Friday, February 12, 2016

Hijacking Valentine's Day

We’re bearing down on V Day… ValenDATE or ValenDOOM. Most people are divided into one of two camps, some approaching the Hallmark Holiday with starry-eyed optimism and dozens of rose-tinted chances to experience the magic, others dreading the overinflated expectations and equally overinflated greeting card prices, resigning themselves to a day of loneliness or disappointment.

As a hopeless romantic, romance writer, extremely happily married gal, and general love bug, it may burst your love-bubble to know that Valentine’s Day is not exactly my bag. In fact, in my dating years I used to refer to it as Valendoom’s Day for the epically disastrous and disappointing outcomes the day always seem to bring as opposed to flowers (that die), chocolates (moment on the lips, forever on the hips, and still no, I'm not going halfsies--my present), and little blue boxes (keep on dreamin’, sugar).

In my married years Valendoom’s day has simply become Valendate night. Essentially, it’s an excuse to enlist a sitter and have a-slightly-less-casual dinner date with my hunk of burning love. It’s never been a drastically romantic, sweep-me-off-my-feet affair. It’s a lovely dinner. Eight years of marriage and I still enjoy dating my man. But the hype of the day itself can often make a perfectly nice meal seem a bit less …special.

That’s not to say that my husband got it all wrong, but he didn’t exactly spend a month and a small fortune planning some Hollywood-staged princess moment. When you write romance it can be hard to remember that our men’s words and actions aren’t scripted by a woman who knows exactly what would make her feel extravagantly loved for a day, if not a lifetime. Real life is messy, not always charming, and definitely not story-book perfect. But it’s even better because you get to live it, sink into the role you were born to play and ride out every high and low, bump and bliss.

Now, I still believe men should put in the effort for their sweetheart and really swing for the fences from time to time. Just because you’ve locked that down doesn’t mean you stop wooing your lady, got me?

But this year I decided to give my husband a year off. A break from the often unfair expectations and last minute scramble to appease my overly-romantic nature. I’ve hijacked Valentine’s Day, took over the plans (swanky dinner and dancing reservations at a unique venue), the gift exchange (new wallet for hubs, new purse for me—personally I think I got the better end of that deal!), and a special surprise for later (my lips are sealed <3). I’ve got to admit, I’m pretty stinkin’ excited about this. Probably more excited than the past few years of guarding my expectations, just in case.

Moral of the story, ladies: Sometimes, if you want romance, you have to bring it. Hijack those plans and make your man swoon for a change. ;) And men, be real and open. Say the things you might normally forget to mention about her dress and how much you appreciate her. Take a page out of a romance novel from time to time. (You're man enough to read one!) But know, without a doubt, it really is the thought that counts. You put your heart behind a gesture and you can’t lose.

Talk to me: What are your plans for V day? Do you have a tradition? And what side are you on… ValenDATE or ValenDOOM?

Love and Chocolate,
(and kisses... I never forget those)  ;)
<3 Amy


Daphne Woodall said...

I certainly understand your sentiment. I have an affectionate husband who mostly shops for special occasions the day before. I'd love for him to put more effort in the planning but I realize he is goal oriented and I like to contemplate before striking. I love that you took the initiative this year.

This year I decided to invite a stateside missionary couple from our church (newlyweds practically but mature in age) to join us for dinner in our home. I've had fun picking out a menu that wouldn't be the norm for living in Asia. I shopped for flowers, linens and decor.

To make it special I'm moving the table to the living room by the fireplace for ambiance. Mostly I'm looking forward to getting to know them better as a couple and to pamper them a bit.

My gift to my husband this year is a bed tray so I can spoil him with breakfast in bed in comfort.

Enjoy your Valentine 's Day!

Debbie Stehlick said...

I like that you made plans. As for me, I'm babysitting the three most adorable kids I know;)

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

What a wonderful idea, Daphne!!! Love it!!! And my hubs is a last minute shopper too. What can ya do? ;) hope you enjoy your double date!!!! <3

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Debbie! They're excited to see you and I'm super grateful!