One of my cousins posted on Facebook earlier in the week, "Mom always gave us our candy on Feb 15th; it wasnt until very recently I found out that it's just the half off Valentines day."
In an age where relationships are often just a status that changes along with your profile photo and love is seldom had forever, I find myself contemplating the place a day like Valentine's Day, or even "half-off" Valentine's Day, can hold in our lives.
As a Jewish wife and mom, we have tried to make the day as typical as possible. Valentine's Day is essentially a day based on a saint, of which Jews have no part. Yet, each year a little bit of the love day sneaks into our home. My boys and I receive cards and small gifts from grandparents and co-workers, friends and people who ineveitably see the day as just another time to spread sweet wishes. Inevitably my husband feels guilty by the end of the day and gives in, bringing home flowers begrudgingly. He doesn't believe in the day, he sees it as a religious holiday that is not our own, but yet he doesn't feel right holding back completely.
I find that societal pressures are often the reasons we do these things. As if not bringing your significant other flowers on February 14 is somehow a snub. As a wife, I haven't felt unloved or unwanted on the rare occassions that my husband doesn't succumb to societal pressures. Rather, I've felt honored to be married to someone who upholds our families values and someone who sees fit to treasure me year-round and not just on the days that he is told to do so.
The Jewish religion commands both men and women to hold their loved ones in high regard. Husbands and wives are given strict guidelines by which to carry out their marriages, to ensure long-lasting relationships and hopefully happy endings.
Regardless of your religion, personal beliefs, flower preference or relationship status, I think that embracing the love we feel year-round will leave each of us feeling way more satisfied than focusing on the momentos of one day.
Did you have a beautiful Valentine's Day? Great! I hope you enjoy your "half off" day as well.