You know, I don't think I care any more about Valentine's Day now that I'm in a relationship than I used to.. Not that am anti-The Holiday or anything. But I just don't seem to care about it as much as anyone else does, at least not in a romantic sense. Suddenly, I feel this pressure (not from Donnie but from everyone else, my coworkers, etc) to DO something or BE something for the day. I am expected to get jewelry as a gift, to go on a fancy date, to buy a card and some chocolates. And no matter what I do, it won't be enough in The Eyes of Society.
Donnie and I are happy to have a meal together and maybe even have a beer together after (which is what we did last night) and call it a night to celebrate. This is something we do on a semi-regular basis, though. Not something that we have to do just because it's Valentine's Day. So no, he didn't send me flowers at work, and no, I didn't come home with a bottle of champagne, and no, the evening wasn't perfect. In fact, there were some blips in the road: an epic search for my keys which I lost; a teary moment of insecurity; beer that didn't hit the spot like we thought it would.
Being in a relationship really hasn't changed that much for me in terms of my thoughts surrounding Valentine's Day. Because before I started dating Donnie, I spent the entire day thinking about how much I loved my friends and my family and was so glad I had a day to appreciate life around me. My mom always gives me a sappy card and a bar of chocolate, my grandma gives me some napkins with hearts on them, and my brother and I try to be nicer to each other that day. I think of my friends and plan to call them, even though I don't always follow through. I remember family and friends we've lost and think about how fortunate I am to have so much family surrounding me.
And that was true this year too. So yes, Donnie and I stuffed ourselves silly at one of our favorite restaurants. But we also celebrated the love we have with so many other people, and I think that's really what a day like this should be about.
Note: I planned on telling the story of last year's Valentine's Day and the resulting February 15th we spent in Barcelona. But maybe I'll just share the link to the (very long) post I wrote about it last year. If you want, just skip to the 4th full paragraph for the details of the dinner that resulted in the worst morning I've ever experienced. My only moment of pride was when I emerged from the bathroom and promptly thanked Donnie for taking me to Barfalona.