I feel sorry for guys on Valentine’s Day

I know Valentine’s Day is over but I still want to talk about it.

Talk about flogging a dead horse. Haha. But there’s a funny story I want to share, so I’m writing a whole article around it.

To be honest, I don’t care much for Valentine’s Day.

Of course, I would be really happy and appreciative if a guy pampered me silly on that day (unless he’s some stranger or a scary stalker), but I wouldn’t mind if I didn’t get anything, either.

I’m the kind of person who doesn’t place much significance on special days. I do celebrate them but only because celebrations are fun. But I don’t really care about birthdays, anniversaries, or anything like that.

I mean, if my boyfriend forgets my birthday, or our anniversary, or Valentine’s Day, or if he doesn’t give me presents on those days, I don’t care. Seriously. What matters to me more is that he’s a nice, decent partner all year round.

I guess I was more excited about Valentine’s Days and birthdays when I was much younger, but the novelty has died for me. Now, I find it a hassle to get all worked up around a day.

Why not just enjoy every day and celebrate as and when you feel like it, instead of allowing other people to tell you when to celebrate?

I also believe in mutual effort. I don’t think guys should do all the work in preparing for a celebration, unless he’s courting the girl, in which case he should do all the work.

That goes for the other way round, too. If a girl wants to court a guy, then she should do all the work.

But when a couple gets together, both parties should put in equal effort to pamper each other.

In fact, I feel sorry for guys on Valentine’s Day because it seems like society has placed some kind of a one-sided responsibility on them, compelling them to live up to some mysterious standard that no one can really explain, but everyone swears by.

If it’s an equal relationship, guys shouldn’t be the only ones buying the roses and planning the surprises, unless they truly enjoy being the initiater, in which case, good for the couple!

When thinking back about my past Valentine’s Days, nothing really comes up as particularly memorable. I had to think very hard to dredge up a few vague pieces of memories.

  1. One year, a boyfriend specially ordered baby blue roses for me because I was in love with that colour at the time.
  2. A few times, I received flowers/chocolates/teddy bears in the office, once from a secret admirer whose identity is still a mystery today, and got teased by colleagues.
  3. Once, I helped a friend sell roses on Valentine’s Day and made $300 in commission. A few guys bought roses from me and gave them back to me on the spot. That was sweet!
  4. I planned a simple treasure hunt for a guy once so he had to work at finding his presents, but I can’t remember the details anymore.

That’s all!

Most years, I spend Valentine’s Day having dinner in a fast food restaurant, at my request. We exchange gifts and then we go home. Sometimes we don’t exchange gifts. We just eat and go home. Sometimes we catch a movie.

Okay, now the story!

Three years ago, this guy from my gaming guild asked me out on Valentine’s Day. I had only known him for three months through the game and met him only twice before, both times in groups.

It was on Valentine’s Day itself (I was single that time) and we were both online in the game. He asked if I wanted to have dinner with him that night. I said okay.

He brought me to Shima Japanese Restaurant, where the Valentine’s Day dinner was $120 per person.

Later, when we both started dating seriously, he confessed something which struck me as very funny.

“You know what?” he said.

“What?”

“I was really stressed that day when you accepted my Valentine’s Day invitation.”

“Why?”

“I really didn’t expect you to be free or even to want to go out with me.”

“Then why did you ask?”

“Just to try, I guess. When you said yes, I started panicking.”

“Why?”

“How was I going to find a restaurant at that last minute??! All the good places would have been fully booked weeks ago already!”

“Well, you did find something.”

“I MSN’ed my friend: ‘Help!!!!! She said yes!! And I have nowhere to bring her!!’”

“Haha. What did he say?”

“He suggested I bring you to my club.”

“Oh…”

“But you rejected that place.”

“Who ask you to send me the menu and ask whether I like it or not? I told you the truth mah. The Valentine’s Day menu looked weird.”

“I scrambled around the whole afternoon looking for a place. Lucky Shima still got table. But then, you know what?”

“What?”

“I was sweating the whole night, cos I was jobless and broke and had no money to pay for dinner.”

“Haha! Serves you right. Broke still ask a girl out.”

“I didn’t expect you to say yes lah!”

Anyway, the date went swimmingly well. He bought me a bunch of roses, the meal was nice and we didn’t end up being arrested for free-loading, thanks to this technology called credit card.

Later, we hung out at a coffeeshop for drinks and chatted till some ungodly hour.

Four years later now, I’m still with this silly billy.

I would usually allow a guy to bring me to expensive places during our first dates to impress me because I enjoy being pampered.

But if we got together after that, I’d put up a resistance against too much extravagant pamperage because I find equal joy in little everyday things like cuddling in bed and watching TV together.

(And I feel money can be better spent buying games and gadgets.)

So, for the past three Valentine’s Day after that first one, we have been “celebrating” Valentine’s Days and my birthdays in fast food joints. And sometimes we don’t exchange presents and I don’t really care because we give each other gifts throughout the year and we go on fun, romantic trips when schedule and budget allow. It doesn’t have to be on special dates.

Well, you already know how I spent Valentine’s Day this year.

Of course, having said all that, I also believe it doesn’t hurt to acknowledge a day even though I don’t need it. I know there are people for whom Valentine’s Day is meaningful and I do respect that. Good for them.

And, I guess, as much as I don’t believe in special days, I celebrate them because celebrations are fun and it’s fun to have fun.

Just don’t be too hard on the guys because love goes both ways.