Valentine's Day is one of those non-holidays that nobody ever seems to know what to do with. It all gets very complicated. I think most men, frankly, would like to forget about it altogether. While that annoys me, I also admit that guys walk a very fine tightrope on this "holiday". If you act like you're going through the motions just so we won't bitch you out on Valentine's Day, we're irritated. On the other hand, if you spend a month agonizing over the details--which flowers to buy, where to hang the decorations-- and loving every minute of it, we're having images of David Tutera and thinking over our entire history together wondering what other huge rainbow flags we've missed.
Then... There are women who think the whole thing is silly and that the Valentine's Day traditional doodads are a colossal waste of money.
Then... There are women who always expect jewelry... Or at least Kay & Zales jewelers will have you believe. I've never gotten jewelry. I don't know a lot of women who have. Either I'm traveling in the wrong circles or this Valentine's jewelry thing is just another holiday marketing myth- like the one about us all growing up eating green bean casseroles with Durkee French onions for Thanksgiving.
Then... There are couples who go overboard and propose / get married on Valentine's Day. Are these amazingly romantic couples? Or just people so lost in the ooh la la of love, they can't see how much it will truly suck for the rest of their lives if they break up? They'll have to stay in the house every February 14th to avoid getting run over by a florist's delivery truck or seeing the rest of the world wearing red and gazing into each other's eyes at dinner. It would be easier to fly to a non-celebrating Country for the day.
Then... There are those guys who think Valentine's Day is not only the answer to all their relationship woes but it's New Year's Day & Yom Kippur rolled into one. It absolves them from being a total asshole from February 15th to February 13th. Somehow, they can stay out late with their friends every night, get drunk every weekend, curse you out in public and grab some other woman's ass but all will be forgiven the second you lay eyes on that Whitman sampler. And then they get mad when you take the bouquet directly from the doorstep into the bathroom and put it into the porcelain vase.... Ungrateful trollop.
I may be wrong, but I think our relationship is the most typical one: I expect to be lavished with flowers, a romantic card that lifts me up and puts him down: Something about how wonderful I am and how he still doesn't know what I see in him... Some chocolate- from a real brand- not one that makes chicken coop wire all year except February when they become confectioners. No, I need real candy: The kind that comes with a map to tell you which shaped ones can be found where and what fillings they have so I can navigate around the chocolate minefield and avoid those curious orange and pink ones... at least for an hour until they're the only ones left. And of course, I must have some beautiful flowers.
I think my husband is also typical. For most men, I think, Valentine's Day is just a means to an end. It plays like a conga line to them: Dinner, flowers, candy, sex. Dinner, flowers, candy, sex. He's thinking: "For some reason, she thinks this day matters. Well, three of the four gifts are for her."
And to be honest, it's a fair ratio.