Monday, February 14, 2011

Romance isn't dead

I've never been very big on Valentine's Day. This could be from my many years of being single. Or that I totally resent how the stores bombard us with red and pink hearts and cheaply printed cards. Or that roses jump up in price so outrageously just in time for this Hallmark holiday. Now that I am in a relationship I do try to honor the day by making Remi a meal and perhaps buying him chocolate. Before Baby (BB) we sometimes went out to a restaurant. And though I do get a bit miffed if my husband fails to do at least a small gesture for the day, I'd definitely fall into the camp of those who say Valentine's Day should be celebrated every day by the way you treat each other. As a sometimes nagging (or as I prefer to think of it: tell-it-like-it-is) wife, I probably am not living up to that idea either!

It's always struck me as odd that in France Valentine's Day is strictly for couples. You don't hear about schoolkids exchanging cards with all their little classmates or eating those insipid Sweet Heart candies. In the US you can send your mom a Valentine's Day card (heads up, mom, I didn't, but you know I love you bunches) or your sister or child, etc. Leave it to the French with their romantic reputation (true or not, I'll let you decide) to make V Day a purely romantic love day.

Perhaps I'm becoming more cynical with age and my swoony teenage years are growing dim in my memory. However I can still remember daydreaming as a teen of waltzing with some tall dark stranger or the bittersweet agony of Romeo and Juliet's final act. I suppose these things do still move me now, but I've gone a bit too practical.

Or have I? Lately I've been catching up (or should I say finally discovering) the warm and charming now cancelled TV show Pushing Daisies. Unfortunately we get it in French here but just a few scenes from the pilot that Remi found had me captivated. It's the story of a man who can wake the dead but must touch them again after one minute or something else will die in that person's place. It's complicated to explain, but anway, the show is deliciously quirky and the romance between the pie shop owner and his childhood sweetheart he brought back to life is well, swoony. Here's the trailer to give you a quick recap. It's filmed in a very Amélie type way, over-the-top imagery and luscious colors. Love the occasional singing numbers which don't make you feel too embarassed.

So here's to remembering the sweet, delicate moments in life, be they with your family or your other half. Who said romance had to be about skimpy lingerie and expensive meals. Maybe it's what you want it to be: appreciating the beauty of a foggy day or indulging in a decadent caramel chocolate with your eyes closed. And singing your heart out to cheesy love songs because it's good for you. Click on the link to hear one of the best!


Jenenz said...

It's a good day to share your appreciation for family and friends, not just your partner. Sending a cyber chocolate heart to you all. Sweetness is in the air. And yes, cheesy songs help too.

Lindle said...

It's too bad the French focus on couples for Valentine's Day. There are so many people who don't have someone special, and it can make them sad. I think it's a great extra day to reach out and tell the people you love that they are important to you. You do that all the time through emails,girl, so no Valentine's Day card was necessary. We loved the pic of Juliette holding a heart though!

Mil said...

I agree that it's a tough holiday on those who aren't in romantic relationships. Having known that situation I guess I don't like flaunting it in other people's faces either. At least V Day is a good excuse to eat chocolate!

Crystal said...

I think Valentine's Day is what you make it...for those who want to go all out and plan elaborate meals and presents, that's fine. For others, like myself, it's just a day to give Max an extra hug or an "I love you"...nothing less, nothing more. Oh, and eat some chocolate (but it doesn't have to be Valentine's Day to do that!)