What will Valentine’s Day look like in fifty years?
We’re still ten days away from this year’s special day, but I couldn’t stop myself from wondering.
The man who eventually became my husband took me out for Valentine’s Day almost twenty years ago. It was a simple meal at a local diner. He brought me one of those heart-shaped boxes of chocolates. I think that’s about it. That was actually our first date in that void somewhere between “just friends” and “huh, maybe we should think about being more than friends.” As voids and first dates go, it was nice.
Fast forward four years, and we celebrated Valentine’s Day on our back porch with Chinese takeout and our newborn son nestled nearby in his car seat. You know the one – with the curved bottom that lets you gently rock it with your foot. And just in case you’re shivering at the thought – we lived in Arizona back then. The weather was downright balmy.
Fast forward another fifteen years or so, and…well, it’s confession time. I’m the least romantic person I know. So why do I enjoy writing Christian Romance so much? Because I have a delightful sense of humor. Or because God does. I’m pretty sure my husband laughs out loud every time he reads a romantic scene I’ve written. Trust me – I’ve borrowed most of those ideas from him. He’s the romantic one in our family!
So now that you know my deep dark secret, you can come along with me on a tongue-in-cheek journey into the future of Valentine’s Day.
Here are some changes that I foresee in the future.
- Chocolates will be obsolete because, well, food will have become obsolete. As resources decrease and fewer people go into farming, society will have to adapt. We will get our daily meals from pills. All of our nutrients and calories will be packed into teeny tiny little tablets that we swallow down with water. So, instead of a lovely box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day, your sweetheart will get you a cocoa-dusted dessert pill. On the bright side, it’ll come in a cute little heart-shaped box. If he splurges, there might even be a little ribbon on it. Red, of course.
- The Greeting Card industry will have gone belly up, so you won’t need to worry about running out to the store and buying a sappy card for the man in your life. In fact, you won’t even have to remember to send him an e-card. Technology will have taken over the world adequately enough that all of your greeting cards – for birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, 4th of July, and Secretary’s Day – will automatically be sent out from your email address and correctly addressed to the proper people. This is fantastic except in those cases where your boss and husband have the same first name. (Note to self: Make sure I designate employment contacts as professional so I don’t send a “Hey Sexy” card to my editor on accident…)
- With the absence of food, restaurants will no longer exist, so don’t expect a romantic meal over candlelight. However, oxygen bars will be at a premium. If he’s really into you, he’ll spring for the rose-scented oxygen so you can reminisce about the days when he bought you flowers. (Did I mention that with the collapse of the agricultural industry in America, flower production moved entirely overseas, but the import taxes are so high that only the wealthy can afford real flowers on Valentine’s Day? Kids still occasionally draw pictures of flowers to give to Mom on V-Day, but even that practice is slowly fading away as each new generation remembers less and less about the time when flowers could be bought in shops and at grocery stores.) And whatever you do – don’t inhale your oxygen over candlelight. If you’re trying to set the mood, that’s the wrong one to go with. No matter how good it smells, oxygen is still flammable. No candles!
- If he decides to take you out to a movie after your chocolate-scented pill and rose-scented oxygen, you’ll be in for a real treat. Movie theaters recognize how valuable everybody’s time is, and they’ve adapted. Rather than being forced to sit through ninety minutes of dialogue, build-up, climax, and resolution, the theater now downloads the entire movie directly into your brain. You’ll be in and out in less than five minutes, and then you and your date can spend the next hour rehashing the movie and talking about all your favorite scenes.
- After that, maybe you’ll be in the mood for a moonlit walk. The robotic police force in all the metropolitan areas will have prepared for Valentine’s Day. Just in case it’s cloudy and that moon is intent on hiding from you, the robot-officers will be accompanied by light orbs – floating round contraptions that shine light into dark alleys and whatnot. The orbs will be set to “mood lighting” for Valentine’s Day, so the entire city will be aglow with the gentle radiance of romance. This is a special treat since the orbs are usually set to a cornea-burning spotlight. In some cities (that shall remain names, of course), the orbs will be set to disco, and the streets will enjoy flashback lighting in honor of the 1970s.
- To wrap the evening up, your date will return you safely to your abode and give you that magical Valentine’s Day kiss. Thankfully, lips haven’t been replaced with cybernetic implants yet, so the smooch will actually feel like one. And, as an added bonus, since he had a pill for dinner, you don’t have to worry about icky breath from the kimchi and hongeohoe you would have otherwise dined on.
Ah…the future of romance is in good hands, wouldn’t you say? What could possibly go wrong with disco lighting in the streets? Or five-minute movies? Maybe you can even get a popcorn-flavored refreshment pill while you enjoy your film…
So tell me! What does the future of Valentine’s Day look like to you?
How do you think we’ll handle the holiday in another fifty years?
Or better yet – tell me what you do for the big day now. (Remember me? Least romantic person in the world. I actually remembered to buy my husband a card one year. In, ahem, eighteen years of marriage. I, uh, could use a little help. I’m not begging or anything, but please, please, please, please, pretty please give me some ideas about what to do…)
I laugh at my own Valentine antics, but even as I do so, I can’t forget the God who brought my husband to me and Savior who shared Himself with me. Love has so many more facets to it than rose-scented oxygen and cocoa-flavored pills. With that in mind, I want to leave you with a verse that speaks to my heart on the topic of love.
What fun! I bought a card for my husband once — and he bought a card for me the same year. We kept those cards and exchanged them every year until I forgot where I put them. We’ve been married for 32 years and we currently have a houseful of people — since Valentine’s comes on a Saturday this year I expect we’ll sleep in, say “Happy Valentine’s Day” and call it a day!
Heather Gray says
Thank you for stopping by Susan! When I told my husband that I’d posted about not being romantic, he looked at me and nodded sagely. “I can’t argue with that.” Only one year in the eighteen that we’ve been married has he not gotten me a Valentine’s card – and that happened to be the one year I actually remembered and bought him one. ;) Personally, I think sleeping in sounds like a great way to celebrate the day. Alas, I’m sure I’ll be up early so I can work on editing while the house is still quiet.
Trixi O. says
Oh my but you made me belly laugh all the way through this blog, Heather!! I seriously had tears running down my face while my husband looks at me like I’ve grown antenna out of my head. Not really, but that’s how I envision the scene :-D I seriously hope there are no cocoa dusted pills or rose scented oxygen in my future, yikes! Reminds me of Star Trek (please know what I am talking about, lol) where you order your food via a replicator. Kinda scarey when you think about it huh?
I guess I’d have to be in the same category as you in the romance department. It’s not because I’m the least bit romantic, it’s just I have such a hard time coming up with things to buy or what plans to make for my wonderful husband! I hate when these holidays come around when one feels obligated to show their love in some material thing! I think it should be shown in actions, cooking a nice meal (or going to our favorite restaurant), renting some movie to watch at home (not that gory action one, please!), or just sitting and relaxing talking about whatever comes to mind. There is no lack of good conversation between us, that’s for sure! I think about the only thing we really do for each other every year is buy a really nice Valentines card that speaks our hearts. We’ve been married for almost 18 yrs so we really just treasure being with each other over the years. And since I am not a huge chocolate fan (please, no tomato throwing!), he doesn’t get me any. Just knowing in my heart that he treasures me & I him and showing each other in everyday life in so many little ways, well that’s good enough for both of us! I think our biggest “holiday” is our anniversary where we plan some big thing. That’s coming up here in April, so I better start thinking about what to do this year, lol!
Thanks for sharing your humor, Heather, I truly enjoyed and laughed along with you! I’m not sure I can help you with any good ideas, but just this….show your husband everyday how much you treasure him. I like to text him sometimes with some sweet nothing, even a simple ” I am praying for you today” or a simple “I love you”. We never leave the house without giving each other a kiss, just doesn’t feel right otherwise, ya know? If you love to cook (like me), make his favorite dish or dessert. If you are crafty (I’m talking about DIY projects here, lol), maybe make him something special with your favorite scripture or picture or memory of times past. Even a simple brush of your hand on his arm as you pass him in the house will connect you together. A simple smile across the room will do the same. I really hope this helps you!
May God continue to bless your marriage, your family & enrich your lives as you serve Him together!
Heather Gray says
Trixie, that is wonderful advice! I think you hit the heart of the matter – marriage isn’t just about finding that connection, it’s about staying connected, and there are a million and one small ways to do that. Love isn’t always found in the big gestures, but rather in the accumulation of those small gestures. Love can be in those big moments, absolutely – but it’s grown bit by bit in the little moments that occur during everyday life. Because let’s face it, none of us lives in the big moments – we live in the day-to-day.
And just so you know – I DO know what Star Trek is (although I grew up with the Next Generation), and it’s perfectly okay with me that you don’t like chocolate…all the more for me. ;)
Wishing you a beautiful and blessed day today!
Helen Pollard says
I loved reading this, Heather – thank you for making me smile. Valentine’s day is special for me in that my husband and I started dating just a couple of weeks before (22 years ago!). In the week coming up to it, he sent me a card every day so I had quite a collection! This of course led me to believe he was a really romantic guy … Ha! He admits now that he was just besotted (which is nice, I suppose). He tries to remember a romantic gesture from time to time, but I can tell it’s a struggle. But since he is the most loving and kind man I’ve ever met, I’ll take the care and love over the flowers and chocolates anytime :)
Heather Gray says
Helen, how wonderful that your husband admits to being besotted! That brought a smile to my face! I’ve found over the years that romance looks different to different people. I tell my husband he’s sexiest when he’s mowing the lawn. (Nobody ever said lawn mowing can’t be romantic.) ;)
Wishing you many more years with a husband who loves you every day of your life!