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The Day Some of Us Love to Hate

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Sometimes the best thing about Valentine's Day is not having to celebrate it at all!

MARY: I'm in my 50s, twice divorced. I had accepted the fact that I'd likely spend the rest of my life single and that I'd never experience the kind of love and intimacy I'd seen among couples who are right for each other. I was wrong. I'm now in a wonderful relationship unlike any I've ever experienced.

My significant other, a widower, says he's no good at giving gifts. His late wife was content to tell him what she wanted for special occasions and that worked well for them. He's been anxious lately over how to recognize Valentine's Day.

I gave him his gift last weekend. I told him he's officially off the hook for this and every Valentine's Day for the rest of our lives. He was visibly relieved. He treats every day as if it's Valentine's Day. That's a better gift than can be found at a candy shop, florist or jeweler.

He asked me which occasions I want him to recognize. I told him there are just three — my birthday, Christmas, and eventually our wedding anniversary.

MICHAEL: Boy, did I luck out on this one. I've been happily married for 25 years to a wonderful Mexican woman. We now live in central Mexico. When she was growing up, there was no such thing as Valentine's Day celebrated in Mexico. (However, that may be changing. The American influence is trying to create "El Dia de Amistad," but so far, it doesn't carry the same weight).

She considers Valentine's Day one of those stupid, inexplicable American things.

CHERI: Why do grown men think grown women want stuffed animals? I have never understood that. I like flowers; I love candy; I wouldn't mind a plant; and, of course, jewelry is always fabulous. But a stuffed animal? Don't bother.

And while we're on the subject, please, no cards with a guy bear and a gal bear doing fun stuff like making cookies, shopping or riding in a convertible. If you're going to go to the trouble of buying me a card, get something that will either make me laugh or make me sigh.

LOUANNE: Yes, Valentine's Day is a Hallmark holiday, but why are people so bitter about it? I've never expected a man to empty his wallet, nor have I ever complained that whatever a guy planned wasn't romantic enough. Now that I'm married, I tell my husband what I want, which is just a little something to show he remembered.

LUCKY: Even if you don't have the money to splurge, if you're with the right man or woman, your partner will understand. He or she will be glad just to be in the same space with you. I know Valentine's Day is a made-up, pretend holiday designed to get people to spend money, but it's also a chance for a guy to show his woman how much he loves her and a great time for a woman to reciprocate. All in all, it's a real win-win.

How are you going to spend Valentine's Day? What are some of your more memorable ones? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to cheryllavinrapp@gmail.com. And check out my new website askcheryl.net.

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Comments

5 Comments | Post Comment
I don't think Valentines Day is a made-up holiday. For people in long-term relationships, it's a wonderful opportunity for re-ignite that spark that sometimes flickers under loads of laundry, car repairs, and especially kids if you have them. Valentines Day is the special time to set all of that aside and focus on each other.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Samantha
Sun Feb 3, 2013 7:04 AM
I'll be with my sweet new boyfriend just spending time together.
Comment: #2
Posted by: PuaHone
Sun Feb 3, 2013 10:14 AM
Agree, Samantha. The day has been around longer than florists, Hallmark or Godiva Chocolates.

I can't blame businesses for wanting to make a buck, and I have heard some horror stories about valentines that didn't "measure up" to expectations. We don't make a huge deal of it -- maybe because we were both January birthdays and a March anniversary. And we sure don't try to go out to eat that day.

But I don't get what's wrong with taking a moment to say, "You know, I'm really glad you're here with me!"
Comment: #3
Posted by: hedgehog
Sun Feb 3, 2013 5:48 PM
Wow, Cheri sounds like a wonderful catch that most men would love! Not.
Comment: #4
Posted by: Socal
Tue Feb 5, 2013 7:44 AM
As a general rule, I dislike gifts that I need to find a space for, as our house already has enough junk and knick-knacks in it. Stuffed animals, especially, take up too much space...I once won a giant stuffed Lion at one of those carnival games that I played purely for the game part, in an amusement park and I had no idea what to do with it. I was fortunate when a passing girl, about 10 or 12 years old, innocently asked if she could have it, and I happily let her. Now when I win something like that I usually give it away to someone who wants it more than I do.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Paul W
Wed Feb 6, 2013 11:14 AM
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