It’s One Day Out Of The Year: Do We Expect To Much From Our Men On Valentine’s Day?
By Opal Stacie
Each year, about a week or two before the big day, like most women, I drop hints about what would make Valentine’s Day special with my man. I’ll send him text messages of ideal V-Day date night activities, pictures of my favorite flowers, and gifts that I’d be super excited to receive on Valentine’s Day.
Last year it seemed like my boo decided to wait until the very last minute to get with the Valentine’s Day program. He picked up one of those hood V-day baskets from the women selling them on street corners and half a dozen dead roses from the supermarket that still had the $8.99 price tag on them. After receiving subpar gifts from him on this day, year after year, I was fed up. Without giving him a moment to explain, I emasculated him in front of everybody. I scolded him about the lack of effort he puts into making “my” Valentine’s Day special. I used this final V-Day blunder as an opportunity to criticize him on areas of his personality that had nothing to do with Valentine’s Day. I verbally assaulted him and assumed I had good reason to. He didn’t make his woman feel special on the most romantic night of the year, so he deserved to be reprimanded, right? After being calmed by the couple that was with us, I was given an explanation about my fiancé’s true intentions. I was told that he had been gathering things and preparing for Valentine’s Day for more than a week. They explained that he had more in store for me and those two gifts were decoys to a better surprise that would be waiting at our home.
Well, he spent the night at his mother’s house and that night I spent Valentine’s Day alone in the ambiance of what could have been a perfect night. Unlit tea candles were scattered around our home and rose petals peppered our queen-size bed. In the bathroom was a sparkling clean tub waiting to be filled. On our dining table sat two tall unlit candles, and in the center was a vase holding two dozen red roses. After five years of getting Valentine’s Day wrong, he had finally gotten it all the way right, but my desire for Instagram worthy V-day possessions turned “the day of love” into a horror show.
I’d spent year after year scolding him about the one day that he gets wrong while disregarding the hundreds of days throughout the year that he always gets right. Any other day when he gifts me with flowers, jewelry or a new purse, impromptu massages and cutesy date nights, I’m satisfied no matter how imperfect it might have been. Only on Valentine’s Day do I expect him to go above and beyond, and only on Valentine’s Day do I respond with a tantrum when he fails to make my materialistic Valentine’s Day fantasies come true.
We’ve put too much emphasis on non-essential items that suck the love out of Valentine’s Day. Based on the materialistic expectation of what this day brings, grown women are compelled to feelings of rejection if they haven’t received anything Valentine-ish to post on social media or to talk about the next day. For many of us, Valentine’s Day feels like a popularity contest judged by who gets the most balloons, the most flowers, or the best gifts. Yet we can’t explain how some of the most dysfunctional couples have the most elaborate Valentine’s Day celebrations. February 14 stopped being about togetherness and love and has turned into a measure of whose boo loves them the most rated by tangibles.
For those reasons, this year, we’ve decided we will spend this year’s Valentine’s night cuddled up on the couch like any other Friday night watching romantic movies, sipping wine, and enjoying each other’s company. Maybe we’ll play video games all night like we did before having our two children, but whatever we decide, I won’t be placing any value on what he does or doesn’t do on this night because either way—just being with him makes me feel like the most special girl in the world.
Written by Opal Stacie. Follow her on Twitter at @opalstacie