In Defense Of St. Valentine
Personally, I’m really tired of all the Valentine’s Day vitriol I’ve read lately on Facebook, Twitter and the like…I get it, it’s a mass marketed, corporate created holiday that capitalizes on individual’s insecurities about dying alone and makes a commodity out of genuine sentiment, yadda, yadda, but as anyone in a long-term relationship knows, any excuse to turn to your mate and express your love for them is a good excuse. When immersed in the minutiae of everyday life (bills, kids, work, that “thing” hiding in the basement you’ve recently started feeding), it’s a sad but true fact that many people do need the reminder to show their sweetie some extra affection (and no, it doesn’t make them bad people). So, I like Valentine’s Day, or, more appropriately, I could take it or leave it, but I don’t feel compelled to deride the holiday and anyone who participates in it like some do.
I hear a lot of people saying, “You shouldn’t need Valentine’s Day to show your love, if you love each other, it’s Valentine’s Day everyday!” Okay, sure. I don’t know what world these people live in, but in my world it’s not any holiday everyday, nor should it be. Do you know how annoying it would be if it were Christmas everyday? *releases safety* Yeah, not fun. Also, more to the point, who’s to say that people who celebrate Valentine’s Day aren’t romantic the rest of the year. It’s not a 0-sum game: A man/woman who does something special for their partner on February 14th is not necessarily a heartless bastard the rest of the year, and conversely, refusing to celebrate Valentine’s Day because of what you think it means to celebrate it doesn’t make you more romantic (or smarter) than people who do: it just means Valentine’s Day is not your thing.
Odds are, V-day bashing is just a way to feel better about a less than perfect romantic situation (singledom, if the person desires a relationship, or a shitty relationship that makes the person unhappy). It seems like it’s mostly the people who don’t have a Valentine (or a sub par one?) that are doing the griping. You rarely see a woman loaded down with balloons, flowers, chocolates and tickets to see Wicked complaining about a pandemic corporate cash grab every February, and you often see a woman who’s single or whose boyfriend forgot that it’s V-day puffing her chest out and proclaiming it’s all bullshit anyway (knowing full well if two dozen roses appeared on her desk at work she would immediately find a reason to do two full laps of the entire floor of her building, making especially sure to pass a certain in-office rival’s desk [“She’s knows what she did!”] no less than three times, roses in tow). While I understand a person’s need to produce a framework that makes them feel better about their lives (we all do it), I think it’s obvious that no matter your relationship status, or how you feel about it, it’s not the days fault.
As with most things in life, it’s a matter of perspective and perception. My Valentine’s Day advice: Enjoy the day, or leave it be, but get off the soapbox, already! *Ironically climbs off soapbox*.