By Juniper Bell On Feb 10 2010, 10:34 pm
As a romance writer, I know Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a sort of personal national holiday, like Veteran’s day for vets. But it’s only a few days away, and already I’m feeling the dread. I admit it … Valentine’s Day and I have a love-hate relationship.
I was single for many years, and when you’re dating, V-Day is like D-Day. It always comes at an awkward time in a new relationship. You agonize over the perfect gift for your potential new boyfriend, something that shows you’re interested without coming on too strong. You worry whether he’ll even realize it’s Valentine’s Day. After all, men can be blissfully oblivious to the onslaught of pink in store windows and the sudden profusion of commercials featuring hearts and sappy music. Is it denial? Procrastination? Blindness to the color pink?
If he does remember, you then have the task of interpreting his gift. Do red roses mean passion, or were they on sale? Why doesn’t he know you hate milk chocolate and are allergic to nuts … what future do you have with this man?? Sigh. Valentine’s Day can make you crazy.
And then there’s the competitive aspect of V-Day. Who got the biggest bouquet delivered to them at work? Whose boyfriend sprang for a spa day, while another got tickets to a boat show? On the day after, it’s all about the war stories. Who went where for dinner, who got a gift certificate to their favorite shoe store … who had the hottest sex.
I know it’s just a day, just a random twenty-four hour period that we’ve decided, as a society, to turn into a high-pressure test of the state of our love lives. I know true romance is about the little everyday things, the random “I love you’s,” the foot rubs, the replacing-the-toilet-paper-rolls. But damn it, there’s something about the big dramatic gesture that we romantics crave. I want the Godiva chocolates and bouquets of tulips and surprise dinner reservations. I want the diamond earrings and skywriting and tickets to Paris. (Hey, I can dream!)
Thankfully, those days are behind me. I’m now in a wonderful relationship that has already survived three Valentine’s Days. I believe we’ll coast through number four. Because as a romance writer and a woman in love, I do believe in love. I believe in romance. I’m just not sure I believe in Valentine’s Day. But I’m keeping an open mind.