Well, here we are. It's Valentine's Day again, and I have to say I find the whole thing irritating.
Not because I'm a curmudgeon, or anti-love.
Quite the opposite: I'm a big fan of love. I just don't like being told - by strangers -- that I have to demonstrate it, on this day, in the following ways.
And unless you're in the flower, chocolate, jewelry or greeting card business, I don't see how you benefit.
But for grownups, I've learned that these grand, lovely gestures invariably mean nothing. Yes, forgetting Valentine's Day can be bad. But remembering it is not that much better.I actually feel this way about all holidays. I don't think that some day is special just because some stranger, usually dead, thinks it is. To me, every day is special, and I prefer to live my life the way that I want to.
The half-life of lovely gestures is shockingly short. Whatever good will you think you'll engender only lasts 'til it all goes bad.
And guys are always surprised by this. If you do something loving and thoughtful, and your loved one is moved, and demonstrably affectionate in return, all is good!
The next day, one carelessly-worded comment and you're right back where you started. And you think, "Wait wait wait -- what about the flowers and the candy?"
"Yeah, that was yesterday, and I didn't care for what you said this morning."
So, you have to ask: What's the point of a great Sunday if it's all shot to hell by Monday? It's like vacuuming the beach; you never really make any progress.
Fortunately, one of the first things my wife and I bonded over when we first met, ironically, was our mutual distaste for Valentine's Day. We both felt it's far more meaningful to be affectionate, thoughtful and considerate the other 364 days of the year. That's the more noble challenge.
So in our house, we don't even celebrate Valentine's Day, which is a great relief.