”

“I don’t know,” I replied, turning back to work, “we always have fun on Valentine’s but it’s just something between us.” I didn’t know what else to say. She shook her head and told me I hadn’t  “trained” him yet.

I’m not saying that every woman handles Valentine’s Day this way. And no, my marriage didn’t work out, but it wan’t because of Valentine’s Day. I still believe that Valentine’s Day is a sweet thought that has grown grotesque and swollen. I still believe that Valentine’s Day should be a private, romantic moment bewteen 2 people-not a Roses and Candy derby held at the office.

Maybe eventually I’ll be in a  relationship again and Valentine’s Day will be what it used to be for me-an opportunity to  say “You mean everything to me. Here’s something for you to hold  in your hand or your heart to remind you of that when I’m not with you-or when we’ve had a fight-or whenyou just want to feel special.” That’s what Valentine’s Day means to me . I hope I will be able to share that with someone again.

5 responses to “Valentine’s Day

  1. Well, I remember ‘when”….when I worked in the office….a bunch of cats!! Unmarried cats at that. Throwing dust on all other folks traditions and plans….


    Katie, you are right….the sentiments should be celebrated at home, privately, regardless the ‘size’ of the gift or non gift.

    However, its commercial success is more about the human heart and nature than the push for money. At least from here it seems so.

    I think we look for any excuse to effuse: to dip down deep into affections and give to others.
    Valentine’s Day is just a stage for that….and we can make of it as we want.

    My husband is such a romantic. He would be ‘hurt’ if I didn’t make some sort of splash over Valentine’s Day….and he just goes into automatic when these things come around.

    LOL!…Frankly, Xmas/Our Wedding anniversary/my birthday are all in a two week (or less) period…and it’s exhausting…and expensive. It doesn’t have to be, but he hasn’t, in 25 years gotten the message yet. I think men are much more romantic (given their head) than we women are.

    An impractical.

    You probably will be in a relationship again and you will be able to do the private appreciation thing with your man.

    And tell those cats in the office to scram.

    Love and Hugs!

    Lady Nyo

  2. I don’t have any problem at all with gifts! I hope you are right-that Valentine’s Day has grown in to a widely celebrated holiday because we revere romance.

  3. Malcolm Miller

    Hi, Katie. I have had your blog on my bookmarks list for a long time, but I’ve been neglecting you. At 80 I don’t do flowers much, but I send cards for Valentine’s day to all the surviving women I have loved. I’m a hopeless romantic! I wonder if you have seen my blog at ‘’?

  4. I understand where you are coming from. I have worked with cats before. But at the same time, I am in a very male-oriented field, and have a very male-oriented job…It’s cool because I don’t have to deal with cats. The guys I work with now, I can’t complain about. I like them, they are nice. But in the past, there have been times when I had to work with guys…some of the were cats…but more, the problem was, that I had to work alongside them and see how they treated women. It just disgusts me.

    I’ll go back here to a statement I made previously in an email to you…about adults letting other adults be adults. I have no problem with my significant other having flowers delivered to my office…Valentine’s Day or any other day. If that’s how we choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day as adults, it is our choice, and we are adults. What really gets under my skin is when adults feel the need to advise other adults on how to live…when it is unsolicited advice (and especially when you aren’t close enough to that person to give that kind of advice to them).

    At the same time, anything that is done on Valentine’s Day…cards, flowers, whatever, is not an excuse or a compensation for things not done other times of the year. The absolute relationship would obviously be one where special stuff was done on Valentine’s Day…and every day…and where when things went wrong we kissed and made up…if not immediately, eventually…and where there was respect, and overally, we just treated each other well on regular basis. The Valentine’s Day stuff is cool and good, but it is a BONUS…not the whole relationship. That’s like when people have this huge, over-blown wedding that’s spectacular and the event of the year, only to follow it with a marriage that sucks where you wish you were anywhere but there.

  5. Niecy
    Oh, aren’t you right! Valentine’s Day and Big Weddings. Public displays always make me suspicious. Not that I don’t think people holding hands is sweet and heart-warming, but “showy” doesn’t guarantee anything. And you’re right, bonuses are great…but just that-a BONUS.

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