Modified 2016 version featured at Digital Romance
Since today is Valentine’s Day, I suppose I’d seem like an outcast if I didn’t make this week’s topic related to the day of lovers. So here it goes.
Most people are probably familiar with the handful of stories about the true origin of Valentine’s Day, but no matter what version you’ve heard surrounding St. Valentine, they all have one thing in common—the dude dies.
It makes me think about the eve of my second wedding when my bridal party thought it would be “cool” to go and see Titanic in the theatre. So as I sat there through the seemingly-endless film (doing my very best not to pee my pants from the $36.00 soda I shared with my fiancé), all I could think was, “They’re all just gonna die. No car chases. No impressive martial arts. They are just all going to die a cold and frigid death. Why am I here on the eve of my wedding? Is this a sign of things to come?” As I predicted, like the Titanic, my marriage crumbled as it sunk into a dark abyss a few years later.
Knowing what a hopeless romantic (and advocate for relationships) I am, most people might have expected this week’s blog to be about love, romantic gestures, and chocolate. Nope. Sorry. Wrong blog. I read once that a blogger shouldn’t be afraid to be provocative or controversial, so, since I’ll never talk about politics, this is probably as strongly opinionated as I’m ever going to get.
Don’t get me wrong, for those of you that enjoy celebrating what many people refer to as a “pagan” holiday, I don’t begrudge you that at all. The part that bothers me is, I don’t feel society makes it about romance—I feel it is just another way for retailers to dig their claws into the consumer. The day, for me, is filled with unjustifiable or unreasonable expectations (and stupidly long wait times at restaurants), in addition to ostracizing those who are not paired. Let there be no doubt, when I assure you, that my opinion is not based on past disappointments.
Do you know why my forever-husband and I got married on the same day we met? It was because, after racking our brains for a suitable date, we both realized that there was sincerely only one date that had any meaning for us at all—the day we met in person for the first time. And yes, the rumor you may have heard is true—I’m terrible with dates—so it was far easier for me to remember just one.
So how do we celebrate our love? We celebrate it on a far more frequent basis than once a year; and if there’s going to be any hoopla, then it is on our “monniversary.”
After one month of dating, I gifted him with a very modest item in a cute little gift bag. It was on that day I made a pact to myself—I would gift him something once a month on our monniversary for twelve months. The catch was that it had to fit in the same small gift bag. It was during the first year that my beloved said, “You know, I think monniversaries should be like babies, and be recognized for thirty-six months.” My stomach lurched. I thought I would be off the hook, but noooo, Mr. Romantic put more pressure on me. So I continued my monniversary gifts until the twenty-fourth month without incident. Then, on the twenty-fourth month, we said our vows and became husband and wife. Later that evening I realized I was in a bit of a conundrum. As we sat on the veranda of our resort, sipping late-night cappuccinos, I turned to my forever-husband and said, “Now that we’re married, does the monniversary clock reset—forcing me to start counting from one again? Complete with associated gift-giving?” Thankfully, his answer was “no”—I only had twelve more months to go.
As we approach our eightieth monniversary, I do recognize that I, at times, let it slip. I do lose sight of the importance of going the extra mile to express my love to him. That’s where these blogs come in. No matter what’s going on in my life, every Saturday, I sit down and write something that reminds me of one of the many reasons I love him.
He’s reading this right now, you know. He reads all of my blogs before I post them. He knows that this is my “Valentine” to him every week. I wrote LOL 😉 Living Out Loud because of him, and now I write these for him—for us—so that neither of us ever gets the chance to lose sight of how much we need to continue to love one another.
It is my hope today that you step up your “Valentine” expressions to something far more frequent and meaningful than a dozen overpriced roses and steak dinner in a noisy restaurant once a year.
And one more thing. Have you noticed how roses don’t even smell anymore? They are actually cultivated that way in order to last longer in the vase. So my advice to you, go with lilies—they always smell amazing. And while you’re at it… I like diamonds.