I am at my employment job today despite it being President’s Day – small businesses seem to vary on whether or not this is a holiday. Here, it’s considered a prep and a clean-up day, plus the staff get some extra surprise on their paychecks on Friday. Who knew?
This is also my first Valentine’s day with this firm and its staffers. Of the 14 here, there are 4 married, 5 in relationships of some low (1 to 2 years) to medium (2 to 5 years) level of duration, and the rest trying to date in hopes of finding a compatible someone or just dating casually. What surprises me is the number in-the-doghouse or partners in-the-doghouse over V-day gifts – or in one case lack thereof – and special plans or celebrations yesterday. My astonishment was more about the obvious breakdown in communication over the gifts/no gifts, plans/no plans and expectations contained therein. This is most definitely NOT relationship advice merely the stating of common sense from a genuine non-romantic woman:
- If you tell your special someone V-day is Hallmark holiday and you have no expectations of gifts or anything else, please do not crucify your partner over not getting a card or a gift or making some sort of special plans for the day. While this applies exclusively to the ladies in my realm today, it is true for both genders.
- If you do get something for your sweetie, make it a thoughtful gift he/she will enjoy. And in this I am not thinking much less saying spend lots of cash or buy only expensive gifts (if that’s part of the expectation equation, you may be with the wrong person or have set a bad precedent from the beginning). Maybe take an old page from M’s book and do a little something every day leading up to V-day, at which time you present the perfect card you thoughtfully selected. Honestly, just a little advance planning can make all the difference. This one is for the gents in my office, but again, no double standards here.
- If the relationship is new or casual, keep expectations low or better yet, talk about it in advance and set some boundaries and limits on gifts, should you choose to go that route. I always think holidays, even Hallmark holidays, are meant to be fun occasions, not the angsty drama I am experiencing all around me today.
- And finally, how big or how little fanfare your partner makes about the trappings and celebration of V-day is not an indication of how much or how little he/she cares for you. What should matter and carry all the weight is how that is expressed the other 364 days of the year.
I actually feel a little bad for my crew, but being the pragmatist that I am it astounds me that this level of drama could occur among this very smart, caring, clear communicating group.