by mamaschmama

Calm down, it’s only Valentine’s Day?

My writer’s mind is saying “The ‘calm down’ shit is getting tired, don’t use that in the title.”

My compassionate mind is saying “There are people out there who are hurt by such a romantic day, don’t make light of it.”

But, if I were talking to a friend bemoaning the upcoming holiday (yes, holiday), that is what I would say.  And before you get all pissy with me over that, let me explain or let me make you feel sorry for me (your choice).  I was not always in a relationship on Valentine’s Day.  As I write this post, I can think of one instance where I was just getting out of a painful break-up and listening to Nelly Furtado (Oh you don’t mean nothing at all to me) constantly.  One Valentine’s Day, my ex texted me ON THAT DAY to wish me a Happy Valentine’s Day (dick).  And for a handful, I was alone  and I didn’t want to be.

So, I’m not someone who has been showered with love and adoration my entire life on Valentine’s Day.  Even the years my love life sucked, I still loved the holiday because to me, Valentine’s Day has less to do with romance and more to do with silliness and fun and my family.  It also has the best color scheme of any holiday and it has the best food (choc… do I really need to explain that one?).

My mother makes a huge deal out of every holiday and Valentine’s Day is no exception.  I carry on that tradition with my children (to a lazier degree).  On Valentine’s Day, I don’t expect my husband to make some over the top gesture of love (although it’s welcome, honey).  I just expect to have fun.

Here’s my Valentine’s gift to you if you’re a V-Day hater:

1.  Valentine’s Day is not for the adults.

Didn’t that just make it a zillion times easier?

On Valentine’s Day, we take our kids on a date.  We’ve been to museums and crappy kids restaurants and this year, we’re taking them to see a play.  We dress fancy (kid fancy) and have special time together.  My sister sends the kids cards and this year, she made them little ornaments to hang on their door.  Cute and simple and I only hate her a little for making such an adorable gift for them.

Milk turns pink if you say “I love you” three times (or “I love you three times” as my son said last year), food is cut into hearts, we make lots of red and pink decorations.  I don’t know, look on Pinterest if that doesn’t make sense.

Don’t have kids/kids don’t care/kids are moved out?  Man, dye that milk/wine/macaroni and cheese pink yo’self!

2.  ”But what about ME?”

Lower the expectations.  There will be no film crew recording how the evening goes with your significant other.  Or just yourself.  Stay off Facebook if you honestly believe people had the best evening in the world.  By the way, I don’t.  I believe social media allows us to present what we choose to the world.  That is perfectly OK.  I choose what I want to tell you and trust that you’re smart enough to know that what I write here isn’t the whole of my being.  You don’t want to know that I had a boogie hanging out of my nose the whole time we were at the library the other day, do you?

My husband and I go on a date the week before and that’s our special time.  Because we do it the week before, we don’t compete with anyone for reservations and (conveniently-not-really-I-planned-it-that-way) we also celebrate our wedding anniversary.

Need some highly specific date ideas that are completely irrelevant to you if you don’t live where I do?  Sure!

My favorite date for all time is visiting Frontera in Chicago.  Whenever my husband asks me what I want to do for a special date, I say “Eat myself under the table at Frontera.”  So, we’ve done that before.  We’ve also stayed the night in a hotel and watched movies the whole night, on pay per view (I was pregnant that year).  We’ve also gone to see a Daniel Day Lewis movie and spent the rest of the evening discussing how the DDL acted the shit out of his role.  [“I thought the screen was going to melt when Sally Field and DDL were acting the shit out of that scene together.”  “Totally.”]

One year, we went to the Gospel Brunch at The House of Blues.  Have you done that?  You must.  It will exceed your expectations that I told you to lower but I knew you weren’t going to listen.

No one said Valentine’s Day had to be full of expectations.  The best type of humor is one that takes the piss out of misery.  Why not take the piss out of an over-hyped holiday (but not in my opinion because it has the best color scheme of all holidays and involves overindulgence in chocolate)?

Happy Valentine’s Day, people.  Make it a light-hearted one and I promise you, it will be enjoyable.

I’m skipping comments on my post.  I don’t usually like a one way conversation but this week, I’m volunteering in a classroom to, you guessed it, teach a Valentine’s art project.  Since I haven’t taught in months, I am going to spend most of my week planning the most unnecessarily detailed plans for my big 30 minutes.  Thanks for reading.

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