Valentine's Day is happening right now.
There are three distinct schools of thought on Valentine's Day. Lots of people feel that it is a perfectly wonderful holiday, with lovers exchanging pretties and candy. These are people who have realized that the fourteenth of February occurs at nearly the same time every year and, armed with their sibylline knowledge, procure that most rare and special of Valentine's Day gifts: the dinner reservation. Jewelry merchants have inappropriate physical reactions when these first types come within 25 feet. The second is that of the schoolchild. These are people who view the holiday with some confusion. Am I getting a gift or not? If I get one am I then obligated to reciprocate? Will some sort of hand-made coupon book suffice? Just point these types toward the candy and they are happy. This second camp is where yours truly has made his residence. The third type are the haters. They object to the holiday and everything it stands for, citing candy and card manufacturers as the shadowy overlords of the Pink & Red Mafia. This is the realm of the jilted lover, the perpetually single, and the hordes of dedicated non-conformists.
At some point in my upbringing, an authority figure passed on the information that the valentine "heart" shape that is so commonly used to decorate valentines and candy actually resembles a human organ, just not the heart.
I've never been a fan of those chalky little candy prostates ever since the revelation.
Since I've already confessed to being somewhat intimidated and confused by the holiday, it is no wonder that my Trophy Wife is not a big fan of the holiday either. I am disappointed by this, since I feel that there is probably some grand scheme that I could pull off in order to forever change her mind about Valentine's Day. We've celebrated with some little dates in the past, taken in our share of romantic comedies, and dipped a crap-ton of strawberries into an ocean of chocolate. I really feel that what makes this holiday feel awkward for both of us is that all of the goods, events, and activities associated with the day doesn't enhance the love that we've shared for the past decade. What is the point of putting chrome plating on a perfectly cut diamond? I don't want somebody else to put words in my mouth for any reason, especially not the words I want to share with the most important person in my world. Am I less in love with my wife because I don't buy the goofy cards, the factory chocolate, or the overpriced dying flowers? Absolutely not!
I'll spend this Valentine's Day the same way I spent the day before, and the same way I'll spend tomorrow. I'll enjoy my time with my wife and our kids, get some work done around the house, make a nice dinner, and enjoy a nice evening at home. The only difference is that I will make a point to step outside myself and look at the love my wife and I share, to revel in the awesome magnitude of it, to give a silent recitation of thanks for the circumstances that brought us together, and to appreciate how we have maintained a passionate yet steadfast devotion to one another throughout all we have faced together.
I love you.