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St. Valentine was a third century Roman saint commemorated on February 14th and associated since the Middle Ages with a tradition of courtly love. This is why we celebrate Valentine’s Day on this date.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love pink sweetheart roses, a beautiful box of chocolates, a candlelight dinner and going to the theater. I just don’t need to have them on Valentine’s Day.sweetheart-roses-pink

This is a day that is contrived, commercial and artificial. It is a boon for florists, confectioners, restaurants, jewelers, and Hallmark and American Greeting cards.


The problem with Valentine’s Day is that people feel pressured to get something for their  “valentine”. Their motive may not be from the heart. People who have no one special in their lives feel lonely. They have “single awareness” parties or stay home with a rented movie and a container of Ben and Jerry’s.

I think a part of romance is the element of surprise. Now if my husband called during any other day in the year and asked me to dress nicely and keep the evening open, I would be very curious about what he had planned. If he then came home with pink sweetheart roses and tickets to a play I had really hoped to see, preceded by a nice dinner, with a chocolate dessert (of course), I would be head over heels about my husband’s gestures of love. The evening would rekindle our relationship, and I would talk about it with my family and friends for days to come. It would be special.


I love the traditional gifts of love, but I also love thoughtful actions from my husband that may not be considered romantic.

I have some difficulty cleaning my house because of my medical conditions. We had someone to come in and clean for awhile, but it just did not work out. I tried to clean again myself, but I was not always successful with this.

My husband, without saying a word, has begun to clean the house every week. He knows it is important to me to have a clean house. He does a great job! This weekend I was going to ask him to bathe Lucy, our mini-schnauzer. I hesitated to do so because he was already cleaning the house, and he had done some laundry – towels and sheets – as he was cleaning. When he was finished and we were getting ready to go out, he had already bathed the dog before I could ask. What a nice surprise!

He also continues to be a faithful husband, despite my difficulties and how they have changed his life.

I will take acts of kindness over flowers and candy anytime.

We will probably go out to dinner this weekend sometime to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and I will send cards to my family. I have already had fun buying an outfit and a snow globe for my granddaughter. I will hand out those boxes of candy hearts to my students, and we will exchange valentines in class, using the bags we decorated in class last week as we watched the Charlie Brown Valentine DVD.

I am participating in the holiday because it is fun, but true gestures of love are not for only one day a year.


Give me a clean house, a clean dog, and throw in a movie where we can split a large popcorn, and you’ve got my heart!