Generic Valentine’s Day

So where has the romance gone? Valentine’s Day in the U.S. is a big deal. Pink, white, and red hearts adorn every imaginable thing, candy is in over-abundance, threatening to destroy the most strident New Year’s Resolutions. Florists gear up and the price of a rose skyrockets. Kids choose their favorite boxed cards to fill out the names of their friends on and pass around in school. And someone, somewhere, is bemoaning the fact that it is here once again and they have no one to share it with.

I am not a romantic. This is a trait inherited directly from my dad. Romance movies leave me yawning. Valentine’s Day does not leave me all giddy and happy. I don’t care if it comes or goes, really. Little pink hearts just aren’t my thing. Hearts in general just don’t boil my blood. But I madly and truly love and adore my husband. He is my very best friend. And he’s romantic. Now there’s a word people don’t hear very often anymore.

What IS romance? Is it buying flowers and candy once a year with the sole intent of getting into bed with someone? Is it dinner and a movie or maybe some jewelry – also with the same intent? The very concept of what romance is seems to have died. But has it really? Maybe we just don’t know how to do it anymore. I think the world is so dead to itself that they really can’t see or understand romance. We’re resistant to anything that may possibly be old-fashioned or take away from our “identities.” This leaves me believing that maybe we really don’t know what we want and end up falling in line with popular beliefs we might not really embrace.

Yes, I’m being vague, because I have to admit that I think romance is different for everyone. I think that romance is knowing the person that you are with and knowing their likes and dislikes. When I say my husband is romantic, I mean he knows who I am. He knows if he brings me home a bunch of cut flowers and a piece of jewelry, he may just be sleeping on the couch. Cut flowers die in a couple of days. How is that a symbol of love? And most jewelry to me is just cold. Now if we bought matching bands made in Celtic traditional knots, or he brought me home a quilting tool, or a potted plant – well, he’d be getting some brownie points. And he does. He is awesome in knowing what I want and trying to get it for me. But it’s also more than the gifts. It’s the little things. Things like buying a cupcake the night before, hiding it from me, then leaving it on the table before he goes to work with a card so I’ll find it when I wake up. That’s romance, my dears.

So I guess Valentine’s Day leaves me feeling a little cold and callous, mostly because it is a generic holiday. People get stuck on a theme and that’s all they can think of. I don’t think romance is gone, I think imagination and thought are lacking. I think the value of knowing a person and who they really are and what they like is also severely lacking. Yes, I may be a little old-fashioned, but I think if people gave genuine romance a chance, there would be a lot more love and a lot fewer divorces and unplanned pregnancies. Don’t give up on love. It’s there, waiting, for the right person for you. Don’t give up on romance, either. It’s all in how you go about it. Don’t be generic. That’s not romance.

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