Computerguy and I were single long enough that we still disdain Valentine’s Day. It’s undue pressure for couples and yet another reminder of their status as outsiders in our society for singles (something that I think needs to be addressed more than it is.) Couples have whatever anniversaries they want: meeting, first date, engagement, actual wedding date. We don’t really need an extra day with so much societal pressure set aside for us. That said, our disdain doesn’t preclude us from going out, but, with one exception, we’ve kept it pretty low key. Last year my folks were both here so we sent them off and took the kids to a park and dinner at a drive-in type place.
Worst. Valentine’s Day. Ever. 2001. To be clear, this was long ago in a very different church and tradition. Started with a sermon on the Sunday before that was speaking ONLY to couples. The ONLY thing that applied to singles was the concept that God wants everyone to be married (something about Genesis–I’ve tried to block it out–not even a sop to singles by way of mentioning of Paul and choosing singleness as perhaps the better path). AND was harsh on couples who were struggling. It was a small church full of singles, the wife of a couple who was struggling, and about 3 other couples including the pastor and his wife. One of my friends never returned. He did it quietly. He just suddenly got really busy. But that was his last Sunday in our church. Ever. I think it was the beginning of the end for a couple others of us as well. The pastor also thought it would be REALLY GREAT if the singles served a fancy dinner to the couples on Valentine’s evening. Oh. My. Word. My closest friend in the church with whom I could have had fun doing it flat refused for her own very good reasons, but I got roped into it. I will always love that pastor and he did officiate at my wedding several years later. I know his heart was in the right place and it probably sounded like a good idea at the time. A year or two before he and his wife invited my roommate and me over for Valentine’s Dinner and made steaks and we had a really lovely evening. But that year he just missed the mark. He married young, was very open about having difficulties in his marriage and working through them, is probably a good counselor for couples going through rough times, but he did not have a clue what to do with those of us who were single after college. And it continues to be a struggle in church culture in general. What do you do when people don’t nicely step from college to young marrieds? I don’t have an answer. I just know you don’t ask them to serve dinner to the married couples on Valentine’s Day. Ever.
So it’s weird to be one of the couples now.
Best. Valentine’s Day. Ever. 2004. Computerguy and I met in the summer of 2003, got engaged in December, and I would move back to California from Indiana and we would get married in summer 2004. He flew from California to Indiana for Valentine’s Day and planned a weekend in Chicago. On Valentine’s Day we walked around the touristy areas in cold windy weather. He had fulfilled his lifelong dream of buying a trench coat for the trip and he looked pretty dazzling. We drank hot beverages (latte for me, steamer for my non-coffee-drinker). We went to one of the famous steak houses for dinner and a very funny and poignant show in an intimate theater. Neither of us knew anything about the show ahead of time and we were pleasantly surprised. It was Over the River and Through the Woods, so after a quick internet search, I assume it was this theater. The next morning we went to The Signature Room in the John Hancock Building for brunch. He had tried to get us Valentine’s night reservations there, but was way too late for that. We agreed the brunch was probably our better option anyway. And then we went to the Art Institute and wandered around touristy areas some more. He outdid himself. It was a great weekend. We have also discussed that that was a very special thing and he does not need to spend the rest of his life trying to live up to or exceed one great weekend when we really were just trying to find reasons to spend time together. Now we get each other every. single. day. And that’s cool.