Monday, February 13, 2012 | By: Brianna

Valentine's Day?

So tomorrow's Valentine's Day.  I'm not really a fan of the holiday, and so part of me thinks I have an obligation to unpack that dislike for it so I can can square things away.

Thanks, Google!
Okay, so what's the point of Valentine's Day?  It's a Hallmark holiday meant to sell candy and cards and encourage people to deck out their homes in pink and red (two colors that clash on normal days...) in order to express their affection for the people that are important in their lives.  Most commonly affection for a significant other.  All those left single during this day spend their time burning teddy bears or complaining about how disgusting Valentine's Day is.  Am I right?  Let's not forget that Valentine's Day is also the day in history when the St. Valentine's Day Massacre took place in Chicago.  Isn't that happy?

I've spent the majority of my life being single.  I never really had a problem with that.  I didn't need a boy to make me happy, and I didn't want to have to deal with the drama that inevitably would surround a high school relationship.  So Valentine's Day wasn't a big deal.  I maybe gave cards to my friends.  Maybe.  I don't remember.  I do remember wearing either red or pink on that day just because it was fun to dress up.  Point being, Valentine's Day didn't really have a meaning for me.  Sure, I'll admit it was fun playing the cynic and bashing the heart shaped cards and those gross conversation hearts (they really taste nasty, I don't understand why they exist...) and the couples who were all lovey-dovey in the hallways.  I honestly wanted to puke.  Partially because I hate people, mostly because I felt like they were playing into cliche.  Which is sad.

This year I find myself in a relationship with Valentine's Day right around the corner (that being a relative term, we all know it's tomorrow).  It's really hard to not bash the day, and every time I do I have friends surrounding me who remind me that I have a boyfriend, so I should be happy.  Melbourne even went so far as to remind me that I have a boyfriend while also telling me that I'm not allowed to do the cynical bashy thing or else I'm a hypocrite.  Which is a fair statement, but hurts.

I don't understand why Valentine's Day exists outside of the idea that Hallmark needs to make a profit.  "So you can express your love to your loved ones."  That's just silly.  Come on now, you can express your love to your friends and lovers and husbands and mothers without having a special day that says you're supposed to. In fact, you probably should be continually expressing love, affection, and admiration on a daily basis anyway because it's good for you like vegetables.  There's nothing stopping you from saying, "Hey, I really appreciate you and everything you do for me" or "Hey, those are kick ass boots," or even "Hey, I love you" on any day outside of February 14th.  What means more: a gift from someone who you know cares about you on a day that necessitates gift giving and chocolate eating or a hug, a kiss, a gift or a well wish when that person isn't required to give you one?

What I'm saying is Valentine's Day makes people feel like they're required to show affection on that specific day.  They can spend all other days of the year giving people the finger for cutting them off on the highway, jumping strangers in line, and scowling when that other person takes the last French fry.  Really world?  That's not how this is supposed to work.  Call me optimistic for the remaining 364 (or 365 because this year's a leap year) days of the year, but I feel that people should be able to show their loved ones that they care every day.  What's stopping them?  Is it because they don't have time or the inclination?  They already love each other, why can't they just say it?  Why do they need a special little card that Hallmark sells you at Walgreens once a year to say something punny and ridiculous and ultimately trite when something far simpler would suffice on any other day of the year?

Valentine's Day might be a day for grand gestures, but I still think that people can pull out all the stops on any other day.  I believe in the power of positive thinking, the importance of a kind word on a rough day, and the effects of a smile from a stranger.  No one should feel alone on Valentine's Day if during the rest of the year they surround themselves by people who care for them and who make sure that they know.  So it ultimately shouldn't matter whether you have a boyfriend, girlfriend, lover or spouse on Valentine's Day because maybe you don't have one during the rest of the year, but you're still happy.  So why be miserable for one day out of the year when you have so many people around you who want what's best for you and would do just about anything to help you out ALL THE TIME?

Parting words:
Couples, I know this day is technically yours, all the commercials say so, but please don't make out and grope each other in public, it's neither cute nor charming, it really just annoys and disgusts people.  Don't let Valentine's Day be your excuse.

Singletons (or all the single ladies...(I had to make that reference at some point)), don't let Valentine's Day get you down.  You've got a whole network of people who love and care about you during the entire year, so don't let the thought of being without a significant other taint your day.  It's really just another day.

World, try a little tenderness.  All I'm asking is for a little respect and some kindness to strangers and acquaintances alike.  Every day.  Not just on Valentine's Day, alright?  Start today.

"Love is not to be purchased, and affection has no price."
- St. Jerome


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