• The words “Valentines Day” evoke images of flowers, chocolate and romantic candle-lit dinners. But when I asked my Facebook friends how they observe the day, I got a surprising variety of responses. The first, from a happily married pal, was unabashedly smug:

    ♥ I plan to brush up on my schandenfreude.

    Followed quickly by this lament from a single friend:

     ♥ I just try to ignore the whole thing. 

    Indeed, being single on Valentine’s Day can be challenging. So what will my un-partnered pals be up to on this annual celebration of Happy Coupledom?

    ♥ I always wear black. 

    ♥ I pretend it isn’t happening.  

    ♥ Take out. Done!  

    ♥ This will be my first Valentines Day since the divorce and my ex has the kids that weekend. I’ll probably console myself with an Ebay shopping spree. 

    ♥ On February 14th I plan to enjoy some Take-out food so as to avoid all the annoying couples. And I’ll especially enjoy Chris Pratt’s spectacular abs in “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Best. Night. Ever. 

    As the comments poured in, one thing became quite clear. It’s great to be happily coupled on Valentine’s Day:

    ♥ Chocolate, flowers and champagne for us!  

    ♥ We spend a quiet evening in our garden and celebrate our enduring love as the sun is setting. It’s really lovely! 

    ♥ My husband always picks up a bottle — or three – or champagne. With flowers and candy, of course. 

    ♥ My wonderful husband of 36 years always gets me a Valentine’s Day card. After I remind him to do so.  

    ♥ My sweetie and I enjoy a romantic dinner — on the 15th. (We’ve learned that the food and service are much better the day after the holiday.) 

    ♥ My  husband gives me flowers and chocolate and breakfast in bed and I give him a fantastic home-made card. Then I get up and bake a peach pie for the whole family.

    ♥ My husband will buy me candy and a thoughtful card. I’ll shop for a nice card too, but will become so overwhelmed by all the choices that I’ll wind up with something that says “Happy Valentine’s Day to a Wonderful  Son.” Yeah. That’s how we roll.

    ♥ No cards or gifts for us, just a quiet, romantic meal at home.

    ♥ In our 37 years of marriage, we’ve rarely observed it. We’re not so into Hallmark Holidays. We try to be especially kind to each other every day. If you love your partner, shouldn’t every day be Valentine’s Day?

    ♥ We usually just exchange goofy cards but I was pleased and surprised when my husband suggested a getaway weekend this year. Maybe it’s because we’ve been apart the last couple of weekends, or maybe he’s getting more romantic after all these years… either way, I’ll take it! 

    One friend apparently suffers from Valentine Phobia:

    ♥ I usually spend the day waiting for February 15. I love my husband but for some reason I’ve always hated Valentine’s Day. In my youth I must have had a traumatic class party. 

    ♥ And I hope this pal was just kidding around:

    ♥ Instead of going through the drive through, on Valentine’s Day I bring my date right into the MacDonalds, where we dine in style.

    Two of my friends were born on Valentine’s Day:

    ♥ I’m single. And the single best thing about a Valentines Day birthday? For me, the day has never been about cupid. Single or coupled, I  always get flowers and chocolate!  

    ♥ This Valentines Day my husband and I will celebrate the same way we have for the last 34 years. With a heart-shaped cake that says “Happy Birthday Honey!”

    Some have creatively repurposed this celebration of romantic love:

    ♥ On Valentines Day I always host a Mother/Daughter Tea Party. It’s a beautiful event, often with one or more families represented by three or four  generations. A celebration of love, but of a different kind. 

    I’ve never been romantic, so I’ll order a useful farm animal for a third world family from Heifer International in honor of my beloved. “Roses are red/violets are blue/I love you so much./Here’s a llama for you.” 

    ♥ On Valentine’s Day years ago I rescued a blind ten-year-old poodle, dumped in a shelter to die. Of course, I named him Valentine. He was bright and healthy, but his owners had discarded him anyway because he was going blind. He lived to be 25 and was the love of my rescue life. On Valentines Day I’ll bring out the photo album and take the opportunity to look back and celebrate all the rescued animals that have gone before and all those who are part of my life now. 

    ♥ On Valentine’s Day my husband and I deliver flowers to widows, a tradition we started one year when a dear friend passed away at about the same time my dad was suffering with Alzheimers. I asked hubby to get Valentines Day flowers for my Mom since Dad couldn’t. While at the florist, he also bought flowers for our recently widowed friend. We always deliver them in secret. Sadly, we’ve had to add more deliveries to the list each year. But it is so rewarding to spread some joy.  

    Finally, this response from my pal Stacia made me smile:

    ♥ It’s the day AFTER Valentines Day that interests me. All that chocolate goes on sale!!! 

    Happy Valentine’s Day! However you choose to celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful day.

    Image Courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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    Article by: Roz Warren

    Roz Warren (www.Rosalindwarren.com) writes for the Funny Times, the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Christian Science Monitor, the Jewish Forward, Reader’s Digest and the Huffington Post. And she’s been on both the Today Show and Morning Edition. Roz is the author of OUR BODIES, OUR SHELVES: A COLLECTION OF LIBRARY HUMOR, which collects her most popular essays about library work.

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    1. Kelly says:

      I follow the ignore valentine’s day rule- not because i hate it, but because I just don’t care either way. Me and my significant other celebrate each other year round!

    2. Myke Todd says:

      Why are we talking about this now?
      Is today Valentines Day? Oh, man…

    3. phoebe says:

      I don’t have a partner but I plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day by attending the Ninth Annual LOVE NOT WAR Valentine’s Day Party with Women Against Military Madness. We will celebrate agape love–universal love for everyone in any part of the world, regardless of country, politics, ethnicity, religious affiliation or no affiliation. Love > fear. Love > hate.

    4. Debbie D. says:

      We’ve been married for over 40 years and never bought into this fake, manufactured holiday. There have been many romantic and celebratory occasions over the years and there will be plenty more, but when they suit us, not the retail industry. Love should be shown any time, all year round, not when the calendar dictates

    5. Carol Graham says:

      After 45 years of marriage, I still would rather get a bouquet for the heck of it on any given day than to have my husband feel obligated to get me something for Valentines day. On our 25th wedding anniversary, he had just been in a serious car accident and could not drive. He spent hours in a taxi going from florist to florist to find 25 long stemmed yellow roses. These are the things I remember and what I cherish.

      1. Dianne Morris says:

        How beautiful! A guy to cherish.

    6. Estelle says:

      Valentine’s Day is a day to rest, reflect and enjoy your partner. We go out on other days; Vday we stay in for the most part.

    7. Laughing! Awesome. My husband and I are not big Valentines Day, probably because my husband never remembered it, the ass!

    8. Dianne Morris says:

      You know more women with romantically inclined husbands than I do! Maybe those wives should write a post how they managed it.

    9. Yes, a different take on it–I guess I feel about it the way I do about all Hallmark holidays–meh. I tweeted your post, though!

    10. Jackie says:

      OMG, my husband is going to die laughing when I show him that you used my confession about being overwhelmed in the card aisle for this article. Anything goes on Valentine’s Day, as you’ve proven in this wonderful article!

      1. Roz Warren says:

        Jackie, I laughed out loud when I first read that “confession.” I always love your take on things. (Speaking of which, EVERYONE should read your wonderful “Scarlet Letter” rant.)(https://javaj240.wordpress.com/2015/02/03/the-scaret-letter/)

    11. Dave Astor says:

      What a wonderful variety of funny and interesting responses, Roz. And that rescue poodle one — so moving.

      1. Roz Warren says:

        Thanks for the comment, Dave. Yeah, that poodle story was touching. I’d never connected Valentines Day with animal rescue. But now I do.

    12. I suffer from seasonal depression, so Valentine’s Day is usually a bust for me. (It’s hard to love a grouch.) But I concur that chocolate is a great aspect of this holiday — and a good mood booster. My best to all readers to thrive or at least survive the day.

      1. Roz Warren says:

        I’ve loved plenty of grouches in my time. Hope that chocolate assists gets you through the day.

    13. We’ve been married for 33 years but there’s still something special and sappy about Valentine’s Day! We will probably spend it on the couch together, watching a movie!

      1. Roz Warren says:

        Lois have I told you before that I LIKE your life? That’s one of the many reasons I enjoy following your blog.

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