I have mixed feelings about Valentine’s Day. I love the whole idea of sharing the love and doing something special for your loved ones. I just don’t want a card or bouquet of cut flowers. It’s not the idea that someone was willing to drive to a store and chose a beautifully written card for me, even if those words really do mirror their own, but it’s just not me. I would be happy to hear those words spoken to me or jotted down on the bottom of my grocery list, it would just mean more to me. I just can’t help but think about the millions of other things that $5 could be spent on. A gallon of milk and a loaf of bread, socks, 2 gallons of gas (more if you live south of Aroostook county)….I can’t help it. That’s where my mind goes. I’m too practical, if that’s a thing. I need to see a use in everything. I can see that the use of a card is to express feelings of love to another, but my mind immediately jumps to “Just write those words on a piece of scrap paper and paper clip the $5 bill to it!” I’m sure there are other women out there like me, but I know that I’m in the minority. That’s okay though. I think the important part is learning your loved one’s love language.
My husband gets me. It has taken a while, but after almost 17 years with me he knows that when I say, “don’t buy me a card or flowers”, it’s not a coded message that really means “don’t you dare come home without a card and flowers”. I honestly mean it. In the early years of our relationship, he wasn’t sure if this was a trap or not and would still bring a card. To which, I always thanked him, but let him know that that’s not what matters the most to me. Over the years, he’s really figured out the things that make me tick. A few years ago, he bought a bird feeder for me from Home Depot at 75% off. When he was buying it and mentioned that it was for his wife for Valentine’s Day, someone said, “Don’t tell her you got it on clearance!” And he told them, “That’s the part she’ll love the most!”. This still makes me smile because he understands what matters to me. It’s true, knowing I got a $40 bird feeder for $10 was the best part. That works for me.
When people say, “It’s the thought that counts.” I both agree and disagree. When you buy a gift for someone, the thought should be I know “so and so” would love this rather than just grabbing something to say you bought them something. The dreaded obligatory gift. Take the time to think about what matters most to the person you are giving the gift to. The best gifts are the ones that say, “I know you, I know what you like, I know what matters to you.” That is the message I want more than any message that Hallmark can deliver on a foiled, folded piece of card stock with flawlessly scripted words. It is the thought that counts. Really, the thought is the most important part.