Airing Dirty Laundry

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The Valentine’s Day Grinch February 13, 2008

Filed under: family,holidaze — airingdirtylaundry @ 4:22 pm

I can’t stand Valentine’s Day.  I’m actually debating on whether I should leave it capitalized, or change it to all lower-case letters just to get my point across.

Sure, it was fun in grade school when we got to trade cheap-ass Cabbage Patch Kids valentines.  It was even fun in high school when we paid a buck a piece to send a limp carnation with a cheesy note to friends, boyfriends, etc.

But as I got older, I lost interest.  I’ve heard it referred to as a Hallmark holiday and I can’t help but to agree.  I don’t need a specific day each year to remind me to give Mike a card that tells him that I love him–I can do that just fine on my own any old day of the year that I want to.  And Mike doesn’t need to consult a calendar to be reminded to take me out to a fancy dinner to show his love for me (because he has ME to remind him to do it and I remind him a hell of a lot more than just once a year!).

When our relationship was “new”, Valentine’s Day was an excuse to do something special as a couple.  My senior year of college, I bought us a Valentine’s Day package at a hotel that included champagne and chocolates, and of course a bedroom time all to ourselves without my roommates hanging around.  (I’m 33 years old and still blushing severely at the thought of my somewhat computer-illiterate father stumbling across this website and reading that sentence.  I promise you, dad, I wasn’t a tramp.  I married the guy eventually for goodness snakes!) 

Ah, but I digress.  My point is that even then, I was only interested in the “romance package” because the room rate was lower than normal PLUS we got the champagne and chocolates thrown in for free.  It was all about the value we received for the money spent.  It wasn’t about throwing money around just to have an answer to the question “so what are you guys doing for Valentine’s Day?”  We didn’t buy into the romance package idea for the DAY, we did it for US.

Two years after that, we spent our Valentine’s Day at the funeral home.  This time of year took on a different meaning for both of us, and we agreed then that Valentine’s Day is nonexistent for us.  We haven’t “celebrated” it, and have barely acknowledged it since.  No fancy dinners, no over-priced flowers, no cards, no chocolate, nothing (well, maybe SOME chocolate, but that’s an almost daily addiction, not as a result of a holiday).  And neither of us have an issue with it.  And just because we don’t “celebrate” it with each other doesn’t mean we deny the little ones in our lives–we still give valentines to our niece and nephew, and I’ll probably get a card and some chocolate for my brother’s girlfriend’s little boy. 

On Sunday morning, I got a call that my aunt had passed away.  She was only 58 and was just diagnosed with leukemia 2 months ago.  The leukemia was in it’s early stages and was under control as a result of rigorous chemo treatments.  She would have gotten out of the hospital as soon as she gained a little more strength.  But early Sunday morning she had a heart attack. 

Mike and I are leaving tomorrow morning to drive to southcentral PA for the service and then on to Maryland for the burial before trekking back to Pittsburgh.  We’re spending our Valentine’s Day in the car, at the church, in a cemetery, crying, thankful to be with family and at the same time upset that it’s death that’s uniting us. 

So forgive me for being a grinch, but Valentine’s Day? . . .well, sometimes it just sucks.

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3 Responses to “The Valentine’s Day Grinch”

  1. Karen Halls Says:

    I found your site on google blog search and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. Just added your RSS feed to my feed reader. Look forward to reading more from you.

    Karen Halls

  2. Hugs to you. You can be a Grinch whenever you want to.

    Oh and I had to laugh with the thought of your father reading about your package at the hotel. Someday I will have to tell you about JL’s conversations with his father who called me an interesting name once when we were dating . The story behind it was interesting and one day I may blog it.

    Make sure that Mike takes good care of you tomorrow so the Grinch can have a good regular day 🙂


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