Photo: Stephanie Kilgast (flickr)

For the next two weeks, we at Women’s Voices for Change will be spotlighting Valentine’s Day—sometimes with our tongues in our cheeks, sometimes not. For many of us (and we know there are cynics), this national focus on affection still creates a glow in the gloom of winter. And so, till the 14th, we’ll be posting an occasional meditation on Valentine’s Day. We begin with the thoughts of Creel McCormack, a woman of words in Atlanta, where she has worked in public relations and been a community leader for more than 30 years. She is a very fortunate skeptic.—Ed. 

I don’t really like Valentine’s Day. Sifting through all that sappy stuff to find a remotely restrained or funny card takes too much time.  Besides, by February 1 I am still so relieved to have the December holidays gone, the decorations put away, the thank-you notes written, and the kids returned to their own lives that I simply groan when I see those hearts appearing in the grocery store, the shop windows, even the doctor’s office. Here comes more pressure and guilt.

Why guilt, you ask?  Because my husband is the ultimate Valentiner.  This is the one holiday where he truly shines. He always shows up with (true to our shared sense of humor) funny, sarcastic cards, and then a presentation of flowers or specially boxed See’s caramels (a documented passion of mine).  He goes around with a goofy grin on his face and a real investment in my reaction to his gestures.

He rarely tells me why or how much he loves me.  But after 36 Valentine years I guess I should take the hint and realize that I get a heartfelt and thoughtful message annually.  Perhaps, rather than looking at February 14 as another generator of tasks, I can embrace it as something that is reliably and thoughtfully accomplished by my life partner—just for me.


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  • Cecilia M. Ford Ph.D. February 4, 2012 at 8:47 am

    I agree that you are fortunate, and it’s good that you can be grateful to your husband for the way he expresses his love for you. But the guilt is unnecessary–he’s clearly getting great pleasure out of this way of giving. If you want to remind him that Valentine’s Day is not the ONLY day he’s allowed to express himself, you can set an example yourself by giving him gifts and making gestures at other times and thereby also avoid “stealing his thunder” on Valentine’s Day.

  • Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. February 1, 2012 at 9:28 am

    You are such a lucky woman. A husband of many years who still adores you and has a 5th grade sweetness about him in this description…he gives the girl he loves just what he knows she will like and then is So pleased with himself. This should be called gratitude day.