Look, I love celebrating the feast days of Catholic saints. And Saint Valentine was a martyr for the faith, so he has my profound respect. But when exactly did we decide that February 14th should be a day where we all collectively show romance to our significant other?
Why did we decide that if you really love your wife or girlfriend that you must by her roses in the middle of winter? Why do we all take our wives out for dinner tonight?
Doesn’t it seem silly?
Now, don’t call me a cheapskate or a killjoy. When it comes to romance, my wife will confess that I can be rather sappy. And I’d be mortified if Chuck Norris burst into my house when I was watching the Wedding Singer. “Uh, hey, yeah, watching this movie… just came on TNT…. what a great soundtrack. Man, I love the 80s, [nervous laugh] amirite, Chuck?”
But why do we perpetuate this national day of purchasing chocolate and going out for dinner? It sure makes Hallmark and the florists happy. Women seem to demand it and men consider it this arbitrary and annoying national tribute that it isn’t worth combating. What man wants to be accused of not loving their wife — and you obviously have to spend money on February 14th to prove that, right?
But it has negative affects other than just wasting money on a day that isn’t truly special for that couple. It can make life miserable for single people who yearn for married life. I can think of a close friend of mine who loathes when this day comes around. And I had no great fondness for the day before 2005.
Look, I understand and applaud it when a community rallies behind their high school team. And we as a country celebrate our Independence Day and Thanksgiving. But why did we all decide to get be romantic on the same day?
I’d rather celebrate August 15 — the anniversary of my first date with Lori. And yes, I used a cheesy Catholic pickup line. She was working at the hospital that Sunday, and wouldn’t get done with work until close to dinnertime. Both of her cousins refused her offer to attend Sunday evening Mass with her on that Solemnity. I didn’t realize at the time, but she was also running a Marian apostolate, so she was particularly disappointed by their unwillingness to join her. But, yes, cheesy Mercer to the rescue: “No one should have to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption alone.”
We still laugh at how corny it was. But hey, it got a laugh. And more importantly, I got the girl.
My wife and I also celebrate July 2, as that is our anniversary. No joke, when Lori was younger she used to joke about the names of obscure saints. Her favorite? Saint Otto. Well, he got the last laugh: His feast day is July 2nd.
And your anniversary is when it makes sense for married couples to celebrate their love for each other. And it’s not like going to the prom. It’s your special day. It’s special because it’s not everyone doing it the same d
ay. If I buy her flowers, they aren’t artificially priced super high because of a massive demand that day for roses. There’s also no problem getting a reservation at a nice restaurant on our anniversary. And when people at the restaurant hear it’s our anniversary they are join in on a cheer. Just as we get excited when we see other couples on their anniversary day.
But no one’s special at Olive Garden tonight.