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Valentine Ransom

Ahhh, mid February, when all thoughts turn to... sigh... Love. ​ ​For me Valentine's Day is right up there with Wright Brother’s Day, and National Boss’s Day. Tax Day and Daylight Savings aren’t too far behind. And don’t forget Mother’s Day. That’s one I’d swap any day for Leap Year. ​ ​

You might think I’m a holiday humbug, but in my defense I do like holidays. Just not the ones that make me feel like the day has been taken hostage and if I don’t come up with a suitable ransom, I’m screwed. ​ My beef with Valentine's Day isn’t that it can be fun and romantic.

If you have a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife (in my case a boyfriend/husband all in one) it can be a romantic excuse to, well, you know. (Go out to dinner and exchange a token of undying love.) I’m down with that. ​

What I’m not cool with is if you don’t do something extraordinary, you’re making a statement—and not a positive one. For many people Valentine's Day is painful. Nothing can say You’re a Loser, You’re Alone or Nobody Cares like Valentine's Day. Admit it. For some, the day can be a downer.

I believe that going to work everyday is a romantic act. Paying the bills, putting a meal together, mowing the lawn or doing the laundry says I love you in a big way. Not as loud and clear as a box of chocolates or a piece of jewelry, but it’s much more consequential.

Before you think you can get away with NOT getting your sweetheart a Valentine's Day gift, let me give it to you simple and straight. Giving a present on a V-day gives you brownie points. Not remembering V-day not only takes away all the brownie points you’ve ever earned, but your cookie and cake points as well. Do it or face the music! ​

No matter how much we love our significant other, we are compelled to celebrate Valentine's Day. So let’s consider some options. I’ll say a word, and then you say the first word that comes to your mind. For fun, let’s do it in poetry form: ​

I say Flowers—You say Sneeze

I say Backrub—You say Please

I say Teddy Bear—You say Snooze

I say Weekend—You say Cruise

I say Chocolate—You say Mmmm

I say Jewelry—You say Hmmm

I say Dinner—You say Yum

I say Card—You say Ho Hum ​

I say Tomato—You say...

Okay, for the record, I won’t be writing a poem to Dee for Valentine's Day. The point is that most gifts we give on that day are cliché. They’re merely a response to the payment that we are coerced to make in order to stay in the good graces of the one we love. Humbug Shmumbug.

By the way, did you know that 85% of all Valentine's gifts are purchased by women? That leads one to conclude that 15% of men will feel unloved on February 14, along with the approximately 37% of women whose true love was too busy to think they were important enough to buy a gift for. And don't forget the millions of lonely people who have nobody in their lives to celebrate with. I’d say it’s a very selectively joyous holiday. ​ In my own case, Dee makes every day feel like Valentine's Day. Not that Valentine's is like the other 365.25 days in the year. He’s actually among the 15% of true romantics in the male species.

So why am I complaining? I guess I’m oppositional. I’m a loyal member of the “I’ll-Do-it-Because-I-Want-To, Not-Because-You-Told-Me-To” Club. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get a Valentine's gift for my boyfriend/husband. Because I want to.

And I want to remind him that Valentines Day is coming up soon! <3 ​ ​ ​Also, Ash Wednesday is next week. And that just happens to be my birthday.