And speaking of the big VD…

I’m sure no one’s ever thought to ask the romance writing, reading, and snarking community this question, but what about Valentine’s Day? What’s your take on it? Hokey holiday? Forced admissions of love, declarations of ardor, demands for sex, and welcome gifts of chocolate and giant fuzzy heart pillows that say “Amor?” Or a genuine opportunity to express your love and admiration for those nice folks in your life?

Personally, Hubby and I never managed to get together on 2/14 the entire time we had a long-distance relationship, which constituted the first three years we were together. But somehow we made it by the 15th, so that’s when we celebrate our “Valentine’s Day.”

Also, on the 15th? All that candy I don’t want to be eating? Is on sale! Whoo!

So what does the romance world think of the forced treacly romantic expectations of Valentine’s Day?

And don’t forget, March 14 is S&BJ day! Wonder if anyone’s written an S&BJ-themed romance….

Categorized:

Random Musings

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  1. 1
    Nicole says:

    Well….since Nick proposed on V-Day, and we started dating on that day….so it’s always held a special place in my heart.  This year we’re doing stuff on the weekend before.  So it’s shopping and a booksigning on that Saturday afternoon then a concert in the evening. So it’ll be a fun couples weekend for us.  And hotel.  Hotel sex is so much fun. 

    So I like Valentine’s Day.  But nick’s never used it as the only time to do special stuff, so that may be part of it.

  2. 2
  3. 3

    The statisticians say that Jan 23rd is the most depressing day of the year, but I’m sure a hell of a lot more genuine pain and agony occur on Feb 14th.

  4. 4
    Carolyn B. says:

    I love Valentine’s Day—we always have a great time going out to eat and see a movie. Of course, we also have a personal holiday tradition of seeing in the theater or on video a really, really gorey, gritty and gruesome movie on this holiday, but what the heck. :vampire: Call us romantic. (Silence of the Lambs, Species, Predator, Hannibal, Pulp Fiction, etc.). We never head out that way; we just pick the movies that interest us and then later realize, “Crap, we did it again. Uh … Happy Valentine’s, honey.” :red:

  5. 5
    Keziah Hill says:

    Birthday hell in my family. Sister on 14, mum on 15, nephew on 18. Baby shower for niece on 19. Romance? What’s that? The code I have to type in to log this message is woman64. Between getting the house painted, cleaning the bathroom and trying to see old neglected friends, I feel 64.

  6. 6
    CindyS says:

    I pretty much hate Valentine’s Day.  I don’t like hearts as a rule, shouldn’t be eating chocolate and find the whole holiday tacky.  Hey, if my hubby wanted to take me to a bookstore (which usually happens) then I am one happy camper.

    As a youngun I never got valentines from boys so I always felt unattractive.  Then when I got a boyfriend in highschool I would get those scary ass hearts.

    In university when I was single my mother would put out a dish of cinnamin hearts.  I was boo-hooing about not having a boyfriend but said that my mom gave me cinnamin hearts.  The girl next to me said, you’re lucky that you get to see your mother today.  Yeah, she hadn’t met my mother so she was probably wondering at the confused look on my face.  I love my Mom but she is a ‘cold hearted bitch’ but I love her ;)

    So I guess I wish that valentine’s day gifts didn’t have to be hearts.  Maybe I would be happier if they were stars filled with gift certificates for books.

    CindyS

  7. 7
    Alessia says:

    As with most holidays, it has been commercialized to the point that it’s lost all appeal to me.  I much prefer my partner surprise me with romantic gestures at random times rather than on cue.

  8. 8
    ShuzLuva says:

    Alessia has shot the proverbial heart with an arrow. Holidays have become commercial events that companies capitalize on as a reason to sell merchandise. Thanksgiving has become a reason to shop for something other than food! I really do love hearts, the colors red, pink and white, and chocolate, but when I think of them in connection with Valentine’s Day it reeks of cheese.

    Personally, I love it when the hubby surprises me with flowers (or anything else) on a “regular” day. Last year I actually got annoyed with him for buying me flowers on Mother’s Day because they’ve at least doubled the price. The best romantic moments happen organically. When things are scripted, in both writing and reality, it is stilted and uncomfortable.

  9. 9
    Lynn M says:

    Yeah, I’m with the two posting before me. In theory, Valentine’s is nice and all. Except for the fact that it alienates anyone in the population that might be single and implies that not having someone means your a loser, which is soooo not true.

    But I digress…I just hate that it’s become such a Hallmark holiday. The day after New Years all that red stuff comes out so that by Feb. 14th, I’m so sick of it.

    Not to mention how times have changed in the schools. Use to be you’d buy a box of cheezy valentines, you know, the kind with a bigger one for the teacher, and hand them out or put them in peoples’ home-made Valentines Mailboxes made out of an old shoebox. Now days you have to craft clever treat bags and attend elaborate school Valentine parties. Only good thing is that teachers have finally gotten wise and tell kids not to put any names on the actual Valentines, so we don’t end up with any Charlie Brown tragedies wherein one kid doesn’t get a single card.

    Best thing about Valentine’s Day for me is that it means February is half over and we’re that much closer to Spring. Aren’ I a hopeless romantic?

  10. 10

    My husband always worms his way out of Valentine’s Day by giving me a horrified look and saying “We’re not Christian!  You wouldn’t expect me to send you an Easter Egg, why would you expect something commemorating St. Valentine?!”

    All kidding aside, he’s romantic all year round, and shows it by bringing me flowers every Friday, usually a dozen roses.  And he dances.  And he can tie a cherry stem in a knot with his tongue.  So I’m not complaining if he misses the over-commercialized gift, card and candy train one day out of the year.

    As far as the S&BJ day goes, I laughed out loud, then I thought about sending it to my sons, then I thought about how they’d feel getting a link like that from their mother, and I refrained.

    But I’m still thinking about it.

  11. 11
    Nicole says:

    I think of it more as just a good reason to do things together as a couple.  it’s certainly easy to remember with all the commercialism.  But I enjoy wading through all the Hallmark cards to pick one out and buying large conversation hearts bags in the weeks before.  Man, I’m addicted to those things. 

    I hate how expensive flowers are on that day.  It’s ridiculous.

  12. 12
    emdee says:

    Oh no, not Black Tuesday!

  13. 13
    SB Sarah says:

    OMG Ferfe, that was hysterical – I’m all about your sheik, secret prince, dark lord from another planet husband! I have me one of them, too!

    THANK YOU! That made my day. HA!

  14. 14
    Jennifer says:

    Valentine’s has always sucked for me. Even when I HAD a boyfriend, they either didn’t do anything or they did very little on the day. The last ex gave me crap he won at work in a raffle on the one VD we spent together, and dumped me right before VD the next year. I am SO tired of feeling left out on that day. My parents have done more for me on VD than any guy has.

    I’m so tired of hearing about (a) the people who get treated wonderfully on VD, especially the ones that are given tons of stuff while at work so they can flaunt it, and (b) the people who are all, “Oh, I don’t care! Me and my husband just have a quiet evening at home, like every other night of the year! I’m so superior to you people who actually want to do something on that night!”

    Some day, I want one of my future ex-boyfriends to fucking go all out on the day. To NOT be in another town on the day, to NOT be broke, and he’d BETTER put out with a nice dinner and nice gift and nookie, dammit. Course, this’ll happen when hell freezes over.

  15. 15
    Stephen says:

    The London and South East Chapter of the Romantic Novelists’ Association has organised a Valentine’s Day debate, which is taking place in a local library (Upminster). The motion is “Men are as Romantic as Women”, and I will be part of the side proposing the motion, together with M&B medical author Gill (Roger) Sanderson and Michael Taylor. On the other side will be Julie CohenKatie Fforde and Elizabeth Lord.

    I can’t see them organising an S&BJ follow-up event, however.

  16. 16
    Kate R says:

    I’m driving south to big corporation that hires Real Romance Writers to help their employees write Romantic valentines. I get to hang out with another writer pal and make money. What’s not to like?

    I gave my dh a rubber slug for VD a couple of years ago with the phrase “I’m just a sluuug in luuuv” in crayon coming out where the slug’s mouth would be if it had one—so you know I’ll be able to crank out romantic verses for the Big Company.

    Otherwise? Nah. I’ve never gotten anything. Sniff. Snivel.

  17. 17
    Cyn says:

    I’m with Jennifer – all past VDs have been either alone or with ex’s who didn’t have money, forgot the day (convenient!) etc.  Not that I’ve ever been horribly upset by the lack of hearts and flowers but it would be nice if just once, just once!….

    My beloved is very romantic.  I am pond scum when it comes to romantic gestures but not my guy! I am in the oh so ironic position this year of having to set boundaries on what he can do and buy for VD.  Reminding him that bareboat charters in BVI require deposits, air fare, etc. helps. I’m teaching him to spell boat – bring on another thousand!!

  18. 18
    Bron says:

    Valentine’s Day is much quieter here down under than in the US. Yes, there are cards in the newsagents, it’s a big day for florists, and most newspapers have a few V-Day personal ads, but it’s pretty low-key and without the total overdose of commercial saccharine that the US apparently gets.

    And there’s no V-Day stuff in school, ever, other than a few sweet boyfriends spending their pocket money on their girlfriends – but definitely no class activities, or acknowledgement in the classroom.

    So there’s no jealous bitchery or feeling-left-out or upset-because-he-didn’t-send flowers or anything like that. In fact, it is perfectly possible to go through the entire day here without even realising that it’s V-Day.

    I do cheekily remind my DH each year that V-Day is coming up and Burke’s are the best florist in town, but if I actually ever got flowers I’d be seriously worried ;-)

    (But he did give me an 80GB external hard disk last week. From him, that’s VERY romantic.)

  19. 19
    Karen Scott says:

    VD Day is just another way for retailers to make more money.  I could certainly live without it.

    Oh yeah, and it’s probably hell on a lot of the prospectless (is that even a word?) singletons out there.  Another reminder that they’re without a significant other.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if suicides went up during VD day.

  20. 20
    Spider says:

    I kinds of miss the days when you spent an afternoon in your primary school class making a red construction paper and pink glitter mailbox out of a paperbag.  I never liked the valentine exchange, because I already knew it was a “who liked you most” thing, but I loved the crafty part!

    I like to find an ecard with something funny and send it to people I care about.  Every now and again, I’ll see a paper card with some awful pun and send it to my folks.  But it has to be a spur of the moment thing.  :)

    I can’t say I care for the hype, but I do like to watch the silly movies that come on tv at that time.

  21. 21
    Eileen says:

    When we were dating my husband asked why I liked flowers since they just die. I asked him why he liked beer since he just pissed it away. Thus a tradition was born and every Valentines day I get him beer and he gives me roses.

  22. 22
    Sam H says:

    I have managed to sail through the last 30 Valentine Days single. I have met someone, but I think he’s waiting until after the 14th to make his move so he doesn’t have to get me anything. I do enjoy looking through all that chocolate that is put out in stores though. There is a Russell Stover candy shop right down the road and they usually have some good sales the day after.

  23. 23

    I attend a convention in Boston each President’s Day weekend.  I find the 1/2 price chocolate hearts on sale at the Godiva shop in Copely Square taste just as yummy on February 17 as on February 14, even if they don’t carry any emotional freight.

  24. 24

    That’s Copley Place.  Wish I could go back and edit my posts (hint, hint, webmistress).

  25. 25
    Candy says:

    Best. Valentine cards. EVER.

    The VTH and I didn’t obsess too much over V-Day, but we did use it as an excuse to give each other gifts and head out someplace swank for dinner. A couple of years ago, he was jobless and beyond shitty-ass broke, so his gift to me was doing all my laundry. Now, if you know me, I’m terribly about doing my laundry. TERRIBLE. So the poor darling ended up spending his whole day in the basement, going through about 6 loads of laundry.

    It was probably one of the nicest Valentine’s Day gifts anyone had ever given me.

  26. 26

    Something tells me those Nascar-themed romances might be oriented toward S&BJ, particularly since the publisher thinks men will want to read them, too.

    We don’t exchange gifts for Valentine’s Day. My husband often brings me gifts, usually chocolate, and I ask him not to buy me flowers for any special occasion. They’re just to expensive. I make him dinner every year. Usually, ahem, steak. {grin}.

  27. 27
    Gail says:

    Geez, what schools do your kids go to? Even when I was in grade school a zillion years ago, we had to bring cheesy Valentines for Everybody In Class. Required. EVERYBODY got one. Same with my kids’ classes. They had to bring a valentine for everybody.

    Generally, DH remembers Valentine’s day better than I do—I won’t even be home this year tho, till late. And while I love roses, I like colors other than red better—once he gave me roses that were red on one side of the petal and pink on the other—loved those.

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