This Thursday, offices and homes will be decorated with bouquets of roses, heart-shaped chocolates will be flying off store shelves, and restaurants will be a buzz with tables for two.
But what if instead of having to deal with a flustered florist or an overcrowded restaurant, this Valentine’s Day went by like any other day of the year? Sure Saint Valentine might not approve, nor would many retailers be thrilled at the notion, but it seems to me somewhere along the way many of us have lost sight of what the day should mean — a chance to spend time with those we care about — and have simply turned the day into another reason to eat more chocolate.
For Sherrie Kuehlein, a mother of two and owner of her own photography business Babies & Brides (www.babiesandbrides.ca), Valentine’s Day isn’t all about overdosing on cocoa. Instead, she and her husband have chosen to swap Cupid’s arrow for a fuzzy little rodent and have made Ground Hog’s Day the time when they celebrate their relationship.
“For us, it just got to the point where it seemed silly and arbitrary to have this one day to do something romantic on that happens to be Valentine’s,” says Kuehlein, who has been married for six years. “So instead we picked Ground Hog’s Day.”
The advantage — the restaurants are less busy and the florist has a much larger selection.
Her favourite Ground Hog’s Day happened a few years back when she was pregnant and seemed to spend all her extra cash on diapers and baby bottles. For their special day, her husband made her Ground Hog’s Day dollars, complete with a photo of Wiarton Willie, which could then be exchanged for items spent on her. “Then we just spent the day shopping together, and I redeemed my Ground Hog’s bucks and he paid,” she says.
But Kuehlein and her husband aren’t the only ones who have shied away from Valentine’s Day. She says among her married friends some of them have outright vetoed Feb. 14 in their homes, while a VoxPop Valentine’s Day survey of 850 adult women found women who are not in permanent relationships are more likely to be upset if their date forgets Valentine’s compared to those in a stable relationship. In fact, 67 per cent of women just starting a relationship would expect their man to “do something special” to make it up to them if they forgot Feb. 14, compared to 47 per cent of women who are married or in a common law relationship.
Perhaps the real reasonis those in steady relationships have learned their love is not boiled down to just one day of the year.