Best Valentine’s Day Gift, Ever!
I am glad Valentine’s Day is over. Every year I anticipate this Hallmark holiday with a mixture of delight, anticipation, and dread. I just don’t understand the need for the explosion of pink and red ALL OVER a grocery store, the local Walmart, all of the novelty stores, and even the 7-11 store at the corner of my street. I can barely find one chocolate that is not wrapped in pink glittery paper and search as I might, I was not able to find a single normal napkin in my grocery store. Did we all lose our collective minds to Cupid’s Arrows?
I know I am a bit of a cynic about this, mostly because I work a lot with couples in distress and most of them feel the same mix of dread and delight about Valentine’s Day. It can either be a wonderful truce in the middle of the war when two people can come together in a sweet romantic moment or gesture or it can be a painful reminder of how much love is in the air but not in our relationship. Single folks especially if they are the least bit self-conscious about being partnerless cannot wait for February 14 to turn into February 15.
This year my husband and I decided to leave the cards, the candy, and the flowers to all the young lovers and treat Valentine’s Day like any other day. We often have this conversation about what each of us want from the other and realize that material gifts are no longer of prime importance. What we want is time, connection, closeness, and fun!
So this year I got the BEST Valentine’s Day gift ever! My husband and I went shopping the whole day. He came reluctantly because he wanted to spend the day with me and I went skipping because I had him for company while I looked for many girlie things. I wish I had a picture of him walking beside me carrying four fluffy throw cushions as we walked from one home décor store to another. I felt so proud of him when I had to go to the bathroom and he stood, completely self-assured in his manliness, holding my purse for me and perusing the pink explosion of decorations, cards, and lingerie in the aisle outside the restrooms.
I know this was not his idea of a romantic interlude, neither was it mine. But the act of accepting my influence, showing patience and interest in furniture and accessories, and giving me his opinion about color coordination was the most loving thing he could have done that day. Valentine’s Day passed without all the traditional drama but the sweet memories of a long day of shopping together will linger in my mental scrapbook for many years.
Vagdevi Meunier, Psy.D., Master Trainer for the Gottman Institute and National Marriage Seminars and Licensed Clinical Psychologist, has been a Certified Gottman Therapist and Workshop Leader since 2006. She is the founder of the Austin-based Center for Relationships (@ctr4relships). Follow her on Facebook atthe Center for Relationshipsand on Twitter @VagdeviCGT.