We’re less than two weeks out from one of the biggest “relationship” holidays there is.
As far back as the 17th century, giving cards was the thing to do. But, as technology improved and mass produced cards became more available (and there was an ability to easily send things anonymously through the mail), things really took off. Then, as with most things, the mid-20th century (specifically the 1980s) rolled around and really kicked things up a notch or ten.
Suddenly it wasn’t just cards any more. Now there were candies and chocolates. The jewelry places got involved and started pushing diamonds as the thing to give to show you cared.
We were told and sold that we had to really put forward our A-game in order to prove our worth to our lovers (and friends).
Having soaked long and deep in pop culture for most of my life, I know Valentine’s Day was a big deal for me. As a guy, I felt obligated to do something special if I was with someone at the time (which, really, didn’t come up all that often… most Valentine’s Days were spent sulking and bitter, full of ideas an no one to shower them upon).
Never once did I pull off the Perfect Valentine’s Day that I’d intended.
Something always went wrong.
Being it happens in the middle of winter, that “something” was often sickness or weather (or both, at least once). It didn’t help that the Valentine’s Days when I had someone to dote upon all happened when I was up in Northern New York, where winter really knew how to dig in deep and hold on for a long time. It also didn’t help that it often took place close to the midterms or finals.
One year, I had planned a fancy dinner and night out. Nothing too extravagant, but something impressive for a college student budget. My girlfriend took ill two days before and I had a huge paper due the day after. Those reservations were cancelled and the “big surprise” ended up being a kind of cheesy card bought hastily from Wegman’s.
Another year the plan was to go to a concert on campus together. Not on Valentine’s Day proper, but it would have been a nice, fun evening together we were both willing to count. Except that girlfriend broke up with me at the beginning of February.
That’s all behind me now, kinda…
Now, I have ideas of what I’d like to do for that certain someone (who I still don’t have), but at this point my ideas have become so elaborate that they border on grand romantic gestures (which are generally a bad idea, especially on holidays) and financially, if not logistically, impossible. (Armor and horse rental ain’t cheap.)
Mostly, I think I’d just rein in the fantastical imagination that I have and cook a nice dinner, pop in or dial up a fun movie, and spend the evening quietly together. Maybe with a box of heart shaped chocolates nearby.
My question to you today is: What does your Perfect Valentine’s Day date look like?
If, for some reason that poll doesn’t work for you, feel free to just answer below in the comments.
Also, yesterday’s question is still out there: How do you feel about Valentine’s Day.