It's also my birthday.
I'll never know what it's like to have a birthday not on a holiday, and I'm okay with that.
I'll never know what the hubbub is about a normal Valentine's Day because my significant others have always done something for me, because it's my birthday.
That being said, I find myself defensive of the day and what it stands for.
It makes me irrationally angry when people call it a stupid day, or offer one of their canned "I'm better than this day" lines. Oh, and side note, it makes you look like either a smug asshole* (if coupled, and "anti-V-Day".. or a bitter asshole (if single and "anti-V-Day"... so, either way you look an asshole, even if you're not trying to be smug and not actually bitter).
I read the following in a blog post recently:
"I started thinking about Valentine's Day and the tendency our society has to make this ONE day so laser-focused on romance. Shouldn't romance, sex, lingerie, and love be woven into every day?"The answer is: absolutely. But again, I think the understanding of the day is misplaced**.
The three holidays I parallel Valentines Day most to are St. Patrick's Day, Christmas and Thanksgiving. What do they have in common, you may be wondering. The two most common refrains I hear from people who are anti-Valentines Day are as follows:
"I celebrate love year round... so we don't really celebrate Valentine's Day."
Really, truly, it is. But do you? Do you HONESTLY?
Well, are you thankful year round? Do you express thanks and gratitude and appreciation for the people in your life and the things you have more than once a year? You do? Oh, so why do we need Thanksgiving. Do you boycott Thanksgiving?
Because as much as people say they are thankful year round, there's something special about taking a day to celebrate that thanks with a great meal with family and friends.
The same can be said for Valentine's Day. You're doing life in general WRONG if you're not expressing love on a daily basis. It doesn't even have to be on a romantic level, it can be with your friends or your family. Regardless, what's wrong with taking one day to be a little over the top. A little extra thankful- in the case of Thanksgiving, and a little extra lovey- in the case of V-Day.
"It's just a scam by the greeting card, candy, and floral companies."
Right, the "Hallmark Holiday." You're so original.
Because there are no other consumer-based-holidays that mayyyyy have stepped away from the true origins of celebration thousands of years ago.
<<cough, cough..CHRISTMAS..cough, cough>>
Why aren't we calling St. Patrick's Day the Beer Industry Holiday. Because really, that's mostly what it's become. It's a holiday that has centered around getting belligerently drunk in the name of denigrating an entire country- because hey- you ain't Irish if you ain't drunk! (I'm not even Irish and I kind of find that insulting on their behalf). So where did that holiday originate? It's an international religious holiday and Catholic feast day. Did you know that? I'm sure you did. I couldn't tell you the history of St. Patrick other than he did a lot of great things.
Did you know that there was also a St. Valentine? That it's also a religious holiday and feast day?
Did you know he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry (and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire.) So really in 2014 with marriage equality we should all be getting down with St. Valentine.
So why do people have such vitriolic views of Valentine's Day? It could be because over the years, increasingly high expectations have been placed on people's partners, sometimes leading to disappointment. It could be because there's a stigma that it's sad, bad, whatever- to be single. (One I don't buy into, for what it's worth).
You don't need to take a stance on Valentine's Day. Really. You don't need to let everyone know how easy-breezy-cool you are because you don't celebrate. You don't need to let everyone know how you hate it because you're single. Just... stop.
*After seeing a post on FB I do want to add: I totally understand why Valentine's Day may be hard for people who have lost significant others, or who have other unrelated reasons for having a tough time on V-Day. I'm not a total heartless monster. But this post isn't directed at them.
**(The rest of that post is fantastic, and actually- it focuses on not waiting for a "special occasion" to live your life- this one line just happened to inspire me to post about other commonly heard valentine's day refrains.)