A co-worker and I were talking about Valentine's Day, and whether or not he should go all out for his girlfriend, as this will be their first one together. He was asking me how important to women this day is. That, I told him, was a very personal thing. Some place great importance on it, while others find it to be of little interest. I told him the best thing to do was to be honest with her, and ask her upfront how important this is to her. Tell her that he didn't want to mess up by not knowing how she felt about it. She might be having those very same questions about how he feels about the day, too. Just talk it out.
After all, Christmas was just a scant two months ago. If you believed all the commercials from then, a man was supposed to show how much he loved the lady in his life by getting diamonds: one for the past, the present, and their future! After all - he loves her!!!! But does that mean in just two months he has to show that again?
Or from the women's point of view, she may have just spent gobs of money on a flat screen and surround sound for her fellow at Christmas -- after all, she loves him!!! Does that mean a year's subscription to Netflix is the only way to show her love in February?
My take on this has changed over the years. As a young bride, Valentine's Day was important to me because I was more insecure then. As time went by and I matured, I became more secure in my husband's love and a gift wasn't as important. Just knowing we could spend the day together and chose to spend it with no one other than our special someones was enough. Well, okay, dinner out was nice, too. I won't fib about that! But it brought back to me something my mom told me before I got married, and I'm sorry it took a few years to stick:
"Suzy, make your anniversary the most important holiday in the year." To me, she meant our anniversary should be more important than Christmas, than our birthdays, than Valentine's. Those are days that are imposed on us by the calendar or by birth. But our anniversary? The day we chose to get married? That is the most important day there is.
Good advice then, good advice now. Thanks, Mama.