You’ve just finished off the dessert portion of a cozy candlelit dinner. As you walk home with your loved one, hand in hand, you snuggle close together, sharing each other’s warmth and conversing intimately about nothing in particular. You arrive to your destination, open the door, and stop short. A mysterious path of petals leads you past a roaring fireplace, a few strategically placed roses, and finally, to a dainty box set on your fluffy, down pillow. After glancing back at your significant other who nods encouragingly, you anxiously open the box and- DIAMONDS!!!
An approximate 180 million roses, 30 million boxes of candy, and 150 million cards later, you’re either loving life, loathing it, or just…eh. Blame the dangerous romantic comedy/chick flick for instilling ridiculously high expectations for the perfect V-day in the minds of hopeful girls and women. Year after year, most women receive the recurring gift of disappointment. No hidden diamonds, no horseback rides into the sunset. But fear not, perhaps you’ll receive a glittery card from your grandmother that reads, ” You’ll always have the key to my heart. Happy Valentine’s Day!”
Potomac Floral Wholesale Inc. prepares for Valentine’s Day
How has it come to this? I’ve thought to myself. I’m pretty sure February 14th was a day once reserved for two people IN LOVE. Like most other things it has fallen victim to commercialization and lost its sense of intimacy. It has essentially become a retailer’s dream! Husbands and wives, girlfriends and boyfriends have all been desensitized—brainwashed into buying generic cards written by complete strangers, no less.
Whatever happened to the love letter? Honest words that come from the heart, rather than your local Hallmark. Simple words, but personal words. Take St. Valentine himself. Apparently, there were three, but the one to whom we may owe all the hype was a Roman priest who married couples in secret, after Claudious II (emperor at the time) had banned marriage so that his soldiers would not be distracted by such silly nonsense as love. After being exposed for his misconduct, he was arrested and eventually fell for his jailor’s daughter. On the day of his execution, he gave her a note signed “ From your valentine.” Simple, personal, and at the time, original.
Thus, the phrase was born. But all is not lost. And so I call all couples, lovers, any looking to make a lasting impression on that special someone. This Valentine’s Day, think outside the heart-shaped box (the chocolate inside is usually pretty crappy, anyway). Consider the things that your loved one truly enjoys, be it hiking, cooking, poetry readings, concerts, etc. and go from there. Tailor the day’s events to what he/she appreciates most about life and the relationship you share. Most importantly, make it personal. There is nothing more romantic than heartfelt words, raw emotion, and honest effort. And when in doubt, KISS—“Keep It Simple Stupid”, as my art teacher once said. Anyway, love is an art itself, no?