Valentine’s Day – What’s All the Hubbub?

Once again this year, I watched florists try to make special deliveries of flowers, balloons, chocolates and teddy bears to the completely locked-down building I work in. We have no security guard and an unattended lobby. It’s always fun for those of us who take pity on and end up running interception for the poor delivery drivers, because we get to see who got what and make happy phone calls telling the recipients to come get their goodies. One thing I can always count on, though, is that none of the thwarted deliveries will be for me.

valentines-gift-basketThat doesn’t make me sad, so please don’t feel sorry for me. I find it terribly sweet that other people’s significant others think to send them lovely, expensive tokens to their workplace, so that all their co-workers can see the evidence of their love and devotion. I also believe what Cher’s character Loretta in one of my favorite movies, Moonstruck, says to the florist whose books she is balancing. The florist says to her, about the deep red roses he is carefully packing in a box, “The man who send these really knows what he’s doing.” Loretta says, “The man who sends those spends a lot of money on something that ends up in the garbage.” Amen, Loretta!

Foot-MassagerI truly enjoy Valentine’s Day, but I guess I never really bought the hype. As you guys know by now, I am terribly pragmatic. I would much rather have the carpets cleaned than get an expensive bouquet of flowers. An expression of love? Changing the sheets on the bed. Want to make me swoon? Buy me a foot massager. A really romantic gesture? Cleaning the bathroom spontaneously. Honestly, I would rather my husband took my car to get it detailed than for him to take me out to dinner. For a romance writer, I am not terribly romantic, I suppose. At least not in the way the marketers define it.

Valentines_Day_Chocolates_from_2005One thing my husband and I can both get behind, though, is really good chocolate. Or pretty good chocolate. Or even fair-to-middling chocolate. He prefers his with nuts, I prefer cream centers. We both prefer dark chocolate to milk. But chocolates have a way of showing up at our house on Valentine’s Day. Or sometimes after Valentine’s Day, when they were seriously on sale. We usually (but not always) remember to send cards.

pharmacy greeting cardsThis year, my darling mother and precious children will only get e-cards, I’m afraid, not mailed cards or lovely See’s Chocolates as in years past. A combination of ongoing anemia, with a chills-and-fatigue virus piled on top this week just for giggles, have left me with no energy for card buying. But I will, no doubt, drag myself to the pharmacy today to buy a card and some chocolates for my darling husband. In an act of true love, he went to the grocery store on his way home from work last night and got everything on the grocery list. He also bought me a bottle of wine and a box of sea-salt covered dark chocolate caramels. Is he a Keeper or what?

How do you approach Valentine’s Day? Do you get all jazzed up, with raised expectations and hopes (or plans) for huge romantic gestures? Is anything that turns up a nice surprise? Do you create gorgeous expressions of True Love for the special people in your life? Or do you remember a card (if your lucky) and hope the drugstore or supermarket has a decent selection of chocolates? I will admit, I have done it ALL for Valentine’s Day over the years!

And for all my beloved Banditas and Bandita Buddies, here is a special holiday greeting just for you: happy blogantines day

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  • flchen1 says:

    Caren, I think we have similar approaches to V-day 🙂 I think DH does sometimes bring flowers or food or other gifts, but we’re both OK with being considerate in the day to day and enjoying post holiday sales 😉 Hope you and Mr. Crane enjoy some cuddles this weekend!

    • Caren Crane says:

      Fedora, I’m sorry to tell you that the Golden Rooster believes he should be showered with gifts and adoration on Valentine’s Day. So, if anyone has chocolates or flowers, BEWARE! They will not be safe. 😀

      You know, my husband has brought me flowers a couple of times. They were lovely and I do enjoy having flowers in the house, but they are expensive and disposable. Actually, you’ll like this. Last year, he went to the grocery store on Feb. 15 and the cashier insisted that he buy some deeply-discounted roses and bring them home to his wife. So he did! It made both of us laugh and I did enjoy them. LOL

      • flchen1 says:

        *snork*! That’s perfect, Caren! And I’m keeping a wary eye out for the GR… that chocolate is MINE! 😉

        • Caren Crane says:

          Even better, he went to the store last night after work and saw friends of ours coming out. The husband had roses and the DH asked him how much they cost. He was appalled Rick had paid $12 for them. The DH told him, “You know they’ll be, like, $3 in a couple of days, right?” I’m sure Rick didn’t know what to say to that, but it made me howl!

  • Kaelee says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Over the years we have become more and more practical about gift giving to each other on most occasions. We do go out to eat but not usually on busy days like Valentine’s day. I get flowering plants instead of cut flowers and if I’m lucky they live to bloom again. We have ten phalaenopsis orchids right now and 8 of them are blooming again for me. The oldest one has bloomed many times.

    I got my Valentine’s day gift a day early this year ~ two pairs of jeans. The joy of new jeans that fit nice is wonderful.

    I’m going to try and avoid the chocolate sales this year. I figure if I stay away from the stores for a few days it will all be gone.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Kaelee, I was just thinking about flowers when responding to Fedora and thinking I was glad no one gives me plants that need to be cared for on an ongoing basis. My yard has all the plants I care to have and my indoor ones only survive if they are tremendously hardy.

      Kudos to you on keeping orchids alive. That is amazing! I know they require all sorts of special care, so you must have a seriously green thumb. They are so gorgeous! I have managed to kill both succulents and cacti, so…

  • Jane says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day. I appreciate the candy and cards, but I’d rather we enjoy a nice dinner either at home or at a restaurant.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Jane, I am with you but, like Kaelee and her DH, I would prefer to dine out without the rest of the world. You know how everyone tells you not to eat out on Monday night? I love to eat out then. Honestly, I don’t care if it’s whatever was held over from the weekend, as long as the restaurant isn’t packed and we can hear each other speak. 😀

  • Helen says:


    I really think that we are the same Hubby and I haven’t even bought cards for each other for many years we tend to try and do things for each other whenever and it is way too busy to go out to eat so a nice home cooked meal is fine by us which is what we had tonight I did make him his favourite so it was us and Jayden and Hayley for a nice dinner 🙂 as long as we are here for each other that is the mane thing 🙂

    Happy Valentines Day

    Have Fun

    • Caren Crane says:

      Helen, that is so sweet! If I were a really good wife, I would make my husband banana pudding, which is his favorite. That is SO not happening this year!

      I was actually considering ordering pizza, which is something we never do. But honestly, it’s 9:16 am and I am already exhausted after sleeping 9 hrs. I anticipate yet another day of binge-watching TV, interspersed with napping. I really should make an appt with my doctor. 😀

      So glad you and the DH had a lovely celebration with your sweet grands (at least some of them!). Much love to you!

  • sandyg265 says:

    Several years ago my boyfriend and I agreed not to celebrate Valentine’s day. I’d rather that we do things for each other all during the year rather than because the calendar says to.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Sandy, that is such a wonderful thing to agree on. That way, no one is disappointed when their expectations aren’t met and you get to show your love every day. My husband and I try to show each other our love whenever we see each other, to keep it in the front of our minds. With the kids grown and mostly out of the house, it’s just us and the quasi-feral cat. We are trying to enjoy every day!

      I hope you and your special guy have a wonderful day and a love-filled year!

  • Anna Sugden says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day, Caren and everyone! Glad you’re on the mend, Caren!

    I’m somewhere between pragmatic and ‘romantic’. I don’t think doing something on Valentine’s Day and being a jerk the rest of the year counts :). Doc C and I do stuff throughout the year and don’t follow cliche’s. But I got a fab pair of magpie earrings today! 🙂

    • Caren Crane says:

      Ooh, magpie earrings! We may need to see a picture of those, Anna. They sound fabulous!

      I did make sure Mr. Crane knows that TODAY is Valentine’s Day. He may actually buy me flowers tomorrow, when the VD (!) flowers are all on sale. We both love a sale! 😀

      I know you and Doc C show each other your love every day, so whatever your day holds will be wonderful. Enjoy all the happy moments!

  • Deb says:

    I am laying in bed today, hacking away with bronchitis. I am missing my daughter’s volleyball tourney, darn. My husband had left a nice bouquet of daisies and carnations on the counter with a card and a little box of chocolates. We usually exchange cards, and he knows I love chocolate. I have been sick since Wednesday, so probably should drag myself down to the store to buy a card for him and our daughter….even though he took care to buy her the same as me. I really am quite lucky in the husband that I have…he does laundry, cooks, and makes homemade chicken noodle soup when I don’t feel good.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Oh, Deb, I’m so sorry you’re sick! I think you should wait until you are recovered, then get him a nice treat. It will be more unexpected and you won’t put yourself at risk trying to accomplish a lovely gesture.

      Actually, that’s good advice for me, too. Sweeping the side porch took all the energy I had this morning, so maybe expending the bit I manage to build up going to the pharmacy isn’t such a great idea today. Hm. I have construction paper, maybe I will make him a card, like our kids did in elementary school. I think he would like it! 😀

    • Deb, I’m so sorry you’re sick, especially since you’re missing the tournament! I hope you’re up and around soon.

  • Caren Crane says:

    So, I write a note on our huge dry erase board we use as a family calendar that said, “Some people prefer Russell Stover’s All Cream Centers.” I then pointed the note out to him and he made a snarky comment. A few minutes later, he put his shoes on and left. I figure he needed to go buy soda (he is an addict), but will likely also drop by Walgreens on his way home. Hooray!

    Guess I should haul out the construction paper while he’s gone…

  • catslady says:

    It’s hit and miss with us lol. After 45 years I don’t expect anything but it’s nice when it happens. This year we exchanged lovely cards and lottery tickets lol. We’re also going out tonight to a dinner/dance at our American Legion which makes it a good year.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Catslady, I’m so glad you guys are getting to do something special tonight! I have dragged the DH to some dances over the years, but it’s always MUCH more fun for me than for him. I hope you guys have a wonderful date night!

  • jcp says:

    I bought myself chocolate and books. I’m waiting for the delivery…

    • Caren Crane says:

      JCP, I like it that you took command of Valentine’s Day and have treated yourself to the things you want. I’ll admit, I have bought myself plenty of chocolates in years past. I’ve even had to go buy the ones I really wanted (which is NOT a secret) when the DH hasn’t come through. And books are always the best gift to myself. Since I buy most of them for my Kindle these days, I don’t have to wait for delivery, either. Win-win! I hope you enjoy your favorite things. 😀

  • The Jazzman and I have been married 3 decades. Sometimes we remember Valentines Day, sometimes we don’t. Since it was never a big deal at my home growing up or as a young woman, it’s never really bothered me.

    I once told him…you have 3 days to remember me above all others. 1st…my birthday. 2nd…our anniversary. 3rd…Christmas. Remember those and I’m good for the whole year. He does a pretty good job of it. 🙂

    • Caren Crane says:

      Suzanne, that is profoundly sensible of you both. I think in years past we have missed the day entirely. I always did something for the kids, though, so I did something for the DH as well. These days, we use Valentine’s Day to rib each other and amuse ourselves. I may have chocolates, since he came back from Walgreens with a bag with SOMETHING in it. I am not peeking, but I assume it is chocolate. Meanwhile, his card is in the works. Waiting for the glue to dry!

  • Jo Robertson says:

    So cute, Caren. I’m afraid Valentine’s Day is one of those “holidays” I don’t buy into either. I do like to do something though, even if it’s not romantic. So Dr. Big and I bought new kitchen flooring! So exciting. And really much, much better than flowers — not sure about chocolate, though; that’s a close tie.

    Then we went to breakfast. It’s always nice to get a “chore” of your list and then reward yourself.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Jo, new kitchen flooring! I am so excited for you!! I seriously am. Our kitchen floor is 36 years old and it is in terrible shape. We need new flooring so badly, but are waiting until the kids are out of college to get it. Another 1-1/2 years and we can think about that!

      I can’t think of anything better to get for Valentine’s Day. You’ll have to let me know what you picked. I will live vicariously through your kitchen floor renovation. *sigh* Happy Valentine’s Day! 😀

  • Caren, Happy Valentine’s Day! We don’t make a big deal of it. When the boy was small, getting a sitter was so hard that we decided to celebrate instead on the anniversary of the day we met, which is near Feb. 14. There were no issues with getting a sitter, and flowers did not cost 200-300
    % of the usual going rate. Now we’re in the habit of having our fancy date night on that occasion, not Valentine’s Day.

    The dh usually does flowers, and we do cards. We don’t worry about going out, though we briefly considered Jason’s Deli as a place we like that might not be hugely crowded tonight.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Nancy, I think you guys are smart to go with another significant date rather than center on the 14th. Things get a little crazy at Valentine’s Day, for sure!

      We never went out when the kids were small and we really don’t go out for the day now, either. Tonight, we ordered pizza and had it delivered. It worked for both of us!

  • Mozette says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!

    I don’t think much of it. This is because I haven’t had anyone in my life to speak of for over a decade to make a big deal about it.

    So, what I do is buy something a little special for myself to show how much I believe in myself. I have self-love. I have found my inner happyness and inner child to be much more precious and worthwhile than any man complicating my life ever.

    So, keeping myself happy and finding out new things about myself as I get older is much better than any relationship with a man – or woman – I will ever have.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Mozette, what a very healthy and wise frame of mind! Loving yourself is the best gift you could give or receive. Without self-love, life would be so pointless. I’m really glad you have come to know and love yourself so well. We all love you, too, so you have quite a fan club! Happy Valentine’s Day (yesterday, for you) and here’s to a lifetime of loving the fabulous woman you are!

  • Happy Valentine’s Day, Banditas and Buddies !!

    Valentine’s Day is not a huge bakery day, but we do have to turn out tons of cupcakes during the week of Valentine’s for church and school parties. And this year Mardi Gras is right after Valentine’s so we are rolling out the King Cakes too.

    One guy has a completely lock on February 14th. He ordered a cake covered in red icing roses with Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary to my darling wife. On it. Think about it, ladies. He only has to remember one day – February 14th to cover himself for VD, Wedding Anniversary and Wife’s Birthday. SMART GUY !!

    And we had a couple of guys come in to order a wedding cake for two of their friends for Monday. It is our first gay wedding cake and we have pulled out all the stops – they wanted lots of rainbows, including rainbow colored roses. I know it is going to be gorgeous. They came to me because they were told I would have no problem at all doing this cake. Apparently other decorators and bakeries in the area were not so …. accommodating.

    As for me, I bought myself a bag of Reese Peanut Butter Hearts and a bag of peanut butter dog biscuits for the furry kids. I was awakened with a big slobbery basset hound kiss this morning. I’ve decided it was Boudreaux’s way of saying HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY !! Of course, it might have simply meant “I HAVE TO PEE! “

    • Louisa –

      LOL – i so understand the doggie love. My cat hopped up on my chest at 6 am to settled down in a loud purr. It’s her way to say – Enough sleeping, servant! Get up and feed me!

      I’m so pleased that the guys found you for their cake. It sounds beautiful. Congratulations to the happy couple.

  • Hi Posh! No, we don’t do anything for V-Day any more. Used to do a token bottle of Champagne or something but it’s fizzled out — my 12 yo’s birthday is the 15th so it takes precedence.

    I went to high tea with some romance readers and as I was getting ready, Husband said “Where are you going?” I said, “I’m having Valentine’s Day lunch with my boyfriend.” He thought for a moment and said, “The trains aren’t running. Do you want a lift?” LOL Had a lovely girly day.

    I hope to goodness your health improves, my dear Bandita. Thank you for the lovely V-Day post.

  • Hi Caren!

    Sorry to be so late to the blog. Valentine’s Day is a class book sgining day at a nearby Barnes and Noble, so I wasn’t even home to celebrate.

    But I really didn’t miss much. The alarm went off this morning, I got up to hit the john and when i came back – there was a card on my pillow. I whipped out my card for the dh and we laughed, kissed and hugged. That’s it. I came home from the signing (after carefully driving in the white out conditions on the freeway), and fell asleep. Such is love (grin).

  • Amy Conley says:

    Usually we make plans to go out for dinner or something and then it usually doesn’t happen, at least noot on Valentine’s Day itself. Although, there have been a few times. This year I got my own present on Sat, tickets to see Teresa Caputo, the Long Island Medium. My mother saw her in Tampa, my sister saw her in Norfolk, now it’s my turn and I’m taking my daughter with me. I know most people think I’ve wasted my money, but I’ve had way to many strange tthings happen in my life to NOT believe.
    I also got my tablet working after it had stopped working way back in Oct, aproxamently a month after hubby bought it for me. Of course I lost everything I had on it in the process, but at least it works, when the internet works. It got to cold today, so no internet.
    Which leads to our real Valentine’s day, tomorrow. We will go out for a nice lunch, possibly a matinee, and shopping for a new laptop for me…finally. The tablet is fine for most things, but a computer is needed for everything else.