A few years ago, my husband and I discovered that we both hated buying and receiving tactless and tasteless Valentine’s Day junk and that we would both much rather stay home, cook a nice meal together, share a bottle of wine and truly enjoy each other’s company than go out and bear the packed restaurants and movie theatres. Thus, a tradition was born.
My husband and I decided that we would no longer buy each other gifts for Valentine’s Day, partially because my birthday falls in the same week and nobody needs that many presents, and partially because we think it takes away from what the day is about. Just take a look around any store mid-January, nobody actually likes, wants or appreciates the trinkets and cheap candy peddled for Valentine’s Day. I have to say, the teddy bears and pink jelly beans are not missed. Don’t get me wrong, we do make the day special. For weeks we look forward to the night that we can put aside our busy schedules and just spend time together. The time we spend together is a far greater investment than the money we could spend on each other.
Although my husband and I do enjoy treating ourselves to a nice meal out, every year I look forward to staying home on Valentine’s Day. Dealing with busy restaurants that abuse every opportunity to extort their patrons just doesn’t scream romance to me. Instead, my husband and I plan what we will make and procure the necessary ingredients a few days in advance. I get to watch my husband unabashedly ask a salesperson what wine will go best with the unambitious meal we have chosen (this year it’s lasagna!), which is always amusing. Then on Valentine’s Day we simply come home, put on some music, poor some wine and let the night unfold, and honestly, nothing short of a surprise trip to Paris could top it.
With our version of Valentine’s Day there are no surprises, grand gestures or unfulfilled expectations, just two lovers and the candlelight. Sometimes it’s nice to do nothing.