Oh, Valentine’s Day. Those two words mean so much, striking fear in a man’s mind that he will not be able to make his sweetie happy with the gifts he bestows upon her, and fear in a woman’s heart that no one will actually present said gifts. Today, this one holiday seems to be a measure of how much one loves and is loved.
As someone who has been in the floral industry for years, I have heard all sorts of tales and excuses. Jokingly – and sometimes NOT so jokingly – it is surmised that the holiday was made up by the flower shops and greeting card companies to make their (the men’s) lives more miserable. In fact, the florists are here to help get them out or keep them out of trouble, when the need arises. And, believe me, florists do a great job at it!
We all know that Valentine’s Day is about love. It’s a time to express your adoration for your significant other. Flowers, candy, balloons, dinner, wine, dancing… It is Romance, come to the forefront on this one special day. But I sincerely hope that is not the end of it!
As an incurable romantic, I tend to see romance everywhere, in everyday activities and in ordinary places. Now that I have finally reached adulthood, and have unabashedly embraced my role of Romance novelist, I write about it too. I’m observant. I see things so many of us never notice, even when it is happening to us. Love manifests itself in so many ways. Not just in the flirty and, sometimes overtly sexual ways that slap us in the face, but in the subtle, caring things we do for each other.
A great example of this is one we probably have all seen: the tottery old man who haltingly opens the door for his equally tottery wife. She patiently waits for the door to open because she knows it means so much to him to continue to believe he is protecting her.
I once knew a beautiful older woman whose fingernails and toenails were always immaculately done. It came to light one day that her dear old husband did her nails for her because she could no longer go to the salon and was unable to do them herself.
I knew a wonderful woman who painstakingly cared for her invalid husband for almost forty years because she believed no one else could do it as well as she. And because she loved him so much, she would not turn over his care to anyone else, even as she battled cancer.
These are ‘awww’ moments and life is absolutely filled to the brim with them.
It might be that your significant other fills your car’s gas tank because he/she knows you hate doing that. Or goes to that restaurant you love, even though he detests it. Washing your hair for you. Bringing you coffee or a cup of your most-loved tea. Knowing your favorite song. Buying you that one thing you would kill for because you won’t get it for yourself.
People show their love in so many ways. And, to me, that is true romance. Don’t wait for that one special day of the year to tell your sweetie how you feel. Do it every day in the small ways that mean so much.
I have had men tell me that they don’t buy flowers for their significant other because she doesn’t like flowers. I’m not so certain I believe that. Get her the flowers anyway because it isn’t really about the flowers. It’s about how the flowers, given to you by that special someone, make you feel. And never let men tell you they don’t like receiving flowers. I have yet to see one that doesn’t go a little squishy when receiving a nice bouquet meant especially for him.
I saw this happen with my own father. He was the manliest man I know. And when I sent him red roses – his favorite – on his sixtieth birthday, he was shocked and surprised and elated. He told all his old cronies and bragged about it to anyone who would listen. So, you see, I’ve seen this happen first hand.
Buy the flowers. Get the candy and balloons. Write the sentimental little ditty on the card. (The florist can and will help.) Then go out and pretend it’s Valentine’s Day every day for the rest of the year. Because, in reality, it is!
What does your special someone do for you that makes life more worthwhile?