It’s Valentines Day on Sunday. Again. That wretched life clock keeps ticking at an alarming rate, don’t you think?
So February 14th is all about love and romance. Supposedly. It’s also about a huge marketing opportunity for card manufacturers, florists, restaurants, hotels and many more besides. So how much should one spend to make a loved one feel “loved” enough? And what on? Call me cynical if you like, but I’m not sure I need some smart marketeer to tell me how to convey the love I have for my husband to him.
All the advertising hype also got me thinking about the use of the word “love”. Girls say that they love their shoes; they love their clothes, and bags. They love their work, shopping, cooking, books and on it goes. Girls love absolutely everything that’s good in their lives. And they love all the good stuff with huge enthusiasm.
Men, it seems, are not quite so flippant as women about the things they love, but they’re not far behind. I’ve never heard a man say that he loves his shoes. I do know men, however, who love golf and will say so. I know men who openly say that they love their cars. Maybe all the girly “loving” going on in the world is gradually rubbing off on the male half of the species little by little.
We “love” so many things these days I reckon we should try to find an alternative word or words to adequately describe the most precious feelings we have for our partner, or our children. I might start saying “I give you my heart” next time I hang up the phone to my husband. It’s a bit of a mouthful though; and no matter what alternatives I think of, none seem to fit the bill quite so perfectly as simply saying “I love you”.
Which brings me back to the initial question – how much should one spend on a Valentines Day gift to make someone feel “loved”? Well, since “loving” material possessions has become so prevalent, I’m going to steer away from shop bought gifts altogether. So I’ll be spending zero on gifts.
My husband will know that I love him when we sit down to a special Valentines Day dinner that we’ve cooked together and share a good bottle of wine, and I’ll know that he loves me when he does all the washing up afterwards. And that’s good old-fashioned midlife love for you. Priceless.
I “love” your blog today! I’m with you on the difficulty of finding the right words or the right gift at midlife. My husband and I decided to have brunch at a quaint little french bistro – mid-day is a nice and awake time and not so crowded with hyped up young people. It was perfect! But I couldn’t help but notice that difference between midlife married love and the star struck love that sat across the way from us. Then it’s all about hormones and questions (does he love me?) and hope. Now it’s about cuddling on the couch while watching the Olympics or being able to complete each others sentences. It’s about being content to cook dinner for and with each other and dine at home enjoying the fact that you can have Fillet Mignon that’s twice as good and half as expensive when you buy it and cook it yourself. Valentine’s Day at midlife is indeed priceless. Thanks for reminding me!
Hello Dorothy, thank you for your thoughts. I really like the “being happy in your own skin” feeling of midlife, and it sounds as if you do too. Our Valentine’s Day consisted of a leisurely morning; hot soup for lunch, followed by a five mile walk around a country park lake getting covered in mud! We finished off by cooking Steak Diane for dinner in the evening and sharing a bottle of our favourite red wine. So a lovely day was had by the both of us and at very little cost. We were heartened to see that there were many couples and families braving the cold weather on Sunday; I suspect that there will have been a huge rise in the numbers of people celebrating Valentine’s Day on a budget this year. Long may it continue; I for one would like to see a permanent trend towards low-key and low-cost celebration of special days. That way we remember to focus on what really matters in life. Look forward to chatting with you further.
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