I know I’m generally considered a “romantic” writer. There are romantic subplots in almost everything I write. Most of my fan mail is about the relationships in my books. When I surveyed readers about what stands out in my books or what sets them apart, romance was high on the list.
So, I’d be expected to make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day, maybe use it for a promotional push. Except, I don’t really “get” Valentine’s Day.
It seems so weird to designate a particular day on which you’re expected to do something romantic, to buy gifts for your romantic partner, and go on a date. Never mind if that day has nothing to do with you or your relationship. And, oh dear, what if it happens to fall on the same day as a religious holiday? What are you to do?
I’m happily single, but even if I were in a relationship, I think I’d rather avoid the crowds and celebrate a date that was meaningful to us — an anniversary of a first date, wedding anniversary, one of our birthdays. Why celebrate just because an ad says we have to? A personal celebration seems much more romantic to me. Or there’s something to be said for spontaneity, celebrating your relationship whenever you feel like it — It struck me today how happy I am to have you in my life, so here’s some chocolate.
I’m rather glad that Valentine’s Day falls on Ash Wednesday this year. Then maybe I can sound pious instead of cynical when I say I’m focusing on something else. My church kind of smooshes together Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday by having a pancake supper followed by the Ash Wednesday service, and that’s what I’ll be doing tonight (with children’s choir before and chancel choir after).
And now I’m off to go write another one of my slow-build romantic relationships that isn’t technically a “romance.”