If there’s one holiday I’ve never had much cause to think about before, it’s Valentine’s Day.
The reason for this is that my parents, the hopeless romantics that they are, preferred to save money instead of buying each other’s love, so Valentine’s Day was never celebrated at our house. When I took the nanny job and moved to the east coast, I was surprised to find that my employer’s celebrated every holiday, including Valentine’s Day, and gave gifts liberally to their nanny for each and every one.
This is from last year. I spent a while just staring at it, as if it were one of those weird prehistoric-looking beetles wandering around my room.
But I’d never been in a relationship that coincided with Valentine’s Day, so it was never a holiday that stayed on my radar for long.
And then, weirdly enough, I started going out with James- have been for a month and a half, in fact- and Valentine’s Day became a looming possibility. I prepared my statement early.
“There are some girls out there,” I said to James a few weeks ago, “who say they don’t want anything for Valentine’s Day and then get upset when they aren’t given anything. I’m not like that. I genuinely don’t want anything for Valentine’s Day. Nothing. No, really.”
“Great,” said James cheerfully. “Got it. I’m going to get you something for Valentine’s Day anyway.”
“Ugh,” I said.
So for the first time in my life I’ve had to seriously consider getting something for somebody on Valentine’s Day. This should be easy when you haven’t been dating someone for long; you go into the store, you grab a mass-produced box of chocolate, and you’re done.
So when I was in Walmart the other day, the very subtle decorations reminded me that I should really be picking something romantic up.
If I hadn’t walked past their eighteen red-lined aisles I might have completely forgotten.
The problem is that Valentine’s Day is meant for women and 2nd grade classrooms. Everything is cute and frilly and so terribly feminine. Oh sure, sometimes an effort is made to reduce the girliness factor of the product, but it’s usually unsuccessful.
It’s… well… they tried.
So I spent a whole fifteen minutes of my life walking up and down aisle after blood-red aisle, wondering if they made a Valentine’s Day treat that looked cool for guys. (They don’t. They don’t make anything that looks cool for girls, either. Valentine’s Day is very uncool.) I was about to give up and buy a generic box of chocolates, when something on the next aisle over caught my eye:
Nerd cups! Yeah!
James and I met playing D&D, so geeky things are the way to go. James is also a guy, living with a guy roommate, which means they have approximately three real plates and two wine glasses between them. It might have been kinder to buy him a whole dining set and some tasteful throw pillows, but a mug for his destitute kitchen was a stepping stone.
There. Valentine’s Day is prepared for.
Now all I have to worry about it what my employers are giving me for Valentine’s Day. And Easter.