With Valentines (or Valentine’s) Day fast approaching, it’s not important whether you know the true origin of the day or not. What’s important is that you know that Valentines Day is the traditional day on which lovers express their love for each other by sending Valentines Day cards, presenting flowers, offering candy (usually chocolate) and other unusual Valentines Day gifts. A primarily western tradition, some of it has been spilling over to countries of the Far East. I can’t tell you how much, but when my Filipino relatives know as much about it as any typical American, then I can say it with a wee bit of authority.
Valentines Day is for Lovers
The dominating partner in most relationships is male. It stands to reason that a lot of men will go out of their way to please the women in their lives. Valentines Day is just an excuse to dote on a lover with things like flowers and candy, based on the hope that he’ll receive sexual favors (or something) in return.
I’ve been married to my wife for 28 years. Even after all this time, I still do this on a yearly basis. Yes, I’m looking for sex in return. Of course I am, even though once a year isn’t enough.
While I agree with the sentiment of Valentine’s Day for adults, there is one thing about this “holiday” that I don’t agree with.
Valentines Day in Education
I went through this is in elementary school as did both of my sons. We were instructed to get Valentine’s Day cards (paid for by our parents) to exchange in class.
While I believe in learning history, I don’t believe in having historical traditions passed on in a classroom environment. That part of history is best left up to parents, not school teachers. After all, Americans are comprised of people from all cultures and not all cultures observe the tradition. Not only that, but the whole process puts stress on young people that doesn’t need to be there. I’m talking primarily about unrequited “puppy love” and yes, it does exist.
I don’t understand why schools force this down the throats of children at the elementary school levels. They don’t do it in high school and perhaps it’s because they can’t influence older teens like they can with the younger children. Since prepubescent teens and children aren’t supposed to have lovers, I find this facet of the educational system in the United States quite distasteful.
Impressing Your Lover
If you really want to impress your lover on Valentines Day, you should break away from the traditional gifts. Use some originality and try something like love charms instead of flowers. If you have a “large” woman in your life, try something like plus size leather lingerie instead of candy.
Being thoughtful on Valentines Day is important. Especially if you want sex.
[Originally published in February, 2009 and updated for 28 years of marriage vs. 24.]