Valentine’s Day is Monday. The holiday has been around for as long as I remember, except that it used to be a day for lovers, and that you might receive a rose on. It has now blown up into a complete three-ring circus, seemingly created to make men across the globe feel miserable and help turn a huge profit for flower shops and greeting card companies.
Now, I am not going to be a hypocrite here, by claiming that I won’t indulge in such nonsense, because I’m no different than most other women and love receiving candy, flowers or a card. I am, however, a pretty realistic and practical person as well and my marriage is not going to end if my poor husband, who is currently getting up at 7 a.m. and coming home between 9 and 10 p.m., including Saturdays and Sundays, doesn’t make it to the store to buy the obligatory Valentine’s present. It might be a cultural thing, because in Germany we just never made a big fuss about something like this. It’s great if our guy remembers, or chooses to participate, but it isn’t an indicator of how much we are loved and we certainly don’t feel that the world is ending, if he doesn’t come home bearing gifts.
I might stand alone with my opinion, but I think that gift giving has gotten completely out of control. The expectations of how to show love are so completely unrealistic and are set so high that I would be seriously concerned if I had to raise kids. When ads tell us that we should remember our parents for Valentine’s Day (yep, this is what I heard on the radio this morning), when children receive $2,000 laptops for Easter and the expectation for an engagement ring lies in spending thousands of dollars, where does gratitude come in? What ever happened to “it’s the thought that counts”?
There are quite a few guys who do an amazing job in the gift giving department and are still bad excuses for a boyfriend or husband. Receiving expensive gifts does not show how much a person loves another. Gifts only mean the world to me if they are thoughtful and if the rest of his actions match the gift! I couldn’t care less about getting a dozen roses on Valentine’s Day, if he is a selfish or thoughtless jerk for the rest of the year!
Maybe we would end up getting more at times, if we’d learn to expect less? Maybe we’d receive more by being grateful and learning to fill our needs from within, versus expecting another to make us look good, feel worthy or good enough? Sure, we are taught that we should always raise the bar and expect nothing but the best, but maybe our idea of “the best” has become distorted, spoiled and added a sense of entitlement. I always felt that in order to expect and get the best, I, as well, have to be the best! My man surprises me at times by not spending a dime, namely when he “sings” a song to me that tells me how he feels about me (his idea of singing is blasting a song on his iPhone while happily mouthing the words and gesturing along).
I think the world would be a better place if we could all just strive to always give our best; not just on one day, and definitely not just by buying heart-shaped candy!