Valentine’s Day… it’s only a few days away now and I still hate it as much as I did 10 years ago. 20. Hell, even 30 years ago! Actually, I hate it MORE than I did back then.
When I was in elementary school, I remember making those construction paper sleeves that got taped onto the front of the desk and we’d mill about, putting Valentine’s cards into the appropriate person’s envelope. Now, even though my mom made sure I went to school with a card for everyone, I know I didn’t hand them all out. There were a few people I simply didn’t like. When all the cards were handed out, we’d return to our desk and look at all the valentine’s cards we received. Though “look at” is a loose term as it was all about counting the cards. The more cards you had, the more popular you were. And, let me tell you, I was never the popular one – and Valentine’s Day highlighted that fact.
Do they even do this anymore in elementary school? Things have changed so much from when I went to school!
In high school, I never remember much. I did have boyfriends but I don’t remember doing anything or receiving anything. However, I do remember going ring shopping with a friend of mine who wanted a girl’s opinion on the ring he was buying his girlfriend… the kicker is that I always had a crush on him. He moved into the area the same time as we did, so we started at the same school at the same time. For about 5 years I pined over him – but he always had a girlfriend when I was single and I always had a boyfriend when he was single.
But that’s beside the point as I started dating my husband when I was 16… though didn’t stop me from pining over him!
As I got older, I began to resent Valentine’s Day (VD). Not because my hubby never did anything for me (though we do have a “no gift” policy for certain holidays – this being one of them) but because it’s become SO commercialized. “Show her you love her and buy her diamonds”. HELL! I’ve even seen a CAR ad for VD!!! How ridiculous! HELL NO!!! “Show me you love me” by making me dinner – and do the dishes. Have a hot bubble bath ready when I get home from work. Give me a foot massage or shoulder/neck rub. Let me choose what movie to watch. I don’t need my man to buy me flowers or chocolates – or even give me a card! Flowers die, chocolates add extra unwanted calories, and cards kill trees.
The other thing I hate about VD is that I don’t like the concept of having a day on the calendar to “show/tell someone you love them”. Bullshit. EVERY day you should tell someone you love them. EVERY day you should show someone you love them.
Now, don’t get me wrong, my husband has done some epic shit for me on VD – including a horse drawn sleigh ride in Banff one year when we lived in Calgary! That’s going to be hard to beat – but, really, it’s about spending time together, not “out-doing” a previous VD.
Now, I’m lucky. I have a husband and we’ve been together for… 28 VD this one. I’m lucky that even though hubby is away, VD is a Friday so I’ll be seeing him. But what about those who don’t have a SO? It really sucks. Several of my friends are going through this – dealing with being single, several recently single. Most everything is catered towards couples and though I’m seeing more “fuck cupid” parties, there’s still a long way to go. If you are single, you have every right to feel sad or lonely on VD – even bitter and angry! It doesn’t matter your opinion of VD itself – to not even have the option to share it with someone really sucks! Especially if the person you had been with cheated and left you which a couple of my friends are dealing with this VD.
As far as I’m concerned, we should do away with VD. It’s a pointless day that causes stress, anxiety, resentment, and even financial hardship and environmental impact. It’s estimated that (Americans) spend $19.6 BILLION a year on VD – men will spend an average of just over $300 on a gift – and 145 million VD cards a year are purchased. Why? As usual, VD has lost its original meaning – which, granted, seems to be up for debate as to where it obscurely started and why. However, whether it is the pagan fertility ritual, or Christian celebration of the death of martyr Saint Valentine in 496 AD – or later in the 14th century when it was first associated with romantic love, or the 18th century when the flowers, confectionery, and cards were given as an expression of their love, commercialization of this innocent day has blown it out of proportion often making single people feel like shit, or coupled people stressed wanting to out-do the Joneses.
LADIES! Are you single? GOOD FOR YOU! When I was younger, it was more important for me to have a boyfriend than it was to be selective about who to spend my time with. Needless to say, I made some poor choices! DON’T SETTLE! You don’t need a man for anything! You want flowers? Buy them yourself! Chocolate? Cheesecake? Enjoy them without guilt by yourself! Draw a nice bubble bath, pour yourself a glass of bubbly – or drink it right from the bottle!!! – and eat chocolate covered strawberries by yourself! Don’t shave your legs, don’t put on makeup, put on your pj’s, snuggle with your pet and have popcorn for dinner while watching a movie of your choosing! Or go to the gym! Or do nothing at all!
VD is highly, HIGHLY overrated. If you’re single, just be thankful you’re not with the wrong person. All you need is you. You are just as worthy of receiving all those “things” as the coupled people. Just wait until the day after VD and get the candy and chocolates at a deep discount! And buy yourself flowers any other day after that haven’t been grossly inflated because of a stupid day on the calendar.
Honestly? Valentine’s Day sucks.