Sweetest Day, a celebration which “offers all of us an opportunity to remember husbands, boyfriends, the sick, aged and orphaned, friends, relatives and associates,” is observed each year on the third Saturday in October. The holiday was created by The Sweetest Day in the Year Committee, formed by confectioners in Cleveland, Ohio in 1921, and is often criticized as a manufactured “Hallmark holiday.” During the inaugural Sweetest Day the committee distributed more than 20,000 boxes of candy to children, the poor, and the elderly, enlisting help from movie stars like Theda Bara and Anne Pennington. Since then the holiday has evolved and commonly involves women presenting their husbands or boyfriends with candy and sweet treats. While Sweetest Day isn’t as widely celebrated as Valentine’s Day, it is often considered a second incarnation of the romantic holiday.
I don’t really consider myself much of a romantic. I’m not saying I don’t believe in romance — just that I don’t believe in the kind of romance you see on tv, or the cliche romantic gesture. That being said, it still makes me feel great whenever Chris sends a little reminder of his love my way. And I’m lucky: I get these little reminders in a lot of ways. Sometimes it’s just a little e-mail to say hello. Or he’ll do a chore for me, knowing how much I’ve been dreading it. Or he’ll offer to drive when he knows I’m tired. Sometimes he’ll (somewhat creepily) take pictures of me when I’m not paying attentions, because he thinks I’m beautiful. Or he’ll do the best thing in the world: he’ll make me stop what I’m doing, calm down, and give him a big bear hug. I am so lucky.
Chris is a great husband, and being married to him is actually fun. And trust me, while I parted on semi-speaking terms with my ex-husband, I <em>do</em> know what a bad marriage is like. (Is it ironic that my first married name was “Sweet”?) Sometimes when the little stuff gets me down it helps to think about my great husband — my great family — and about how blessed I am. With all this in mind, I was excited to celebrate Sweetest Day. Sure, we celebrated Valentines Day (in conjunction with National Donor Day, but I was glad to find that the modern version of Sweetest Day focuses more on a woman doing something nice for her man; in a world that has become super-feminist (I’m not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing), I think it’s sometimes easy to forget that men need to be celebrated and adored every once in awhile too.