I saw 16 men in line at Safeway today, each one held nothing but a bouquet of flowers. Clearly a frantic solution to the Valentines problem as they made their way home from work. Closer scrutiny revealed a few carried heart shaped cakes; a red aluminum pan with plastic teddy bear or heart decal pressed into industrial icing. These men were hedging their bets, covering all perceived bases just to be sure their partners wouldn’t sulk for the rest of the night.
It isn’t my intention to make anyone feel bad or judge parameters of other peoples relationships; all I can do is speak for myself when I say “please don’t buy me flowers”. I don’t want anything for Valentine’s Day. I would feel dreadful if my husband were one of those men in the Safeway line. In fact, it would leave me feeling hollow if “love” ever disintegrated to the point of obligation on one pre-determined day every year.
I’m not being cynical or critical – simply admitting my astonishment at a marketing bonanza. Forgive my lack of enthusiasm for this prescribed day of love. I can’t help being who I am, I can’t shake this feeling of sympathy for those men scrambling to fulfill perceived obligations.
My husband will come home from work on a random Tuesday with flowers – no reason at all. Not because we bickered the night before, not because it’s my birthday or our anniversary – simply because. After almost 32 years of marriage it still blows me away. Unexpected, heartfelt; flowers that mean something rather than flowers society pressured him to buy on February 14. Those flowers say “I love you” – Valentine’s flowers say “I had to – hope you’re happy”.
Happy Valentine’s Day.