Today in the United States, it is Valentine’s Day. The day of all things love. The day of all things chocolate and roses. The day of charm, and proposals, and embellished cards and chocolate covered strawberries.
The history of St. Valentine and his connection to “love” is rather dubious, and I’m not sure how we got to this maddeningly sweet celebration that can be a polarizing event for many people. Those who have a valentine go all out, and those with no valentine lament the way singles are “singled out” as being single on Valentine’s Day.
The day itself gives me very mixed feelings. I married my first husband on Valentine’s Day, in a misguided wish to have him remember our anniversary. We argued loudly outside the wedding venue that day, I remember. Yet I still went inside and married him. Gosh, was I stupid! It was certainly a sign of things to come.
And I met my current husband at a Valentine’s Dance. We’re still married, have made it more than twice as long as that first marriage. Things aren’t perfect, but when are they, really? And my husband is a romantic. There are flowers, and chocolates, and sappy cards on Valentine’s Day.
You would think that I would be the romantic, since I am the romance writer. But I’m way too practical for that. It’s the German in me. I love flowers, and chocolate, and sappy cards. But my brain just thinks, “hey, we could have bought ____ with that money.” My heart may be romantic, but my brain sure isn’t. Not that I don’t appreciate the flowers and chocolate. You know I’m eating those chocolates. And sniffing those flowers. And getting moist eyes when I read the sappy card.
As a romance writer, I put a lot of romance in my stories. Sweet gestures of love like small gifts, a sweet or steamy glance, a small but powerful touch, a romantic meal in a dark cafe or a sunny picnic in a park. Showing you love someone is not hard, and doesn’t have to be costly or complicated. In fact, I would say the smaller gestures stack up in a much more meaningful way than large ones. And smaller gestures should happen year-round, not just on Valentine’s Day. True love happens every day, not just on February 14th.
What gestures do you like on this day, and other days with your partner? And what do you think about Valentine’s Day? I’d love to hear your thoughts!