Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine's Day is a Crock!

When people learn that I'm a romance author, they make several immediate assumptions about me.

1. They think I know a good deal more about having sex than most people.

2. They think my marriage must be filled with grand romantic gestures and endless spendy candlelight dinners.

3. They think I make tons of money on the sale of each book.

Two of those things are not true.

My DH and I have been married for far longer than either of us was single. Early in our marriage, we were starving students. My DH spent plenty of time walking me to class and carrying my books! We couldn't afford to give each other gifts for Valentine's Day. Then later when we could afford it, we weren't in practice. So now, Valentine's Day passes like any other day for us.

I've really never understood why it was so important to give and receive flowers or chocolates or gifts on this particular day. My DH often brings me flowers for no particular reason, which means far more to me than if he did it when he was being pressured by marketing forces to do something tangible.

We try to show each other love every day with words, physical affection and pleasing each other in little ways. We don't need a special day for it. We don't need champagne and chocolate. Every day is the right day to show love in small ways.

So what are we doing for Valentine's Day? My DH and I are driving to Duxbury, MA where I'll be speaking with Marie Force and Diaz Dalton at The Duxbury Free Library, 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14. We'll discuss the elements of the romance novel and our experiences with writing and publishing. The library is at 77 Alden St. If you're in New England, I'd love to see you there!

And what will my DH be doing? Carrying my books, of course!

So what are your plans for Valentine's Day? Have you had a really romantic experience on this day? Or did it happen on some other non-romance specified day?

PS. FYI, I don't make a ton of money on each book! ;-)

21 comments:

Heather D said...

In all honesty I agree with you on Valentines Day. I tell my husband every year that I don't want anything...card flowers chocolate etc. But he insists. I do buy something small for the kids because my mom always did for us. But I would rather see those flowers on some meaningless day because they would mean my husband was thinking of me for no reason at all. My sister is the same way. She hates Valentines day, refuses to celebrate it. So her husband has to take her out the weekend prior to it or she gets really upset with him.

EmilyBryan said...

Exactly! Love forced is not love.

Jane L said...

My husband is a lot like yours Emily, he buys me flowers and does things always, for no reason! But this is soo funny, I noticed every year about two or three weeks before Valentine's Day he buys me the most beautiful huge bouquets of flowers, well last year, I said how big and pretty they always are and you know what he told me! He said he buys them then because he gets twice as many for his money than on Valentine's day! WHAT!!! Now it is just funny, from a man who won't use a coupon to save his life! YUP I got mine last week! He is proud as can be too! LOL! Happy Valentine's Day ladies! However you spend it.

chelleyreads said...

great post emily! i'm with you about the whole valentines day thing because i don't understand why you need a day to receive chocolates and flowers and jewelry to celebrate love. spontaneous flowers and all other love gestures are better.

EmilyBryan said...

Jane L--Love it! A man who's romantic, yet thrifty!

EmilyBryan said...

Chelley--It's all marketing.

Though to be fair, sometimes people need a reason to get in touch with how they feel and a reminder that there are really very few clairvoyants in the world. We can't let people guess how we feel about them. It's important to tell them.

If Valentine's Day helps people do that, I guess it's ok with me.

LuAnn said...

I love how your hubby carries your books! Mine often comes along when I'm working, too. He carries my camera for me!
We don't have any big plans for Valentine's Day. Just a quiet day at home (I hope, anyway)!

Jane L said...

Emily, Had to share this with you! So over dinner tonight, I was sharing the tale of your blog with my husband and chatting about how some felt about it.
My husbands comment"Valentine's Day is for ametuers, us true romantics know how to do it all through the year!" You can assure your husband he is in good company! LOL!

librarypat said...

We look at holidays and all the commercialism that surrounds them pretty much the same way you do. We will exchange cards this Valentine's Day but probably won't go out for dinner. It will be way too crowded and we can fix a really good meal ourselves. We do special things for each other whenever we feel like it, no holiday needed. If we do give gifts on Valentine's Day (or birthdays) it will usually end up being something practical. I got a vacuum cleaner one year (for Mother's Day I think). My old one had died and I needed one. It was OK with me, but my friend was really upset. She considered it an insult to me. She said her husband knew that he had better have flowers and jewelry for those special occasions or he was in trouble. I needed a vacuum cleaner, not another ring.
Hope you do have a good Valentine's Day, just spending it with your DH - and all those people at the library.

EmilyBryan said...

LuAnn-I'm betting that camera equipment, like books, gets pretty heavy. Yay for your hubby carrying it for you! Masculine strength is such a turn on! (That's what I always tell my DH to reinforce the behavior!)

EmilyBryan said...

Jane--My DH says yours is "a kindred spirit!"

EmilyBryan said...

Pat--I usually say that anything with a power cord is not a present, but if you're happy, that's all that matters.

EmilyBryan said...

OK, now I feel the need for confession. Last night, my DH bought me a new writing chair (sorely needed. The old one was falling apart under me!) and said "Happy Valentines Day and Happy Birthday!" (They come close together.)

Just like a kid. He makes a liar of me every time.

Barbara J. Robinson said...

Hi Emily, love how you put aside the misconceptions. Also, love your blog. Please check mine out at http://barbarajrobinson.blogspot.com and sign to follow. I'm signing up for your newsletter. Thanks,
Barb

alba said...

Hi Emily My Dh is very much like yours he hates the retail industry pimping there stuff down your throat at every holiday or special event.
My Dh is more spontaneous like to surprise me.
This year though we decided to share our hearts with The Red Cross & Heart & Stroke After all Love is the hero when Its Shared.
Have a good one Emily & the rest of your followers.
Ann

Sunnymay said...

While dating, Valentine's Day was another chance to do something special. When married, it was a note and food. Now being single again, it's a time to treat myself gently and enjoy a piece of good chocolate. I can't get too much, because the taste of chocolate drives me to eat plenty if it's available. Valentine's Day was a homemade affair in the past with kids making own valentines using doilys, ribbon, wrapping paper, stickers and pink or red paper. People were honored to receive such special cards.

GladysMP said...

My husband's mother would have been sorely disappointed if her husband missed a special occasion by not getting her a gift, so my husband grew up thinking it is very important to do so. I have tried to tell him (including this year)that I don't want anything for Valentine's Day, but will he "hear me?" I doubt it very much. So I am left expressing gratitude when, in truth, I would not be disappointed if he forgot; but I don't expect that he will. It seems to mean a great deal to him. "Train up a child in the way that he should go..."

EmilyBryan said...

Hi Barb, I popped over to you blog and clicked to follow! Thanks for dropping by mine as well.

EmilyBryan said...

Alba--Supporting a charity in a loved one's name is a great way to share the love.

EmilyBryan said...

Sunnymay--Single or married, we should all treat ourselves on occasion. We all deserve chocolate and we don't need a holiday for it. ;-)

EmilyBryan said...

Gladys--sounds like your hubby needs to give you gifts. If it pleases him to do it, that's a win-win. That's how it should be.

Invariably when my DH gets me something, he can't wait for the designated day. He's so proud of himself for picking something he thinks I'll like, he can't wait to give it to me.