What’s the big deal about Valentine’s Day? It’s just an over-promoted consumerist holiday marked by chocolates, flowers, and cheesy Hallmark cards. It’s a day of red outfits, bad poetry, heart-shaped anything (candy, eggs, a random rock on the ground — you name it!), and unimaginative marriage proposals, and yet even with all of these, the 14th of February really is just a normal, ordinary day.
So if it’s just a normal, ordinary day, why do we still (secretly) wish that we would receive any of these romantic clichés?
I had already prepared a surprise for my Mike regardless of whether or not he had a surprise planned for me. I concocted a plan to make him feel loved that day because, well, duh, I love him, and because I wanted to, and not because I wanted him to do the same for me. I have conditioned myself to hope but not expect. After all, no expectations, no disappointments. And knowing Mike, he wouldn’t buy me a bouquet of flowers anyway because flowers are exorbitant and impractical, and he knows I would rather receive something I can actually stuff my face with, and I can’t really eat flowers. Oh wait, I think I have eaten flowers before. No joke. Anyway, he asked me, “Aren’t you glad I didn’t do that whole surprising-you-in-the-office-with-a-big-stuffed-toy thing?”After seeing a woman inside the already crammed train, taking up so much space as she carried a teddy bear half her size, yes, I was glad that Mike didn’t do that. That must have been so uncomfortable for her!
But I’m not going to lie. I was scrolling down my Instagram and Facebook pages and I was — literally — seeing red. Everybody was posting photos of their red roses, their red heart-shaped box of chocolates, their red lingerie (TMI!), and their red pancakes (Yes! Red pancakes!). People were giving gifts, going on dates, and just doing all sorts of lovey-dovey things. I would understand why all the single people in the world would want to do a social media detox on this particular day. (My friend described it as “depressing.”) Yet even I, a soon-to-be-married woman, in all my happiness and my love-filled life, and in my “no expectations” mindset, still felt a pang of longing and wished that I, too, would receive something on this day. And by “something,” I mean anything. I’m not asking for a 2,000 dollar gold bracelet or an Hermes handbag. I’d be perfectly happy with a bar of Twix with a handwritten note.
I already knew that our VD (Valentine’s Day, not Venereal Disease) would not be as grand as other couple’s, primarily because it’s just Valentine’s day and not our anniversary or our birthday, and also because we were busy tidying up the house for our overseas guest before picking him up at the airport. Our only plan was to have a late lunch / early dinner before coming to get his friend. Mike let me pick a place and I chose Parmigiano at Resorts World Manila because I was craving for their Ravioli al Funghi and it was pretty close to the airport.
We were enjoying our food and joking around like we usually do, and at this point, I actually didn’t care anymore if he had a sneaky surprise lined up for me or not. It was too late for one anyway — we were moments away from fetching his mate. I just relished the moment and appreciated the fact that he made time and chose to celebrate Valentine’s Day with me. And then I remembered my friends who complained, “____(insert ex’s name here)____ never failed to surprise me with flowers and chocolates… but where is he now??? He’s gone!” Some people didn’t even have a Valentine while I not only had one, but I will be marrying him too! That alone made Valentine’s Day special enough.
But then Mike made the night more special by telling me “This is my treat.” I beamed and exclaimed, “Wow! Thank you, Puffy! A surprise!” He said, “Well, it’s not really a surprise…” It was to me. It was a surprise because I knew he had a lot of expenses to prioritize, especially our expenses for the wedding. It was a surprise because I knew that, to him, Valentine’s Day is just Valentine’s Day. It was a surprise because I thought he would be too caught up in our errands that the last thing on his mind would be to plan something for me for this day. So when I told him “Thank you for making me happy today,” I meant it with all my heart.
I was grateful because even though he’s really “not the type” to make a big fuss about Valentine’s Day, he tried to be “the type” because he understood this deductive reasoning:
- “Chicks dig surprises and all things sweet on Valentine’s Day.”
- “Nadine is a chick.”
- “Therefore, Nadine must dig surprises and all things sweet on Valentine’s Day.”
Well… nothing is sweeter than a man who understands his woman’s love language!
I already find Mike attractive to begin with but what he did just made him 100,000,000 times hotter in my eyes! (And that, boys and girls, is how to keep the spark in your relationship!)
What he did for me reminded me of a blog post I read before entitled “I’m Dating Someone Even Though I’m Married,” written by a guy called Jarrid Wilson. The title may seem appalling but you have to read it to get why I absolutely agree with the author.
I still believe that Valentine’s Day is just a normal, ordinary day. But I also think that it’s that one day where you can take your romance a notch higher, and be creative about showing your partner how much you love him/her. Nothing wrong with a little extra sweetness… just don’t pig out too much on the candies.