The Valentine's Grinch rethinks

2012-02-14 10:12

Georgina Guedes

My husband and I have never been great celebrators of Valentine’s Day. Hearts and Hallmark cards have never been our thing, and we already eat way too much chocolate. I’d rather go on a date night on just about any other night of the year (other than New Year’s), than have to put up with an overpriced and twee public testimony to love in a crowd.

I’ve also never really worn my anti-Valentine’s heart on my sleeve because it’s just so boring – the anti-celebratory sentiment has become as stultifying as the sentiment itself, like people who wittily (yawn) proclaim to resolve only to make no New Year’s resolutions.

Those who smugly announce that they make an effort to make their partners feel special 365 days of the year are as vomitously saccharine as those who wear red and white and send secret heart cards to everyone in the office.

So, I’ve quietly kept my anti-Valentine’s sentiment to myself, and my husband and I have fallen into each other’s arms at the end of a day in the romance trenches grateful not to have to make an effort, and to have shacked up with such a sensible sort. And then we go on lovely date nights when the rest of the world’s sanity has been restored and we can enjoy our night out in peace and good taste.

That is, until we had kids. Unlike other celebratory festivals like Easter or Christmas, children do not bring a whole new level of appreciation to Valentine’s. Rather, it’s what they do to the rest of your life that makes the day take on a new level of significance.

Your children reduce your soul mate to furniture – somewhere to put the baby while you pee. There’s a camaraderie in the exhaustion of raising two together, sure, but at the end of a long day, it’s all you can do to muster the energy to stay awake for 45 minutes of “us” time before collapsing into an interruptible sleep. We bolt our dinner down and watch television, secure in the fact that when these guys simmer down a little, we’ll start paying attention to our relationship again.

But, as we learnt with our first child, weeks pass easily into months and before you know it, you have a one-year-old on your hands and you no longer know the night shift boom operators on the gate into your suburb or complex. So you need something to jolt you back into the middle lane of existence, and up a gear on the romance stakes.

This year, the need for that jolt has happened to coincide rather neatly with Valentine’s Day. My husband and I had already started having those vague conversations about the seemingly insurmountable obstacles of babysitters and bedtimes, and slowly realised that with a little effort, they weren’t so insurmountable after all.

And so, feeling like we’re being wildly irresponsible, and that the limb-leadening exhaustion could present a sensible excuse not to at any point, we’ve planned a night out. Somewhere close, somewhere fast, but somewhere nice. I may or may not have managed to arrange a delivery of chocolates to his office (long story), and I will be getting my legs waxed.

But we still can’t bring ourselves to face the notion of actual Valentine’s Day with the masses, so we’ll be romancing it hard at our local gourmet pizzeria… tomorrow night.

- Georgina Guedes is a freelance writer. You can follow @georginaguedes on Twitter.

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  • Victor - 2012-02-14 12:52

    He has a point............ Or points. Instead of disliking this comment, why don't you guys offer evidence to the contrary?

      Stephen - 2012-02-14 13:13

      Why don't you read the article. It's about Valentines day and how some people (especially married couples) celebrate it. I saw no reference to having more kids, sex, God or human anatomy in the article. Otherwise, we might as well start commenting about the State of the Nation address here also, and our dislike for all things orange ...

      Victor - 2012-02-14 13:24

      Did you know the other name for Valintines day Stephen??????? Let me enlighten you. It is called Put out For flowers and jewellery Day. See the link now????

      Stephen - 2012-02-14 13:47

      Victor - let me guess - your not married either? Hence you're rather sexist remark. Its probably only good for hookers and call-girls. Why does one need to "Put Out" when you're married? Furthermore, this article is mostly about "MARRIED COUPLES" and their "ANTI-VALENTINES" sentiments. Something you know clearly know very little about. Save this article, and re-read it in five or ten years time and you might be quite surprised how your attitude has changed.

      Victor - 2012-02-14 14:38

      Well Stephen. You have just proven my suspicion that Married men don't get anyting. Hence the failure on your part to connect this article and valintine's day with the only activity its good for. There you go. My little Anti- Valintine's day sentiment. And contrary to your belief...........Who is to say the comments have to be a 100% related to the article? I dont see anybody else rushing in and posting anything worth while. So stop being a kiss@rce. Maybe you should try that on your wife.

      ramona.fredericks - 2012-02-14 15:29

      you an idiot of note victor.

      Victor - 2012-02-14 15:42

      Name calling Romona? Very intelectual of you sweetheart! Happy valintine's!!! Show your man who is in charge!!!

  • Stephen - 2012-02-14 15:17

    Wrong. Happily married men don't have to pay or bribe for it! What has made today especially memorable for us is the school-made valentine's card from my son, and the sweets he saved from a friend's weekend birthday party. Made us feel very special ... and yes, we will all be having pizza's later tonight. The rest is none of yours or anyone else's business. So Victor. why don't you go play in the traffic, and stop reading articles that you clearly cannot relate too - you are immature, definately not married, and probably also have no kids. Maybe get your mommy or daddy to better explain Georgina's article to you.

      Stephen - 2012-02-14 15:25

      Another thing Victor - if you knew what a "date night" was, you wouldn't have to wait for Valentine's day like a dog on heat ...

      Victor - 2012-02-14 15:40

      Happily marrien men? Have you seen the divorce stats Stephen? Why so angry mate? Me thinks you protest to much. " men don't have to pay or bribe for it! " Your living in a dream world if you think life is like that. I also dont have to validate anything by giving the details out of my life. But you are also wrong. The comments i made was not about my own experience. But just from all the advice and complaints ive been hearing from most of the men i have come in contact with in my 31 years on this earth. And it all boils down to a simple fact. Men whant it. Most women could most definately go long periods without it. Supply and demand.

      Stephen - 2012-02-14 16:06

      Victor - I suggest you find better advice and/or role models. Getting married (obviosly to the right person) and having kids is the most rewarding experience you will get out of this life. And you can also stop misquoting me - clearly HAPPILY MARRIED MEN must not be confused with divorced men. When reading Georgina's article (and many of her previous one's), I get the impression that she is clearly HAPPILY MARRIED, and this article is clearly a result of her love for her husband and family.

  • ramona.fredericks - 2012-02-14 15:26

    Amen I so know how that feel having 3 little ones myself.

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