I'm a romance writer. I'm supposed to be jumping for joy that there's a day reserved for celebrating the unique love you and your significant other share, right?
At least that's what the stores would have me believe. I went grocery shopping today and was slammed with a wall of red and white the instant I stepped in the store. Dozens of roses screamed to be bought for $19.99. (They're beautiful, sure, but I'd much rather have roses given to me when my significant other doesn't feel obligated to buy them or be shoved into the "all-my-other-friends-husbands-got-roses-for-their-wives-why-didn't-you?" category. Boxes of candy perched on the edge of racks for $16.99. (They're delicious, but they'll also make you feel worse when your pants feel tighter next week.) Everywhere I looked fluff-stuffed squirrels smiled at me eerily, holding signs that read "I'm nuts for you." (They're cute, but really? I mean...REALLY?)
That's when I realized I'm a realist. I'm practical. I don't need to buy my husband chocolates when I know I'm the one who's really going to be eating them. I don't need a special day to tell him I love him or that he's "beary special" to me.
So I did what any real, practical wife would do. I bought all the fixings to make his favorite meal. (I'm frying chicken as I write this.) Haven't you heard the saying "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach"? Well that's where I'm aiming. (Little side note: the first time I got my hubby's attention is when we were in high school and I offered him my sandwich--we were on a field trip and the lunch provided was peanut butter and honey sandwiches. I hated honey--still do.)
Today, tonight, forever, don't go for the "easy". Don't buy the card and do the usual. If you normally buy flowers, offer to go for a walk, pick some, pull a pre-planted ribbon out of our pocket, tie it around the stems and give it to him or her. (Husband can take credit for that one.) Spice things up. If you normally go out to eat for special occasions, eat in. Offer to do the dishes. Do something meaningful. Give a foot rub without having to be asked. Put effort into something that will make your significant other happy. Because when your partner realizes that you didn't take the easy-cheesy store-bought-romanticism way out, THEN you'll be jumping for joy. And it won't be because of the red-swamped holiday infused with love-firing cherubs. It will be because on this day, you'll feel closer to your partner than you were the day before.
Come to think of it, that's how every day should be lived, and loved. Don't you think?