Scalzi's Weekend Assignment: Is Valentine's Day a genuinely romantic day? Or just a big commercial money pit into which romantic people fall? Go on, share how you really feel about the day -- whether you enjoy it, or feel like it's forced on you by greeting card companies, or fall somewhere in between those two poles.
I have always been of the opinion that Valentine's Day is no more than a Hallmark Holiday. Men, tell your women that you love them the other 364 days a year. Surprise her with balloons or flowers or chocolates when she's not expecting them. And stop buying those $99 heart pendants from department stores!
I am especially jaded this year because I work in what is arguably the most romantic restaurant in my area, and we have had people "celebrating an early valentine's day" for a week already, and have "belated valentine's day" dinners booked until at least the 20th. Not to mention our restaurant has been booked solid on the 14th since October. And our wait list has 2 dozen parties on it - most of whom attempted to give me some sort of guilt trip about why they deserved a table more than all of the people ahead of them.
That being said, I do enjoy those little paper valentines designed for kids to exchange in class. The past few years I have bought them and distributed them to my co-workers. I haven't decided whether to do it this year since I'm not going to be working on Wednesday. I also have a soft spot for those heart-shaped boxes of mixed chocolates.
Oh - and last year ZoePig came home on Valentine's Day. So now it's almost like we have a birthday to celebrate that day. That makes it special for us.
Extra credit: Suggest a nice romantic movie. Romantic? Of course my go-to movie in this category is The Princess Bride. However, a little bit off the beaten path is Much Ado About Nothing, the one with Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson, Kate Beckinsale, Denzel Washington, Keanu Reeves... you get the picture. The dialogue generally takes me a little bit to adjust to, but it's absolutely one of my favorite Shakespearean plays and the movie is done well, without adding heavy metal or changing the setting to modern-day L.A.