Goodness, Saint Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us I almost didn’t notice! How could I be so foolish as to forget Valentine’s Day? Oh, well, that’s simple. I DON’T GIVE A SHIT.
Frankly, I’ve never given a shit about Valentine’s Day, even when I’ve been seeing someone. It’s not that I’m anti-romance, quite the opposite! I just think you should be nice to your Sweetie throughout the year, and not just focus all your romantic energy on one day every year.
Then again, anniversaries are important. Don’t forget your anniversary. I’m serious.
I guess it’s just the whole Hallmark/Chocolate/Capitalism vibe I don’t appreciate from Valentine’s Day. By the beginning of February, I’m still hung over from Christmas. And like Christmas, St. Valentine’s is based in a true story, a romantic one, but we’ve managed to repackage that sentiment and convince folks to pay for it.
The other difference between and anniversary and Valentine’s Day is that you only have an anniversary if you’re in a relationship. But everyone has to suffer through Valentine’s Day. Everyone. The single, the divorced, the separated, the widowed, the asexual, the aromantic– the list goes on. Which is one reason I appreciate the title “Single Awareness Day,” because honestly that’s what it feels like. In case I didn’t notice I was single every other day of the damn year–which I do, thank you very much–it’s magnified a hundred times on Valentine’s Day. (One of my coupled friends resents that I call it this, and says I should at least settle on Anna Howard Shaw Day–love to 30 Rock. I just wish she’d stop asking me what she should do for her boyfriend for Valentine’s Day as though I have any idea what to get anyone for Valentine’s Day.)
It’s not that I have some jilted history with Valentine’s Day. My father would bring me chocolates most years, and flowers for my mother. Actually, the early grades when everyone handed out those pre-packaged, dorky valentines, often with those awful chalk hearts, are very fond memories for me. I didn’t really start to disagree with Valentine’s Day until high school… When people repeatedly mistook my locker for the enclave behind the music room and proceeded to shameless suck face in front of it. When girls gathered in the hallways to compare how many roses they’d received that day, or argue over whose bouquet was bigger.
Call me bitter if you want. I think I’m just allergic to to all the lies. The idea that your relationship hinges on how you perform on Valentine’s Day, or that having a boyfriend or a girlfriend is a badge of honor and indicates to the world that you are finally worthy– you made it into the Love Club! Since, you know, only romantic relationships count as relationships.
Maybe that’s my problem with Valentine’s Day– I’ve let myself focus on the coupledom aspect of it (which, to be fair, is kind of shoved in your face for weeks leading up to it). I guess I should think of a Valentine as anyone that I care about, of which there are many people. But, boy howdy, does the advertising really push home the YOU’RE NOT COMPLETE UNLESS YOU’RE IN A COUPLE message for Valentine’s Day. Capitalize on people’s insecurities–story of America. I don’t even own a television anymore, but I still get hammered over the head with it near Valentine’s Day.
Some V-Day related messages from today, courtesy of Facebook:
“Just in time for Valentine’s Day, ladies! Surprise your lady/man with bedazzled boobies! ” (Selling pasties)
“Hey Friends, valentines is right around the corner and if you have no idea what to get your partner…” (everything, everywhere, always selling)
“February 14th isn’t just for sweethearts. Create a fun and festive Valentine’s Day Ladies’ Luncheon celebrating the love you have for your gal pals.” (Props to Williams & Sonoma for actually going after the single crowd, but I’ll keep my money, thank you very much. I can tell my friends how much I love them without whatever you’re selling me now.)
Another great alternative title for Valentine’s Day:
“Incredibly Cheap Candy Day” (though I’m more of a day after sale kind of gal)
–> “Bonus: Single people have no witnesses to their candy pig-out.” (to quote Fifitrixabell)
Also make sure you check out Occupy Valentine’s Day on tumblr. My favorite, naturally:
“Aside from a brief period of time when I was in an abusive marriage, I have been my own Valentine all my life. I don’t have anyone standing in the way of my dreams, I get the whole bed to myself (well, I share with four pets, but they take up a lot less room), and I am successful in my field. I have many loving friendships, and I’m the best sex I’ve ever had. Fuck being part of a couple. I am the best partner I could ever have.”