by guest blogger Maya Rodale, author of smart and sassy romance novels
My husband and I celebrate Valentine’s Day every February 15th. No, that’s not a typo. While the world celebrates LOVE!!!, we go about our day—doing chores, going to work, walking the dog, emptying the dishwasher, and so forth. And then, when all the candy and flowers are half-priced and you can actually get a dinner reservation, we celebrate.
We do this because we are practical people. Ever try to get a table for two on Valentine’s Day in New York City? Don’t. You will fail. It’s impossible. Or else you’ll end up squeezed into a tiny table next to the kitchen with a super-expensive prix-fixe menu (we are picky eaters, so that’s fraught with tension) then rushed out so the restaurant can turn the table. Everything is half the fun and double the price.
We also celebrate on the 15th because we are a stubborn, rebellious couple who will love when we damn well want to and will celebrate our relationship whenever and however we feel like it. Honestly, who needs the pressure to perform LOVE!!! in a very particular Hallmark way on a very particular day?
I know that as a romance novelist/perpetuator of grand romantic fantasies, I probably shouldn’t say any of this. But I also know—and I think my readers do, too—that what we love most of all about romance novels is the sense that after the happy ending, the characters will be just as loving after all the grand declarations have been made and the dishwasher needs to be emptied.
So here’s how it goes down in our house: On “V Day,” we do something purposely unromantic—one year, we went to a disgusting dive bar (OK, it’s our disgusting dive bar). Another year, we ate organic gluten-free chicken nuggets and watched Hulu in bed (hello, awesome). And the the next day, we get flowers (OK, I do) and we do something special when it’s easier to get a table, the regular menu is back, and it’s our choice to pause and appreciate each other.
It’s nice to have a reminder to pause and appreciate Your Person. But it’s also nice to do it on your own terms. Happy Valentine’s Day, whenever and however you celebrate it!
Maya Rodale began reading romance novels in college at her mother’s insistence. She is now the best-selling and award-winning author of numerous smart and sassy romance novels. A champion of the genre and its readers, she is also the author of the nonfiction book Dangerous Books for Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels, Explained, and has written for The Huffington Post, NPR, Bustle.com, and more. Maya lives in New York City with her darling dog and a rogue of her own. Visit her online at mayarodale.com or follow her on twitter @mayarodale.
Her latest novel is Lady Bridget’s Diary.