Let’s talk the reality of Valentine’s Day for many.
Here’s The Image
Beautifully contoured woman with make-up intact meets well-groomed man (or partner of choice) and they go “on a date.” He brings flowers, picks her up at the door in a late model sports car, and holds both the door and her chair at the high-end restaurant. The next day, he not only texts a lovely message detailing what a great time he had, but he also sends chocolates. Valentine’s Day for the win.
And The Reality
Overworked woman whose make-up may or may not have even put on that morning meets tired man and they agree to “just go home and avoid the crowds.” They pick up fast food and eat it while individually looking at their phones. He might, if she reminds him, bring in the mail. She might, if she can drag herself to the laundry room, do a load. The next day, while taking their heartburn medicine, she texts him a reminder to pick up milk and he forgets it anyway. Valentine’s Day for the masses.
Reality Or Illusion?
While other holidays (assuming you consider Valentine’s Day a holiday) have external drivers, there really aren’t many for Valentine’s Day. You do Christmas because the family will be together, the children’s faces light up with gifts, and everyone else is doing some version of it. You do Thanksgiving because it’s about being with friends and/or family, and, face it, we have a lot to be thankful for most of the time. But Valentine’s Day has detractors, those who say it’s a trumped up time to romanticize relationships that can’t last.
We’ve even played into that over the years, offering a perspective on Vinegar Valentines (https://foodchannel.com/2016/vinegar-valentines) and suggesting White Castle as a suitable solution for a romantic dinner out (https://foodchannel.com/2011/treat-your-valentine-dinner-castle). It’s all in good fun, and we’ve certainly done our share of luscious chocolate and love-ly recipes in honor of the occasion.
Make Room For Some Romance
Is the sad reality imagined above really how we want to celebrate? Let’s hear a resounding NO! Without adding pressure, go ahead and think about how you might honor your significant other—or simply a friend—with a baked treat, a card, a movie night, or, absolutely, a nice restaurant. Join the crowds instead of avoiding the crowds. We all have our fast food nights; let’s try to do something just a bit more for Valentine’s Day, okay?
Just think of the potential: A couple who enjoy each other’s company, even without make-up, agree to go out. They meet at the restaurant after work, each driving their utilitarian vehicle of choice, and agree to put their phones down, leave work pressures behind, and leave the kids with whoever will take them. Maybe, just to be nice, someone holds both the door and pulls out a chair. The next day, they each send a text of thanks, assuming the evening was nice, and even if they are married. Maybe especially if they are married.