Why Valentine's Day Isn't a Big Deal

I don't remember many Valentine's Days which is unusual for me because I have a memory like an elephant. After dinner, Nate and I talked about our plans this weekend; he mentioned doing something for Valentine's Day on Saturday (we have musical rehearsal on the 14th). And though I know he meant well, it got me thinking about how obligatory and insincere this commercialized holiday is.

I spent two and a half years working at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in both Kearney and Lincoln, and the week of Valentine's Day was always one of our busiest weeks. I loved how fast paced the job was during this time, but I hated how unhappy and stressed people looked as they put together boxes of chocolates to give away as gifts. Very rarely did people come in smiling asking what they could get to knock the socks of their significant other.

Days like Valentine's Day create unrealistic expectations that often end in disappointment. One Valentine's Day when Nate and I were engaged, he asked me what I wanted to do for Valentine's Day. I said, "nothing" knowing darn well that I didn't mean it--but I wanted him to figure it out and come up with something on his own. Staying true to what I requested, Nate didn't plan anything. He picked me up from my dorm room and we went to his sister's house. As his sister and her husband headed out for a romantic evening, we sat on the couch eating rice and beans while watching TV. I was pissed. No more than ten minutes after they left I demanded that Nate take me home. Confused, he drove me back to my dorm room enduring the silent treatment the entire drive. The minute we pulled up to Husker Courtyards, I jumped out of the car, slammed the door, and stomped up to my dorm room. I waited ten minutes expecting him to knock on my door any minute, but twenty minutes passed and I knew he went home. That pissed me off more.

Though I couldn't see it then, I realize now how immature this was to not communicate what I really wanted to Nate. I had unrealistic expectations that he could read my mind and plan a trip to a nice vegetarian restaurant and then to a quaint coffee shop in the Haymarket--my unrealistic expectations ruined the night for both of us.

Why do we need a day set aside to express love and gratitude? Why can't it be an everyday action? Why do we need kitschy Valentine's Day stuff to adorn the shelves at every department store? I like to be thought of and appreciated just as much as the next person, but we don't need Valentine's Day for this. So let's all stick it to the man this year, and express our love and gratitude all year long.

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