Self-Sufficiency Series

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine schmaltz

Last week Don and I were doing some work in the shop while listening to talk radio. In between whatever issues the radio hosts were discussing were numerous ads for Valentine's Day goodies -- pajama-grams, flowers, chocolates, and teddy bears. In fact, the latter ad absolutely busted us up laughing because we learned we could get a four-and-a-half foot teddy bear for a mere trifle if we mention the radio host to the operators-who-are-standing-by!

A four-and-a-half foot teddy bear, hmmm? What the dickens will you do with a 4.5 foot teddy bear except trip over it for the next year and then finally give it to Goodwill? We agreed it was a colossal waste of money.


So Don and I had a good chuckle over the ad. He half-jokingly asked me what I want for Valentine's Day, and I half-jokingly replied I wanted the materials to build a lean-to greenhouse on the barn when spring comes.

As you may have gathered, we don't hold with celebrating such an overly-schmaltzy holiday as Valentine's Day. Which is why I found it so amusing to see the plethora of articles and advertisements that hit the 'net today.

Consider this article about the 10 worst Valentine's Day gifts. The author points out the horrors of presenting your love with flowers, jewelry, chocolates, lingerie, perfume, or other traditional offerings.


Or this article, on the loss of romantic courtship. Or this opinion piece, on why the writer hates Valentine's Day.

And it got me thinking -- what do I find romantic or attractive in a man?

I would NOT find it attractive to have a man think he can overcome a year's worth of selfishness and petty complaints by popping for flowers on one particular day. But nor would I find it attractive for a woman to ignore all the efforts her man puts into pleasing her all year long but who sulks if she doesn't get roses on the Big Day.


The men I admire are the ones who quietly and without fuss spend their year working hard to support their families. The one who uncomplainingly changes diapers or takes out the garbage or gases up the car or gets up in the middle of the night with the baby. The one who thinks a woman in a stained T-shirt is sexy because these work clothes means she's obviously working hard too. The one who plays Tickle Monster with his kids when he gets home from work even when he's bushed. The one who hustles the whole family out the door on Sunday morning so they'll get to church on time. The one who demands his children show respect to their mother because of all she does for them.

Oh man, I think I've just described my husband.


You see, romance isn't found in a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates. It's found in a man who knows what it is to be a man, who appreciates and values his woman, who raises and guides his children, who knows the place God appointed him into as head of the family.

I'm eternally blessed that I'm married to my forever love. Happy Valentine's Day, honey.

23 comments:

  1. Hee, hee. I had the same reaction to that commercial. If there's one thing I don't need, it's a teddy bear that's almost as tall as me!

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  2. My husband and I were joking about this same commercial. He told me to be watching for my bear today and I told him I would prefer some Tattler lids. :)

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  3. The history of valentine's Day...
    Perhaps we've been taken for another commercially-marketed faux pagan holiday???

    http://www.biblestudy.org/basicart/what-is-true-origin-of-valentines-day.html

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  4. I can't stand the teddy bear commercial!! It's insulting. Especially when the man is hugged by his delirously thrilled love interest and he looks over at the camera with a knowing nod and winks at the "great returns" he's going to get...oh how i gag. I feel sorry for the young guy who believes that and actually buys the embarrassing thing. I like your view Patrice. With flowers from the yard on some other day for the heck of it.

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  5. My name is mmasse and I hate Valentines too. I wonder if their is a support group out there.

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  6. Ha ha so true. I told my hubby I wanted a cuddle on the couch and to watch a chick flick together! No way do I want
    Chocolate ( gain weight), or flowers (die), now I'll take veggie
    Seeds, bulk foods or emergency items but not
    The foo foo stuff people associate with this day!

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  7. I think you were describing my husband!

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  8. That reminds me of the handwritten Valentine my Hubby gave me. It says in part, "For Valentine's Day, most women would like a nice diamond ring - you wanted a chicken coop. Most women would like chocolate - you'd prefer extra MRE's." He sure knows me! We mark the occasion with hand-made Valentines but otherwise don't celebrate the day. If you only celebrate your love one day a year, your marriage is in trouble!

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  9. I'd be ashamed to admit that we actually own a giant at least 5 foot tall teddy bear from Costco. But then, we inherited it from my SIL who's in her early 20's and received it as a "romantic" gift from her boyfriend. LOL It now lives in my 3 year old's room and is abused as a trampoline daily. So my take is...a giant teddy bear is a winner of a gift as long as your valentine is a toddler. :o)

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  10. Well, let's see... The men Patrice admires most are those who quietly and without fuss spend their year working hard to support their families? Sure sounds like me! The ones who change diapers, take out the garbage, gas up the car and get up in the middle of the night with the baby? Me, me, me, and me! The ones who think a woman in a stained T-shirt is sexy because that means she's obviously working hard, too? Bingo! ME! The one who plays Tickle Monster with his kids when he gets home from work even when he's bushed? Well, I used to do that when our girls were still at home, so that WAS me. As for church, I have to admit that we weren't big church-goers, but we were definitely a Christian family, raised to believe in God, His Son and His Holy Spirit.

    And finally, Patrice most admires those fathers who demand their children show respect to their mother because of all she does for them? Absolutely ME! Hehehe...

    My wife isn't a flower person. I do things for her every day, all year long. (She still works while I'm now retired.) However, we do celebrate the various holidays in a small way. We'll share a few chocolate-dipped strawberries and I'll bbq some nice thick steaks for dinner. As for the lovey-dovey cuddling and such, after 40 years of marriage, that never gets old. With us, every day is Valentine's Day!
    --Fred & Deb in AZ

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    1. Sounds like a great life.

      Just Me

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  11. Sad that we live in a culture that only encourages love and emotional affection one day a year, yet promotes sex everywhere you turn 365 days a year. Really, how does a four-foot teddy bear say "I love you"? Instead it screams "I know society expects me to do something nice (spend $$$ on you) to show I love you today, and this is as creative as I can get."

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  12. We don't go in for the hype either. Yes, my husband proposed on Valentine's day, but hey, we were young. Now, we enjoy a quiet evening together. We don't go to dinner (way overcrowded) or buy flowers etc. We just enjoy the day and remember how much we love each other and are thankful that God brought us together.

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  13. Well, said. You are speaking of my husband as well as yours. I'm going to use some of this post as part of my homemade valentine card to my husband (with your permission, of course).

    Elizabeth

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  14. The only thing I like about Valentines Day is the half- priced candy the next day.

    Let's hear it for all the hubbies who show their love every day of the year, in all the small ways. You are all so appreciated!

    Just Me

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  15. Patrice, my hubby bought me onion and garlic bulbs and asparagus roots for my garden as a V-day gift. Love them and love him! Thanks for the great entries! I'm fairly new to your blog, but I really enjoy reading it. Many thanks!

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  16. I do love the chocolate truffles that go on sale for valentines day! I don't have TV so I have missed the hype over the giant stuffed animals (thankfully?). I have heard a lot of public schools will not even call it valentines day, but rather "friendship day" so to avoid upsetting anyone--it seems like a whole lot of drama for a not-terribly-important holiday!

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  17. Husband made breakfast for us on V-Day, then proceeded to can bacon bits (an idea we got from your blog). I was dehydrating tomatoes for LTS tomato powder. Then, I made a nice dinner for us. We enjoyed our V-Day very much, doing things for each other and feeling accomplishment in our prepping lifestyle. We do this sort of thing every day, not just V-Day. Oh, and hugs and kisses were interspersed, as always. We've had 33 great years together and hope for lots more. ~ Cin

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  18. My husband and I have never celebrated V-Day for many of the same reasons you have discussed. However, my homeschooled children still wanted to do something. So, we bought some of cards that school children exchange. We live in a suburban neighborhood. It was their idea to pass them out to the neighbors that we know and the ones that we don't know. The suprise and appreciation on the neighbors' faces was great! It was like the reverse of trick-or-treating. All 4 of my kids ran up to each house, gave them a card and told them "Happy Valentine's Day!"

    We all enjoyed it so much, that we went out this morning and bought 1,038 cards for next year. Added bonus....they are all on sale since V-day is over.

    This simple act has reclaimed V-day for me. This was the beginning of a great family tradition.

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  19. I found this post and smiled. I am not the kind of woman who likes flowers, why would you give me something that is dead and for the most part useless. My hubby knows this and a few years back gave me candy. Candy is my dexter cow. He got such a kick telling his buddies that. This morning Candy blessed us with another calf. This one is red, which was a surprise seeing that both her and the bull are black. In my opinion it was the most thoughtful gift he has ever given me, besides his love.

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    1. LOL, Blincoefarm -- we raise Dexters too. We had a red bull that gave us a bunch of duns, believe it or not.

      - Patrice

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  20. my hubby asked what I wanted for v-day .. I replied a wood stove.

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  21. I have never liked V-Day. My husband does things for me all year long that others may not think "romantic" but I do. I try to let him know how much everything he does for me is appreciated, and he lets me that he appreciates what I do for him. Perhaps the best way to be "romantic" is to never take each other for granted.

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