Rethinking Lovey-Dovey Valentines

by Bethany Davenport

A long, long time ago a man died in the name of love. It sounds like every other sappy romance novel and is the basis of a “sappy” holiday, Valentine’s Day. One legend behind the namesake of the holiday, St. Valentine, is that he defied the law by continuing to marry young men and women in Rome when it was outlawed, which is a much more valiant than the focus of the holiday today — boxes of chocolates.

I am a firm believer that this holiday, for which consumers spend $15 billion last year, according to MSNBC, is much more about the commercialized idea of love than it is about the emotions. My first job was at Hallmark, where I was hired the week before Valentine’s Day. You haven’t seen commercialized hell of Valentine’s Day until you have experienced that.

So the real question is how to make this holiday, which was intended to celebrate romance, more about its intentional cause. Here are a few ideas you could try.
Make your own valentines: Most cards are just sappy lines generically told over and over again. Just get a piece of paper and write what you feel. Even if the line is “I care about you,” it means more than something someone else came up with.

Board games: Yeah, I said it. Why not a day having old-fashioned fun together? It’s cheaper and involves more time together than a movie does, and a little friendly competition never hurt anyone.

Spice things up: Speaking of old-fashioned fun, what about a coupon book for each other? Yes, they sell such novelties at Hustler and Spencer’s but ever think to just make your own? Not only is it more personal but you can also compose it of kinky things you are comfortable with, instead of pulling a random coupon requesting a “Dirty Sanchez.”

Also let it be known that Valentine’s Day isn’t just about relationships and lovey-dovey sentiments. Love, and sometimes the greatest kind of love, is between friends. Some of the best valentines are not the negative ones that attack the idea of romance but those that are about spending time with those you love, regardless of relationship status.

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