Valentine’s for the Married Hearted

Over the years I’ve spent a lot of time assessing the importance of Valentine’s day and what it means for the single among us. My opinion, more often than not, rested somewhere between Valentine’s sucks hard! and I love Valentine’s day; it gives me an excuse to wear pink and have a fancy “we hate men” dinner with my friends. And now, I’ve found The One™, so it’s totally different. There are bluebirds that swirl around me every February 14th. I receive entire menageries of stuffed animals and gardens of roses. Everyone in the world knows how in love I am.

Pull your head out of the airsick bag, that’s obviously not the case. Yes, I adore The One™ and he is amazing, but the feeling of Valentine’s day is essentially the same as it was when I was single. It’s a nice day to get some flowers, but I’m not magically more in love today than I was yesterday.

The normalcy of this Valentine’s day and all Valentine’s days from this point forward is compounded by the fact that my wedding anniversary is a week later. February because I wanted to get married in the winter without detracting from Christmas. And a week after Valentine’s day because getting married on Valentine’s day is gross. So, in an effort to prevent The One™ (and myself) from having a “I can’t think of yet another creative gift in a 3-month period” breakdown, we officially declared Valentine’s a day in February to indulge in a nice meal and champagne if we so choose.

This year, I so choose to give my brother and sister-in-law a break from their two kidlets, so they can enjoy their own happy hearts day. It’s kind of perfect because I get to hang out with my bundle-of-fun nephew and my blue-eyes-and-giggles-for-days niece while earning sister points. (If my other brother is reading this, please know that I would love to earn sister points with you, too, but you don’t live close to mom and dad, so if your chubby-cheeked wonder freaks out on me I’m SOL. I’ll babysit when he’s not breakable.)

Essentially, as it always was before The One™, Valentine’s day is about more relationships than just those of the lovey, dovey variety. Because the fact is, as much as I hate most people who don’t live in my home, I need to foster relationships that fall outside of this particular purview.

This not-so revolutionary thought is further solidified looking back on the wedding we threw last year. Going into it, we naively thought, we could handle it all ourselves. No outside help required. But as the day approached and stress sapped us of our energy levels, we began to lean more heavily on our friends and family to carry some of the burden.

It was an apropos start to our marriage I think. The One™ had spent most of his life fighting against the idea of depending on anyone for any favors large or small whereas I had carefully fostered codependent relationships with family and friends alike. Our marriage has been a blend of these ideas. I’ve become more independent in a lot of ways, and he has agreed that maybe it’s not so terrible to have extended family and friends to help out once in awhile. With this marital theme in mind, it makes sense that our day o’ love wouldn’t be entirely devoted to each other. That’s what Tuesday Chinese food nights and Saturday morning mimosas are for.