Valentine Series: The Perfect Valentine’s Day

I met Sean two years ago when I moved to DC and began working at a public relations and lobbying firm.  Sean was popular in the office because of his contagious smile, personal Keurig coffee maker and willingness to host cool kid cocktail Fridays.   We had an awesome group that has since disbanded for jobs on the hill, service in the military, law firm life and public relations work in the Middle East (at least we think that’s where Colin is.) I’m so excited that Sean is continuing the Valentine Series today with his utterly perfect Valentine’s Day plans.

However, when I met my wife, the entire paradigm changed, and I knew I had met the “one.” Our first Valentine’s Day together, we tried the usual and found that neither one of us was happy going through the motions. Instead, we now try to do little things for each other throughout the year – chocolates on a bad day, a special meal during a stressful week, or couples massages when the weather has us feeling down. While it seems cliché, to finally have a partner that truly understands why you want to celebrate specific days and brush off others, and most importantly, not judging you for those feelings, is paramount. And so, Valentine’s Day has taken a completely different tenor.  We use the day to celebrate each other, but also commemorate our family. This will be the 4th year we have hosted a “Pink Pancake Pajama Party – with Board Games,” a tradition started by my mother-in-law and continued in our house.S: Valentine’s Day has always been a tricky situation for men. For some, the day is a celebration of not having the encumbrances of a relationship; for others, Valentine’s Day is a trap of what would be an “appropriate” celebration of his significant other. In my past relationships, there has always been a strong material tone to how we were supposed to celebrate – presents, flowers, dinner, etc., without actually creating the emotional intimacy the day should create.

The party is exactly as it sounds. Our friends, while still in their pajamas, come over for pink pancakes, mimosas, other breakfast fixings and board games for a morning of general merriment.  No special recipes, no expectations for couples or singles, just friendly competition with Monopoly® or Cranium®. At the end of the day, we’ve spent time together preparing for breakfast, time with our friends, and enjoyed the far superior cooking and baking skills of our friends by way of whatever they bring to the breakfast.  A perfect Valentine’s Day.

the old work gang