Yes ladies it is that time of the year. Roses are as expensive as gold, chocolates are in heart shaped boxes, hair salons are buzzing and overflowing with hair styles and expectant hearts are beating loud everywhere. The hype more real than the actual event, by the evening of February 14th some will rejoice while others will drink a bitter glass of cold disappointment and cry into their pillows!

It has always baffled me why on this particular day, hopes are so high and disappointments so deep that it has become a major and expensive production! There is absolutely no rule/edict anywhere (I have checked) that justifies Valentine’s Day! Just like several other media-fueled occasions, Valentine’s day has been a so-called day of love for decades. Here is the reality check, if you do get a Valentine’s gift, does that absolutely secure your relationship? If you do not get a box of jewelry wrapped in red, does that automatically mean your relationship is doomed? The answer is of course a big fat NO to both questions.  Another point is how big/expensive or original does the gift or celebration has to be to satisfy the Valentine hunger? Does a single rose say I love u forever? Is a fancy dinner enough without a gift? Or are diamonds a girl’s only best friend for Valentine’s day?? I have witnessed that no matter what the gift or celebration, the jury is always divided. Some women are satisfied with a simple “happy valentine’s day dear” acknowledgement and some women argue that the diamond was only 2 carats! How much is too much and where do we draw the line?

If you really truly think about it, how important is it that you get it all on one particular day? For me, the one day that I would actually like to be celebrated is my birthday. Everyone should be celebrated for existing!

I recall that event that put me off Valentine’s Day very well. While I was engaged to my husband, he booked us a table at a very fancy restaurant on Valentine’s day. It was only expected of a newly-engaged couple to celebrate Valentine’s with all its trimmings. At the time I had bought into the hype and was ready and expecting it all. I received the mandatory rose, which at that point had waited in the car all day and didn’t smell quit like a rose anymore, and off we went to our romantic dinner where we would discuss what names to give our future children! When we were taken to our table, it was squished among the hundred other two-person tables in what looked like a sea of small wooden two-person boats that almost overlap over each other! The owners obviously played it smart by capitalizing on the sheer volume of couples who would go out for the mandatory romantic dinner. The set-up was a new play on the phrase “rubbing elbows”! As we sat down on the very narrow table, we were immediately told that due to the high volume of guests, there would be a set menu and the food will commence in ten minutes. As food was shoved in our faces, I was presented with my gift (a candle with our picture on it) the two other tables to our right and left were close enough to inspect the gift with me and the women were clearly comparing what I got with what they got! I can assure you there was nothing romantic about the night, we could not say two words to each other over the hum of everyone else and the food was awful, in addition to the fact that the gift didn’t get the credit it deserved due to the fact that I felt self-conscious! That night I had decided that Valentine’s Day was really just like any other, only more expensive and uncomfortable and if you really believe that it should be magical, you will realistically, be disappointed! I think many of you will agree with me when I say, men 90 percent of the time, do not know what we actually want! I can’t use a candle if it has our picture on it! A pair of earrings really would have been better!

So from then on I told my husband (who is so relieved and cannot believe his luck to this day) that Valentine’s Day really doesn’t matter to me! Why set myself up like that when nine out of ten times I will be disappointed?

Realistically and economically speaking most couples, after a few years of marriage, will settle on one prominent gift a year. If I were to ask that I be gifted for all anniversaries (day we met, our first date, our engagement, our wedding and so on) in addition to religious holidays and Valentine’s day; I would probably get a piece of a bracelet for each occasion which I will probably get a chance to assemble a là Ikea at the end of the year for new year’s when I’ve gotten all the pieces by the end of the gifting year!!

Valentine’s day is especially brutal to single women. They are bombarded with the day long before it arrives. Today I saw that even fast food chains have bought into the craze and created a his-and-hers Valentine’s meal! Almost every brand now runs Valentine’s Day specials and social media will have it everywhere to hype it up before the day arrives. In addition to all that, every single post or mention will set a girl’s heart aflutter if she is the one being mentioned, regardless whether anything actually comes off it! Ladies, if your boyfriend posts a picture of the two of you on Valentine’s day, do you automatically expect a proposal? Do you believe that it is a sign that this is your forever love? Chances are, some men like\believe in or enjoy Valentine’s day and will do something romantic. But we should pace ourselves ladies and really not read too much into anything.

Being the eternal realist; I am here to tell you; February 14th is a calendar day like any other. It has no magical powers. It is not the end of the world if you are single and it does not signify the start of the rest of your romantic life if you are in a relationship.

Ladies I know some of you will say that you like the idea of having a day like that to break the routine and that it doesn’t have to be a big deal but it should mean something. I say to you, if you can stay neutral and not hype yourself up, good for you. To each his own of course, I’m just conveying my Reality Bytes on the issue of V-day!

Disclaimer: If you are a teenager, just engaged, just married, you will not like the subject of this column!

Happy Realistic Valentine’s everyone!

Until Next Time…

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