Valentine’s Day is on the way out. I can see it coming. I think it’s a matter of time before PC advocates and Valentine’s Day haters put a lead-tipped arrow through cupid’s heart. (Someone please call 911 and resuscitate.)
My informal and impartial study (and the haters hotline) reveal that a lot of people – mostly single women who are not in a relationship and unhappily married ones – dislike Valentine’s Day. V-D is tough on some women. I get it. I’ve been there. During my lifetime, I’ve had my share of forgettable Valentine’s Days. Nevertheless, I still enjoy seeing the lover’s holiday celebrated and even if I disliked it I would not want it banished. Why destroy the joy for others?
Across the gender line, some men say they like Valentine’s Day as much as women adore it. Others admit that February 14th is a thorn in their paw. Two reasons top the list of why men resent Valentine’s Day: (1) It puts pressure on a friendship that may not yet have evolved to a romantic relationship (at least not in his eyes) and (2) it forces men to submit to price gouging by florists, jewelry stores, and restaurants. One laid back fellow told me that he have no problem with the day. “I just buy my sweetie a nice card, maybe a small stuffed animal or a box of chocolates. Sometimes I buy her lingerie. She loves Victoria’s Secret. Then, it’s a wrap. Or you might say, unwrapped.” And then he broke out laughing. I left that alone.
As for myself, minus the flowers, candy, or other perks, I would still like Valentine’s Day. One of my most memorable Valentine’s Days was Valentine’s night 2002 when my beau took me to the popular Blues Alley jazz and supper club to see my favorite crooner, Jerry Butler. I looove Jerry Butler. Until he, aka “The Iceman,” stopped performing there two years ago, he had been the Valentine’s Day draw at the cozy Georgetown venue for 35 years. On the night we were there, the Iceman greeted from the stage a married couple seated near us. The couple drew applause after the lady told Jerry “You are part of our Valentine’s Day tradition.” She explained that for 23 years, she and her husband had been regulars for his Valentine’s Day performance.
I’m retired from the corporate world, so I am simply guessing that barring security policies, the Valentine’s Day office delivery is still trendy. Many working women like for their significant other to send them flowers at the office. (Guilty!) Whenever a courier enters the workplace, carrying a bouquet of flowers, ladies follow him with their eyes to see who will be the lucky recipient.
In the 1980s, I was working at a firm with a lovely lady who was the girlfriend of then TV host, Charlie Rose. On Valentine’s Day, Rose sent “Deena” a huge assortment of the most beautiful, exotic flowers – including Birds of Paradise – that I’ve ever seen. Throughout the day, many of our female coworkers (except a few who were obviously envious) stopped by Dena’s office to ooh and aah over her gift.
V-Day haters, there is no reason to feel slighted on Valentine’s Day. Be your own Valentine. Do as I did one year, buy yourself some flowers and sit them on your desk. And if a coworker ask (as someone inevitably will) if your significant other sent them, smile broadly and truthfully say, “No, I bought them. Aren’t they beautiful?” Then, continue smiling and feeling good about yourself as your coworker walks back to her workstation with a puzzled look on her face. And if you can’t muster the chutzpah to do that, don’t wish away Valentine’s Day like a disgruntled spoiler. Just ignore it. Like Christmas – it’s only once a year. It doesn’t roll around again for 365 days.