Well, Valentine’s Day is here again. I was never a huge fan of the holiday. Too cliche` for me. Then I went and made Valentine’s my wedding date just four years ago. I like it to think it’s because The Beau and I were just that cute and in love. But, really it’s because we wanted a wintertime wedding, and because it was on a Thursday–thus less expensive. And why a wintertime wedding? Honestly, because all the Californians would melt with a humid summertime wedding, fall was too close to when The Beau proposed, and spring is too unpredictable–weather-wise. So we chose Valentines. But, I think it worked out great and at least now neither one of us will ever forget our anniversary!
For those of you gearing up for Valentine’s Day whether to celebrate love or to bash it, there are 10 Etiquette Tips for this Valentine’s Day we should probably all be mindful of when out and about celebrating or anti-brating.
1. Brush up on your table manners
For the love of God, do not put your elbows on the table, do not pick up your soup bowl to drink it with your hands, and use your napkin. And above all, please, please, please do not play with your cell phone in the restaurant. Take the call outside. Update your Facebook status in the bathroom. And check your email later. Overrated or not, Valentine’s is still one time a year when it is encouraged you dress up and be fancy. Your manners should put on their best attire as well.
2. Be courteous to those not celebrating
It’s strange that Valentine’s Day is our wedding anniversary. Of course, we’re just that kind of couple 🙂 But, Valentine’s Day can be miserable if you’re single. So be courteous. Try not to plaster your Facebook with too many pictures of love and roses and all the other items that might severely depress your best friend.
3. Don’t drink too much
On that note, if you are anti-brating Valentine’s Day, or even celebrating, don’t drink too much. True story. After the send-off on our Wedding Day, The Beau and I walked to a nearby pub in Downtown Annapolis. All of our friends joined us after. When we walked into the pub, a girl about my age was there, clearly anti-brating either alone or perhaps with some friend who had already left. When she saw us all walk in, she stood up to leave but had consumed so much alcohol that she immediately fell over, laying on the floor for a few minutes. I still feel terrible to this day, as clearly the sight of a girl walking into her bar, wearing a wedding dress and a giant smile must have pushed her over the edge. But the bottom line is, don’t drink too much. For you never know who might witness your behavior . . . and then blog about it later.
4. Do buy an appropriate gift
And by appropriate I mean–if you are in a new relationship, do not feel obligated to go over-the-top. In fact, my favorite example is from my college boyfriend many years ago. We had been dating just a month when our first Valentine’s rolled around. At the time I was an avid Diet Coke drinker, so he purchased me a case of Diet Coke and a bouquet of pink roses. He probably spent about $30 on the gift, which was perfect in thoughtfulness and appropriateness of the situation.
If you are in a serious relationship, and have been for sometime, then buy appropriately for the status of your relationship. If you are The Beau, don’t forget it’s our wedding anniversary . . . you know what to do! Actually, because our Valentine’s Day/Wedding Anniversary follows Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years and my birthday, The Beau and I set a financial limit to our Valentine’s/Anniversary gift every year. We also stick with the traditional wedding gift ideas, which helps limit what to buy!
5. Plan your night in advance
Do note that most restaurants only serve Prix Fixe menus on Valentine’s Day. Also note that most restaurants book up week’s sometimes at least a month in advance. Plan your date night in advance. Even if you are The Beau and it pains your soul to plan more than one week in advance.
6. Bring cash
For a special occasion such as Valentine’s Day, be sure to have cash on hand. You never know if there will be a coat check, a bell hop, a taxi or other person you might need to tip. It is awkward not to be prepared in such situations and on a special occasion you want to be sure you are putting your best foot forward!
7. Don’t send your partner or spouse an e-Greeting
Unless your spouse is deployed or in some situation or location that prevents them from receiving letters (you know, with stamps), do not send your loved one an e-Greeting. This is acceptable for the family members and friends, but not for the person with whom you are in a relationship.
8. Be mindful with the PDA
Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day. Yes, it’s all about love and relationships. But, be respectful. No one needs to see you groping your girlfriend or boyfriend in the corner of the bar or restaurant or theatre. It’s rude, makes others feel uncomfortable and honestly can be downright disgusting. Not that love is disgusting, but being forced to sit next to two people who so obviously have no respect for those around them is extremely inappropriate. And, I do not care if you and your date or friends are at a dirty bar trying to escape your troubles. Keep your clothes on people!