Okay I will say it. This whole Valentines thing is one whacked out holiday. In fact although am sure I will get in trouble for saying it, it is fucking ridiculous. We take some obscure Catholic saint and turn this into a windfall for candy and greeting card companies. Bars and restaurants love the holiday as well as they are either serving the left over shit in the walk in as a high priced prix fixe dinner for lovers or serving drinks to singles who were fine yesterday but now incomplete because they haven’t found their Valentine yet. Of course we excel at making stupid holidays out of nothing don’t we? Take St Patrick’s day, again a minor saint,whose feast day is used to prove that all races, religions and ethnic groups can puke green beer and rail Irish whiskey just like a real Irishman. Cinco de Mayo is another great one where we all drink beer made in St Louis in a brewery owned by a European company to celebrate a minor victory by the Mexican Army. For gods sake they beat the French so its not like they even beat a real army. But we do excel at producing a holiday from minor stuff and turning it into a celebration of excess. But Valentines Day takes the idiotic stupid fucking holiday crown.
It is not enough for all of us to take this day and force romance on our partners to the point where the search for the perfect card of gift becomes so stressful we don’t love anybody by the time its done. No, that is not enough. We take all this stress and pressure and shove it down our kids throats. My poor wife sat at the table last night stuffing treat bags and valentines cards into bags for her daughter to give to the 30 some kids in her class. We take this day and use it to teach our kids how not getting a card from some kid you wouldn’t say hello to yesterday can ruin your whole damn day. They give little cardboard love notes to other kids, many of whose last names they could not spell on a bet. Your entire social standing becomes related to what kind of cards and candy you give. Just to make sure its not exclusively painful to the kids they send us home notes to bake cookies and cupcakes for the absurd over the top unnecessary celebration of a day none of the poor kids even begins to understand.
Its not that I hate romantic. I guess its for my wife to judge at the end of the day if I am romantic or not but I like to think so. I come across as a cynic at times but I often take an overly romantic view of the world. I love sunsets, soft jazz and walks on the beach and all the other stuff that is thought of as romantic. I love the romantic moments of life, I just am not sure they should or can be scripted or scheduled. I am also aware that romance is one of those things that needs to be practiced and appreciated every day of your life or it doesn’t mean a hell of a lot. If your courtship of your spouse or significant other comes to down to one frenetic day of searching for the perfect combinations of mylar balloons and recycled greeting cards you have problems deeper than the special dinner at Mels diner is going to fix.
Yes, romance is sailing ships and knights in shining armor. It is magical kisses under the moonlight. Its dinner on the beach at Casa Marina in a soft Caribbean breeze. Romance is shimmering moonlight on crashing waves and wishing upon a late night star. Romance is dawn in the keys at a little motel on the beach. It is candlelight and roses with Mozart softly in the background. It’s all those things and more.
But romance is far more than that. It is not stabbing your husband in his sleep when he snores. It is walking your wife’s dog although you are ambiguous on dogs in general and vehemently opposed to picking up steaming piles of shit first thing in the morning. It is taking your turn with the crying child in the middle of the night. It is letting your husband sleep in even though you have been up since six am and cant for the life of you understand how that lazy bastard can sleep until 9:30. It is making the coffee the night before so it is ready when your significant other gets up . Its Mac and cheese for dinner because there is a recital at the school and only half an hour to get ready. It’s not getting too mad when he stayed at the bar far longer than the game was on. It’s an oil change in your spouse’s car .It is loading the dishwasher. Its sharing the remote. Romance is all the moments of all the days you spend together living and enjoying life. It is all the little things we do and say each and every day to let our partners know they matter to us and we care about their day, their life, their thoughts and feelings. Romance can be magical moments frozen in time .It is also the everyday lived in the moment with each other. I do not need Hallmark to remind me to tell my wife I love her. I try to find some way every day to show her. That is romance.
Of course I participated in the day. I love my wife too much for her to have to spend the day explaining that her cynical mean ass husband doesn’t give a rats ass about Valentine’s day. I sent flowers and a teddy bear to her office. I was going to make a special dinner but true to her Texas roots she requested steaks on the grill. I will love our evening together. But I will love our evening together tomorrow when there is homework to get done and the dog is chasing the cat to hell and back , the dinner dishes need to get done ,my daughter is cheating at words with friends again and I want to watch Finder but my bride is hooked on the Food network just as much.
Moments are nice. Life is better.