I used to be one of those people. You know, the type that vehemently avoided Valentines' Day and all the corporate bullshit it represents, the type that glared and audibly snickered at the saps purchasing Valentine's Day cards with cute pictures of Snoopy or babies dressed like grown-ups (not to be confused with adults dressed like babies - seriously, do not google that) on them. I suppose, to a certain extent, I still am one of those people, but my attitudes towards Valentine's Day and all it represents have mellowed at bit in the last few years.
I agree with Shane when he says that, "I don’t think that people should need a special day every year to tell those they love how much they mean to them. That’s something you should do every day." But I and Shane are incredibly lucky - we are both married to people who make us want to celebrate how much we love them every single day. It's a sad fact that many married people don't have this type of relationship, and so for them, Valentine's Day can serve as a reminder that it is important to celebrate the love in your life. I don't agree that the celebration has to or even should involve the spending of copious amounts of cash. But, as with all gift-giving opportunities, thoughtfulness is key, so really think about what it is you want to say to your loved one and how best to say it. (Full disclaimer here - last year, Mr. Awesome gave me this for Valentine's Day. I didn't even hint that I wanted such a gift, but my old one was literally falling apart so this was perfect.)
On a recent episode of House, one of the doctors has a discussion about love with a man who recently married a woman he had only just met. It was an arranged marriage, and the doctor was trying to understand how a marriage could work that way. The man asks the doctor, "Do you love your wife?" The doctor tells him, "I love her as much as the day we were married." The man replies, "You should love her more."
Almost daily, I apologize to Mr. Awesome. I tell him I am sorry that I don't love him today as much as I will tomorrow.
So I don't agree with the application of Valentine's Day, but I do agree with the sentiment. Every day I celebrate my incredible luck and joy at being married to my best friend. But on Valentine's Day, we can remember that we're lucky for being able to celebrate our love every day, that we don't need a special day or card or ring or candy to remind each other how important we are to each other, and how incredible our lives are because we get to be together.
I did get him a gift, by the way. Last year he got me one, this year it was my turn:
Hmm... I wonder what it could be?
Ah, yes... nothing says "I love you" like a Wusthof knife set.
Happy Valentine's Day.