Back in middle school, I was not the kind of cute, pert-nosed little girl who received teddy bears and candy from boys. I was the kind of girl who received a Valentine's Day card from her grandmother...but not boys. Never boys.
I wasn't a total nerd. It was just that I was more focused on the characters from Little House on The Prairie to do much flirting. Oh, I fantasized about having a boyfriend who would give me a chocolate rose wrapped in red foil paper, but I was a little too bookish and shy around members of the opposite sex to figure out how to get my hands on a guy.
I figured when I grew up, I would finally get my due in the Valentine's Day department. Flash forward 15 years or so, and I've finally got a man. (A tip for shy middle school girls: Gin helps. I mean, not right now of course. But later.) And not only is he a great guy, he's my betrothed.
So why, now, could I care less about Valentine's Day?
It's like a bizarre Catch-22 situation. When I didn't have a boyfriend, I felt the pressure to get one, so I could have someone to celebrate The Big Love Holiday with. Now that I have a guy, I feel the pressure to celebrate The Big Love Holiday with all the fireworks. Either way kinda blows.
So you know what? I've decided I'm just over it. I'm over the pressure to plan candlelight dinners and arrange flowers to be delivered to the workplace. I'm over ginormous boxes of chocolate that give me zits even though I'm 30 years old. I'm over the stupid belief that adult women like teddy bears and other stuffed animals that say "I Wuv You" on them. I'm over those pasty little pastel candy hearts with their pathetic little comments and pleadings. And I'm definitely over pink and red, which don't look very good together in case you hadn't noticed.
Just like New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day has become an animal, a nightmare, a day full of dumb expectations. And this year, I'm phoning it in. Kevin is too, and being a man, he's relieved I have set the bar low.
So far, this is my plan: I'm going to cut out a picture of some lettuce, paste it on to a piece of construction paper, and write, "Lettuce Be Valentines" on it. Then I'll give it to Kevin, and I can tell you for sure he's going to laugh out loud. After that, we'll order pizza, make out on the couch, and fall asleep watching "The Daily Show." When you're with the one you want to be with, that -- to me -- is a night of perfect romance. Candy hearts be damned.
I hope you have as much fun as we do. Happy Valentine's Day everybody.