Being foolish: The case for Valentine’s Day

The longer I’m a parent, the longer I realize what a pretty little fool I was before Monster.

A reason-eschewing fool who had the luxury of grand ideals and political conjecture.

A fool who had the gift of time without knowing it. A watch meant nothing. A schedule was irrelevant. What to do on a Friday? Decide last-minute, of course!

When I was just a pretty little fool, I said things like, “Having a dog is like having a child.”

I did things like drink a bottle of wine and sleep past 7 a.m.

I wore things like Lady Gaga would wear on holidays such as Halloween and New Years and Arbor Day.

When you are a pretty little fool, it is your right and responsibility to do and say things like that, because if life ends up taking you down a different path, you might not get to do and say those things anymore. As a pretty little fool, you can’t know what you don’t know. And that ignorance is bliss, and if you are currently a pretty little fool, stay that way as long as you can, for being a pretty little fool is not a negative. No, no, no, being a pretty little fool is a blessing.

The most foolish of all things I did as a pretty little fool was criticize Valentine’s Day.

Damned be a day in which bumbling boyfriends spend hundreds of dollars to impress a girl they ignore the rest of the year! No, I will NOT make reservations to eat dinner alongside a million other couples who really don’t want to be at dinner and would rather be at home in bed! Valentine’s Day puts pressure on unwilling couples and ostracizes anyone who is single – curses to Valentine’s Day!

I can only recall two Valentine’s Days that ever had any significance:

  • The year my high school boyfriend’s mother drove him to my house to bring me flowers, and I slipped on a patch of ice in the driveway, eating pavement with a mouth that was already full of metal, and
  • The year my college boyfriend snuck into my room while I was at class to leave me gas-station flowers, cheap chocolate and an updated screensaver that read, “Best Boyfriend Award.”

I now recall both memories with fondness, but at the time, I remember being annoyed. Never had either of these suitors given me flowers for anything else – why start now? Because commercials were telling them to?

Oh, the luxuries of being a pretty little fool who could turn her nose up at a romantic gesture.

As David and I passed each other getting in and out of the shower this morning, I said, “I think I want to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year.”

My husband looked shocked (and, frankly, a little disappointed).

You can imagine his surprise: In the six or so years we have been together, I have never once spoken of the day in a favorable light. We also don’t celebrate anniversaries. We have never even been to a nice restaurant for dinner.

Now that we have a Monster, who knows if and when it will ever happen unless we make it happen.

I want a day that he and I make special for just the two of us and we kiss and say how much we love each other and we show that love through material items. I want to feel pretty and for him to feel handsome and I want to reconnect without a babbling toddler pulling on our pants’ legs.

I want Valentine’s Day. (Somewhere inside me, my 22-year-old hippie-self just screamed and died.)

I get it now. I get why people celebrate V-Day. It’s because it’s one day that they can put on their calendars and fit into their schedules. It’s a day that I can add to my “to-do” list and execute with the same work ethic and prowess I put toward everything else on my to-do list.

Sure, I realize that sounds unromantic and over-planned, but that’s what life is when you have a couple who have two full-time jobs and are exercise fanatics and are running a small business on the side and have a kid.

Valentine’s Day is a good excuse to make time for your relationship. It’s so easy to bump “us” behind the baby, the dog, the grocery shopping, the work, etc. And as much as I still feel like V-Day is overcommercialized, overused and overdone, my relationship is underappreciated, underloved and underwhelmed.

I have said it before – it’s never that you don’t “have” time, it’s that you don’t “make” time.

So this year, we are going to “make” time for each other on the one day I swore off so many, many years ago. Even if it just means making sure to kiss each other good morning and good night, and sending a text that says “I love you.”

Does wanting all that make me foolish? Maybe. But maybe that’s just who I am, and I really do enjoy being a pretty little fool.

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5 Comments on Being foolish: The case for Valentine’s Day

  1. Courtney
    February 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm (8 years ago)

    This is why I love Valentine’s Day. In a kid-focused world, it’s a chance to celebrate romantic love. And we don’t buy cards or anything commercial, we just make a nice dinner and eat on our china, or we get a sitter and go to a wine bar. This is my favorite holiday!

  2. Rebekah
    February 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm (8 years ago)

    Well said. We are on our way to parenthood and I can see the argument for days like this becoming more important once you have children.

  3. Courtney
    February 10, 2012 at 2:53 pm (8 years ago)

    Also, I never understand the often-stated argument of Valentine’s Day being unworthwhile because “you should show your love everyday”. That would be like saying, “why celebrate Christmas–we should be with our families everyday”. There is sweetness in little traditions and rituals.

  4. Emily
    February 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm (8 years ago)

    Nothing wrong with a day that celebrates love :) Remember when dad would give mom a vase of flowers and each of us girls got a single rose? It’s the sweet little things.

  5. carey
    February 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm (8 years ago)

    well this is a nice new spin on the “holiday” i have always hated; single or not. maybe i should celebrate too, you bring up some good pts.


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