Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine schmaltz

Until Younger Daughter mentioned the occasion, I had completely forgotten this is Valentine's Day -- which gives you some idea of how we celebrate it. I thought this would be a suitable occasion to reprint a (slightly updated) blog post on the subject from several years ago.

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 to refloor the kitchen (we plan to install laminate "wood" flooring at some point).

As you may have gathered, we don't hold with celebrating such an overly-schmaltzy holiday as Valentine's Day, which is why I always find it amusing to see the kinds of articles that circulate the Internet on this day.

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.


  1. I know what you mean, but personally I love exchanging gifts with my hubby. We don't think Valentine's Day is "Schmaltzy", we surprise each other with gifts. It reignites the romance. And of course just because we put a little extra effort on the romance department 1 out of 365 days a year doesn't mean we aren't helping and supporting each other the other 364. 😘

  2. Our local paper came up with things you should Not buy for Valentine's day.
    One person said a washing machine. Well my washing machine is broke and I would love to have a washing machine. Others said a toaster and No plug in appliances.
    I had no idea there were rules about St. Valentines day.
    What did I give my hubby? His favorite, Scotch. We will have steak, asparagus, baked potatoes, and strawberry pie.
    How is that for St. Valentine's Day.
    Did I break any rules???

  3. Well, I do get my husband something for Valentine's Day. This year I gave him 100 rounds of ammo and a gift card for 2 hours of range time. Ahh. Romance.

  4. We enjoy exchanging cards and going out for dinner. This year my Valentine is caring for her Father 2,361 miles away. She will be checking in here to make sure I'm not causing any mischief.

    'Happy Valentines Day' Montana Gal. XXXOOO!
    Montana Guy

  5. Patrice,
    If my first and second wives had thought like you, I would still be married.....

  6. My husband gave me a lighted globe that we found at a "antique" store. I gave him breakfast at a place he loves that is very inconvenient to get to (I'm the driver) and a trip to a barber shop that is equally inconvenient but also his favorite. It if all in what means something to the recipient.

  7. Even though my wonderful husband proposed on V-Day 33 years ago, we really don't make a big deal out of it. We usually have a nice dinner at home, but last night I think we started a new tradition. A local taco/burrito place has a promotion for the big day. If you kiss your sweetheart in front of the cashier, it is BOGO on lunch or dinner. Works for me.

  8. Dinner date at B Evans the night before, nothing more. At 54yrs young maybe I'm just getting old. Wife and I really don't get into Hallmark holidays..

  9. Just a few short weeks and we'll be planting in the green house... yippee!