I’m not sure why I’m so jaded when it comes to Valentine’s Day, but it’s right up there after Halloween as my least favourite holiday of the year. As someone who lives in the social media realm, the content passing my way the last month has been a steady barrage of pink and red and sexy Valentine’s tips, and on and on and on. As a content creator, I get it. You gotta give the people what they want. Heck, I even share and pass on Valentine’s Day ideas to my followers. Not everyone is an old curmudgeon like me.
On a personal level, though? Excuse me for a second while I retch.
I’m your typical girly girl for the most part. I love flowers. I love romance, lingerie, and hot sex, too—although, I’ll take chips over chocolate any day. I also like diamonds, particularly those thrown in an eternity band (just throwing it out there in case my husband decides to read my blog for like the first time ever). I also like hot words whispered in my ear like, “I’m going to finish drywalling the basement,” or “I took all the recycling out.” Super hot.
However, I do not like that it has to happen February 14th. If my husband wants to canoodle on the 13th, the 15th, or any other day in February, I’m his girl. But the 14th feels like it’s forced. Like I “have” to tell him I love him and he “has” to display his affection for me. Where is the sincerity in that?
As a young girl, Valentine’s Day always came with hurt feelings. Inevitably, the boy I liked didn’t give me a Valentine, the boy I couldn’t stand, did. This led to all kinds of awkwardness. First, I would be polite to the boy who gave me a Valentine, which led to him misreading the signs, which would lead to me eventually having to tell him I didn’t like him. Then I would have to sit and watch as the guy I pined for fell all over a girl who didn’t even really like him. Broken hearts all around.
High school only brought more awkwardness when flowers were delivered to the classroom by a secret admirer. So cute, right? Unless of course, you’re the girl that didn’t have any secret admirers, but you were friends with the girl who had twenty. Yeah, good times, good times.
Even the times when I had a special someone to share the date with, Valentine’s Day has always felt rather anticlimactic to me. There was so much pressure to make it special that it always fell flat.
When my husband runs out and warms the car for me in sub-zero temperatures, that’s sexy. When he cooks dinner, snuggles with our girls, takes time out to talk and cracks jokes, that’s sexy. There’s so much he does all year round that comes straight from his heart that all of the stuff he’s supposed to give me on February 14th pales in comparison.
It will surprise no one at this point then, to learn that my husband and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. For me, I want spontaneity in romance. I want to be surprised by gestures that warm the heart and not drain the pocketbook. So, this Valentine’s Day will be like any other day in our home—we’ll be busy running kids around, working, taking care of our home, and when he goes out to warm the car for me, he’s totally getting lucky.
I wrote about Valentine's Day last year and how my kids have lost their love for it, too.
And if you liked this, check out: "Why I Won't Be Having Sex On Valentine's Day."
I live in Ottawa. You might say that I live in museum central— we have 14 national museums to choose from alone. We're very lucky to have such an amazing choice of museums in our own backyard.
I love all of these incredible museums for three reasons:
One, they very often offer a hands-on learning experience for my kids—and for me too.
Two, they are a great way to spend a day interacting with my kids instead of staring at a screen and not talking.
Three, they are some of the best places to get the best bang for your buck. Museums, particularly national museums, are in part funded by your tax dollars so admission is low making it a very affordable day out. I don't know about you, but affordable is a big win in this house.
Of all the museums in Ottawa, my personal favourite has to be the Canadian Museum of Nature.
Maybe it's the princess in me but I'm drawn to this castle-like building like no other museum in Ottawa. I never tire of the dinosaur exhibit or the dioramas of Canadian wildlife, but what I love the most is the constantly changing exhibits. This museum always stays fresh so we are never bored. Recently we headed out the door to see Frogs — A Chorus of Colour with my girls.
There are amazing family-friendly museums all across this great country of ours, not only here in Ottawa. Here are a few great museums I recommend:
Ontario Science Centre — I still remember sticking my hand on that silver ball and having my hand stand on end as a child. Classic. However, as you would expect, there's plenty of new and exciting stuff at the Ontario Science Centre including an exhibition all about The Body presented by none other than Sesame Street.
H.R. MacMillan Space Centre — Let's face it, we Canadians have the coolest astronaut in the world—the guitar playing, super smart, Chris Hadfield. Commader Hadfield has inspired a whole new generation of future astronauts and what better place to take them to inspire their dreams than the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre. Blast off!
Royal Alberta Museum — Got a little Indiana Jones on your hands? Maybe a David Suzuki? At the Royal Alberta Museum you can explore through key area such as archeology, earth sciences, and life sciences. Not to mention exhibitions that are just passing through.
The Rooms — This museum tells a story. A story about a province with a colourful past and future and amazing, resilient, hearty people. If you live here then you're part of the story.
There is one other benefit of visiting a museum that I've not mentioned. It's stealth learning. This is perhaps my favourite parenting technique; take them somewhere they are having so much fun at they don't even know they're getting smarter. *insert evil laugh here*
*photo credit Museum of Nature © C. W. Clark