My husband and I never used to bother with Valentine's Day — until the year he lost his job. Before that, we would scoff at those who adhered to the Hallmark holiday. We laughed at the heart-shaped chocolates, the roses, and the fancy dinners. But something about that cold Michigan Winter made us feel extra grateful for each other on Valentine's Day. Although we didn't have the money to make reservations at a nice steakhouse or trendy sushi restaurant, I wanted to make it a point to celebrate our love that year.
We sat there, in our candlelit kitchen with crumbs on our floor from the kids, and fell in love with Valentine's Day.
I took to the grocery ads and found a local supermarket where filet mignon was on sale. I picked up a couple of steaks and was preparing to make a delicious meal on my own. I wrote a letter to my husband, cooked dinner, and lit a candle, and we had our own fancy Valentine's Day dinner. After our two small children were asleep, we spent the evening drinking $5 wine and talking about how far we'd come. Things were rough that year, but despite the tightening of our belts, our love was only stronger.
Now, we make it a point to celebrate every year. We strive to keep it simple and keep it at home — because that's where the memories are made. Nothing will ever beat that first Valentine's Day that we decided to join in with the rest of the cheesy lovebirds. We flew with them, hearts circling our heads. My husband losing his job made us understand that, yes, we should celebrate our love every single day of the year, but choosing to celebrate extra on Valentine's Day doesn't have to be sappy.
We no longer scoff at other couples on Valentine's Day — we've become one of them. We may not dive into the cards, chocolates, or jewelry, but we certainly swim into each other. It's important to us to celebrate our love on this special day because it reminds us of that one Winter when things were extra hard. But we got through it. That's what true love and marriage is — getting through hard times and coming out the other end with resilience. So, on this Valentine's Day, if you're contemplating whether it's just another cheesy holiday, embrace it. Let your significant other know just how badass they are.