I did not hate Valentine's Day until they started selling carnations at school. Prior to homeroom humiliation, I can't recall any feelings about Valentine's Day, actually. Except that the Whitman's Samplers never lived up to my imagination.
Which should have been a clue about how Valentine's Day was going to work out for me.
I can't remember when exactly the carnation thing started - 7th grade? 10th grade? I've blocked it out. What do remember is that I never, ever, ever, ever, got a red (love) carnation. One year I did get a pink (secret admirer) carnation.
From a friend.
Sort of like when Mrs. Patmore gave Daisy that Valentine on Downton Abbey and Daisy thought it was from her crush Alfred. I was so excited until I found out who it was from. I know that I should have been pleased that I got white (friendship) carnations at least, but no one talks about friendship on Valentine's Day.
In college I finally got the red flowers, but there were many complaints about how expensive they were. Then there was the attempted weekend getaway, except I got a massive stomach virus and we wound up staying at my parents' house instead. Probably the best one was the time my then-boyfriend was away and I hung out with a friend and watched movies.
Which should have been a clue about how I should celebrate Valentine's Day. Or not celebrate it. But I kept trying.
- There was the year my ex wore my favorite underwear, without my permission, to "spice things up". Underwear was totally ruined, like my libido. FAIL.
- There was the year I hung out with my parents. My parents are great and all, but quality family time is for Christmas, not Valentine's Day. FAIL.
- There was the year I went to a singles dance. Even though I was with friends, there's no way that can be anything but a FAIL.
- There was the year another ex took me out despite the fact that he was coming down with pneumonia. Pneumonia is definitely the worst gift I ever got. FAIL.
- There was the year I got food poisoning. FAIL.
- There was the year I sat through the most boring date ever, just so I wouldn't be alone on Valentine's Day. FAIL.
And then I met Hot Guy. And on our first Valentine's Day, he had a 12 hour rehearsal, so we didn't really celebrate it. I think we went out to dinner a couple of nights before, but we did a lot of that anyway. He had roses sent to my job, but that was more about competition with my co-workers than romance. But it was the greatest Valentine's Day I could remember; relaxing, no disappointments or illnesses. I think I ate popcorn for dinner while I watched movies.
I haven't celebrated Valentine's Day since.
I only wish I had figured it out sooner.
For those of you concerned about my children, I do buy them Valentines for school and give them candy, I am not that much of a hater. But we'll be talking about the ridiculous expectations of this made-up holiday as soon as they hit puberty.