(Seriously, all flowers and not a one heart shaped candy box. Queen Latifah and Anne Hathaway are both very displeased)
To clarify, I don’t mean the movie Valentine’s Day, starring Anne Hathaway and twenty other recognizable celebrities and actors. To also be fair, I have seen that movie, and actually enjoyed it.
No, I’m talking about the actual holiday of Valentine’s Day. I know the history of the holiday, and I get that greeting card companies, florists, and chocolatiers get excited about this holiday from a business standpoint, but even after all of that, I still don’t get the holiday.
Let me rephrase-what I don’t get is how so many people wind up disappointed by this holiday, or the lack of what that day brings to them.
For couples, many may have expectations of the following…
Flowers delivered by surprise to place of employment:
(Hopefully, none of her 30+ students are allergic to flowers…)
Or perhaps, a box of candy:
(Not a ONE hazelnut cream truffle?! DOES HE NOT KNOW ME AT ALL?!)
Or maybe, a large stuffed teddy bear of some sort:
(Taylor Swift, surprisingly, not single in this movie, pictured with freaking huge bear. And Jennifer Garner)
Yet others hope for something a little more low key and romantic, like dinner:
(If you can’t afford dinner, merely make reservations at a nice place and drink the water)
And the big one that some girls hope for:
(The most cliche day for proposals, after Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. FACT.)
Unfortunately, these expectations of flowers, candy, dinner and jewelry or proposals, can lead one to be very disappointed when their significant other forgets what day it is, gives them daisies instead of roses, orders pizza instead of taking them to the new 5 star bistro downtown, and is content with saying “I love you” verbally instead of on a heart shaped box or a pricey decorated card with Zaphino font. They end the day wistful, and re watching their favorite rom com for the zillionth time with a bottle of wine, wondering if next Valentine’s Day will be as intended: cinematic, romantic, and flawless.
Now for all the single ladies (and guys too out there), Valentine’s Day is viewed as either a) a brutal reminder of how single you are or b) an optimistic opportunity to not end the day alone:
(I mean, it is VERY POSSIBLE Patrick Dempsey could be your valentine. If he wasn’t married.)
(You COULD get lucky….with Anne Hathaway…if she wasn’t married)
Of course, in some cases, singles do go out on a date on Valentine’s Day and relationships do grow from that point on, but sometimes, the day ends like the 13th did: still single, and watching their favorite rom coms for the zillionth time with a bottle of wine, wondering if next Valentine’s Day will be as intended: cinematic, romantic, and flawless.
Obvious stereotyping that was used above aside, my question is why do we put so much pressure and focus and time on this holiday? Is it because everyone else is making it a big deal? Is it because we are told to make it a big deal? Last year was the first year my boyfriend and I celebrated Valentine’s Day in the five years we have known each other. And you know what? It was nice. I will admit it, it was nice….but at the end of the day, and months later, to a year later now, I feel no desire to celebrate this holiday with him. Do I love him? Most definitely! Does he love me? Most definitely! But we show our love in different ways and on different days. It doesn’t have to be the 14th of February.
I think too often we put too much pressure on certain days or events (like Valentine’s Days and proposals) instead of just letting them happen on their own time in their own way. Forcing something can set it up for failure instead of success, and everyone winds up disappointed.
I think too often we spend life in a state of disappointment: disappointed we didn’t make it in to that grad school, disappointed we didn’t get that job offer we were banking on, didn’t get proposed to in time, -all of these things build up foundations of disappointment that we rest upon and further add to.
Why do we do it?
More importantly, why don’t we stop it?
This post is not really about Valentine’s Day, but I think Valentine’s Day is a great example of how we (collectively) let little things that don’t really matter affect our views on the big picture. I admit, I’ve fallen victim to this many times, but letting myself be a victim of chronic disappointment isn’t helping me or helping anyone else.
So, in addition to my ever growing list of “new year” resolutions and continual self improvement, I am going to strive my hardest to grasp the reigns on my runaway disappointment tendencies, and instead, grab my favorite rom com, open a bottle of wine…and smile, realizing that sometimes it is the little things like When Harry Met Sally and white wine that need to be savored and relished.
Here’s to not letting disappointment win and to all my family and friends, my lovely boyfriend, a roof over my head, a unique take on life, my extensive 80s film collection, and an interesting journey of faith with a never changing Companion.