Pamela Chan, BCFamily.ca/Editorial
Every man I’ve ever known romantically wrapped my Aquarian birthday and Valentine’s Day into one gift giving and evening out event. That feels revealing to me. It makes me wonder how invested men are in the concept of Valentine’s Day and everything that goes with it. When I came to this realization I thought “that’s fine” but what will this day look like for me? Scroll forward to today and it might seem to be a trivial point. Who cares about Valentine’s Day really? But the process of focussing on myself as someone who deserves special treatment and attention, and appreciation, still matters.
When I was single, I took it upon myself to make Valentine’s Day meaningful to me. I made myself an exquisite Breakfast in Bed breakfast on the 14th. I bought myself new lingerie and gorgeous books, and then I’d go see a new foreign film at the cinema by myself. This tradition evolved into also buying unique CDs (when CDs were still a thing). In recent years, after I got married and had twins, I cut back on such spending by 95% so that more money could go towards other budget line items. And I cut back on paying that kind of attention to myself.
Recently, I started to realize that selflessness can lead to not only feeling “invisible” but becoming part of the background scenery. I don’t want to be “flexing” left and right – as is the fashion on social media and in real life – but landing somewhere in between would be ideal. After encouragement from a fellow Irish dance mom, I went to a hair stylist for an updated look and more recently I didn’t bypass the lingerie section while I went shopping for what I “needed”. I’m also doing more things by myself, if no one around me is interested. (Although sometimes this isn’t possible.)
If you’re being showered with romance, attention and “I love you babe” pronouncements, that’s groovy. Rock on. I suspect many have been, or are, in the other camp. Do you need to shower attention on yourself and make yourself more of a priority?
Look – I took this approach even when I was a penny pinching under grad and grad student. (I was a graduate student in my early 30s.) So the money angle as an excuse doesn’t fly. If you need to make yourself a priority in this way, find a way to be good to yourself – because you deserve it.
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