Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Valentine's Day: Fantasy vs Reality

With it being February and all, I am thinking about Valentine's Day coming up next week. If you watch TV or read the paper, you see all the ads hawking the romantic gifts and ideas for the big day - you know, jewelry, fabulous vacations, wonderful restaurants, lingerie, flowers, luscious chocolates, etc. This, to me, is the "Fantasy" part of V-day. Reality is that you can't get a seat in a restaurant on Valentine's day, unless you're willing to settle for Burger King. Usually at this time of the year, I am still squeezing into my clothes from the over- indulgences of the Christmas holidays and am not too keen on stuffing myself with chocolate. I am not a big jewelry wearer, I only like rings on my ring fingers and I only have two of those and they are 'full'. I can't afford a 'fabulous vacation' and lingerie? I am not even going to go there - let's just say that those advertisements are not for grannies like me. I do enjoy flowers, but Mr. Handsome actually met me at the airport last week with some of those, so I'm satisfied for awhile yet.
We have this idea that romance should be a certain way, perpetuated by commercial establishments and those popular girls in high school. It started for me while I was still in school (many years ago) and on Valentine's Day, you could pay a dollar and have a flower or balloon delivered to your "sweetheart" during class period - you know - in FRONT OF EVERYONE in your English class - so exciting. Well, all 4 years of high school, I would get a little hopeful each February when the delivery students would come in with the gifts. But, alas, none were ever for me. Some girls got multiple flowers! I would console myself that my boyfriend went to another school, or he would have gotten me one, etc. Just another popularity contest that I failed, sigh. Come to find out, some girls would make a pact and send them to each other, so they would look "more popular"! I guess I missed out on that one.
Now that I've been married for nearly 31 years, I still enjoy a little romance, but I realize that we are all different and that romance looks different for each of us, as a couple. Mr. Handsome fills my car up with gas and gets it washed each week - maybe not a 'commercial worthy' romantic gesture, but I love it and he's been doing it for years and years, consistently. I love to garden and when I have a big hole to dig, he uses those handy muscles and digs me a great big hole, no complaining. He leaves me the occasional note and always takes out the trash, and takes me on fun dates, that he's thought out and planned. He is faithful and kind and I could go on and on, but I don't want anyone to feel left out if that's not what their romance looks like - I think we all need to be grateful for the wonderful people in our lives and not compare them and make ourselves feel bad. So - Happy V-Day to you and yours!