I’m pretty sure every single (as in unattached) girl dreams of the time when she has a Valentine to celebrate the unofficial day of love. Flowers, candy, romantic dinners. Oo, la, la!
I used to be that schmuck. In high school and college I often wore black on St. Valentine’s Day. The universal protest of the single, flowerless, jealous girl, because let’s be honest—I wasn’t protesting the holiday, I was protesting the fact that I was alone. Again. For nearly three decades I thought all of that would go away as soon as I found that special someone.
Enter my husband.
The tall, handsome, bearded man who won my heart. We met and married quickly, so we were married for our first Valentine’s Day together. We were also pretty poor. If you’ve never celebrated Valentine’s Day with anyone, let me explain why that’s an important piece of information.
Valentine’s Day is expensive! Do you know how many gluten-free pizzas I could buy for the cost of a bouquet of roses? And dinner out? Only if you want to spend twice as much as you would on February 13 or 15. To say that reality crushed my dreams would be an understatement—my dreams were obliterated.
But then something interesting happened. While wearing jeans and a hoodie while doing yard work, my husband stopped and said, “You look great.” And then he brought home a book by an author I’d never heard of, but he pointed to the endorsement on the cover and said, “Don’t you read her books? I figured you would like this if she does.” And then I was having one of those days, when I’m unnecessarily moody and emotional and the only thing that will fix it is something chewy. But it was late at night, and the grocery store in town had already closed, so I sat down to pout when my husband came in from the garage with a box of Milk Duds from his secret stash that he accumulated for situations like that one.
Don’t get me wrong. We celebrate Valentine’s Day with cards and gifts from the Dollar Tree (don’t knock it—I love my Dollar Tree back scratcher so much that I asked him to buy me another one), and I’m not opposed to anyone else celebrating it however they want to. It if makes you happy, do it! But this girl has come to realize that I’m much less impressed by the day than I by my handsome hubby.
I suppose that’s one of the reasons I don’t include many grand gestures in my romance novels. You’re more likely to see the hero leave a daisy on the heroine’s car seat versus having balloons and candies sent to the office.
How do you feel about Valentine’s Day? Do you enjoy seeing those grand gestures in romance novels, or do you prefer something subtle?
Karin Beery – Writer. Editor. Novelist. Karin writes contemporary fiction with a healthy dose of romance. Represented by literary agent Steve Hutson at WordWise Media, her debut novel, Summer Plans and Other Disasters, released September 15, 2018.
When she’s not writing fiction, she’s editing through her business, Write Now Editing. And when she’s not doing either of those, she teaches Substantive Editing for Fiction and Romance Editing through the PEN Institute. Karin is also the Managing Editor for Guiding Light Women’s Fiction at Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, where they publish stories that entertain, encourage, inspire, and enlighten.