MB and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. For MB it’s a thing. He finds it cheesy and in general isn’t into rituals and contrived celebrations. He doesn’t like the pressure to conform just because “everyone does it.”
For me, it’s not a big deal. I wouldn’t reject flowers or candy, but I’m not going to cry about not getting any. It would be one thing if I were starved for love and attention. I might think, At least one day a year you can make an effort, you insensitive bastard! But MB’s natural inclination is to be affectionate and attentive 90% of the time.
My ex was probably the opposite. Most of the time, he was caught up in his own stuff, but on Valentine’s Day, he always had a gift for me. Roses, jewelery, chocolates. Our very first V-Day together, he brought me a dozen red roses, and we went out to dinner. But the whole time, he was distracted. He was antsy and kept looking at his watch. It turned out he was dealing with some shit with his parents, but I didn’t know that. All I knew that despite the flowers and the fact that we were out, I had a shitty time.
Our first V-Day after we married, we agreed not to exchange gifts, mostly because I could never think of anything good. Instead I put together a joke gift – a fancy red box with Ben-Gay, Desitin, and other embarrassing old people ointments, plus some lame coupons for “one kiss” or “one hug” or whatever. I thought I was all clever, getting ready to present him with this gift, and what did he give me?
A beautiful necklace.
I felt soooo bad. “You gave me Ben-Gay for Valentine’s Day,” he said, all disappointed. But how was I to know? Didn’t we agree not to exchange gifts?
That’s how I felt for most of our relationship, that there were these expectations unbeknownst to me, and I kept failing to meet them (kind of like my relationship with my mother).
As for MB, whenever I tell people that we don’t celebrate today, and that I don’t care, I feel like, “The lady doth protest too much.” But it’s true! It’s true when I say, “Every day is like Valentine’s Day with us!” and that I’ll take love, attention, and affection 90% of the time over roses once a year. And sure, someone might say, “But you should demand it all! YOU DESERVE IT ALL!” But am I really going to throw a shit fit over a contrived day created by card companies? I don’t think so.
Now a joke gift for MB is a whole other story.