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Friday, February 15, 2013

Navigating Valentine's Day

My two Valentines

Valentine's Day, like many holidays, raises the issue of expectations for me. I wonder what if anything we'll do to celebrate. I start to plan, then resent having to do the planning. I vacillate on if I want to observe the holiday or not. For years I eschewed Valentine’s Day, cynical about Hallmark, etc, but really I think I feared the disappointment of not having anyone do something romantic for me. I love flowers, nice dinners and thoughtful gifts. But if I expected any of those things, and didn't get them, then what?

So this year, I admitted to myself that I wanted to celebrate Valentine's Day. I wanted to buy and receive a small gift, I wanted to have dinner out with my husband. I told Carl those things. Just because I have an expectation and express it doesn't mean it will be fulfilled, but at least I know what I want. At least I'm not suppressing it and hiding behind cynicism. So that feels like progress.

As it turned out, a friend spontaneously offered to babysit for us last night, so we ended up having a nice dinner out, just the two of us. As we talked about religion, meditation and books, I felt the blessing of having this man as a partner. I am utterly myself with Carl, and feel such love and acceptance from him that no flowers or candy could ever compare to the gift of sharing my life with this extraordinary human. So thanks, Hallmark, for giving me a chance to remember and celebrate that.


  1. Getting to share life with a soulmate is a rare and wonderful gift.
    and love the picture of your two hearts

  2. I relate. I too acknowledged that I wanted to celebrate Valentine's Day this celebrate the love I share with my husband and the life we have created. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Julie, I was reading that website that has all those snarky posters you see people post on Facebook. It had a bunch of Valentine's Day examples, mostly cynical, and I had a chuckle or two about it. Then I read your post and thought, "what the hell's wrong with celebrating your love" even if it is a manufactured holiday. I can tell by your blogs that you and Carl don't need V-Day for a time out, but I'm glad you got lucky.

  4. Mary Frances FoxFebruary 21, 2013

    Thanks for your lovely tribute, Julie. Being mostly single, my Valentine's Days have been low on expectations. HOWEVER...I was matched with my Little Sister from Big Sisters of Phila. on 2/14/79 and we are still sisters today. 2/14/89 was my dog Kizzy's birthday and we spent 13 good years together. I even started therapy on Valentine's Day (there's a blog post in THAT somewhere)and I have stayed connected with my therapist to this day. So, hooray for you to make a wish and watch it come true. Sounds like you are blessed with a terrific partner and a wonderful son.