13 February 2013

On Valentine’s Day:


According to history.com, the essential final word on everything history, Valentine’s day is in remembrance of St. Valentine (obviously). The reason, though, is that the Emperor Claudius II decided single men make better soldiers and banned marriage for young men, and then Valentine, the priest, thought this was stupid and was like, “uh no, I’m still going to perform marriages!” and then Claudius II had him killed. The day we celebrate is, supposedly, the anniversary of his death. Other theories involve the Catholic church putting the date in February to “"Christianize" the pagan celebration of Lupercalia” which is a fertility festival.


So then, why is it, at least in North America, that Valentine’s Day is just another commercialized, corporate holiday, with required gifts and oft-shattered high expectations? I come to you as a married woman, with a very generous husband. I’m also someone who has, for the most part of my adolescent/adult live, never been “alone” on Valentine's day. And you know what? It still freaking sucks.

I hate flowers, and I’m too picky of an eater for any of those sampler boxes. I don’t wear jewelry and I already have the best heart-wielding teddy bear in existence. 
I just don’t buy into the commercialism of it all- in fact, I made it clear to my husband (and other former partners) not to waste their time or energy.

But really, it’s more than that, that I hate. It’s the level of expectation, of built up hope and shattered reality, that really gets me. It’s just another day that TV, movies and commercials promise will be special, but often never is. Dinner, a movie, an unnecessary gift- Christmas was like, less than two months ago!- and then…? I don’t know. Fairy magic perfect day. Roses on the brink of wilting along with those expectations.

And then there’s the worst of it all. Society tells me that today- just an arbitrary day in between New Years Drunk Day and St. Drunken Patrick’s Day- I should love my partner significantly more than the previous 364?

In my experience, I tend to love him more when he wakes up early on a Tuesday and makes my coffee for me, or on any evening he lets me stream Doctor Who from Netflix on the big TV instead of my laptop. This day that falls on a random day in February does nothing in particular to make me be more in love.

And those are just the issues for someone in a relationship. For those who aren’t, there’s a whole separate stew of of problems. Do you suck it up and pretend to enjoy the over the top Single Gals Party? Do you wallow alone? Do you build a voodoo doll? (Are those things people do? I don’t know.)

Another day to screw with the insecurities of everyone, regardless of relationship status. Just what we all need, right?

I’m all about love, and the celebration of love, and the love between friends, and all of that, I’m just not really into Valentine’s Day, you know?

What do you think? Am I a total downer, or do you agree?
Happy… Valentine’s… Day…


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