Yes, you read that right. I do not hate Valentines Day. Oh sure, I groan along with everyone else when the subject comes up, pretend it’s such an annoyance, but I’m lying. I don’t want to abolish February 14th from the calendar. February can be a rough month, but Vday is not the cause. I’m not even indifferent – I actually like Valentines Day. I’m also single. Am I a masochist? Maybe. But also, Valentine’s Day just isn’t so bad.
People hate Valentine’s Day because it reminds them how single they are, or even how unhappy they are in their current relationship. Even lot of happy couples hate this particular holiday. They think it’s about spending money they don’t have to try and impress the person they love who they shouldn’t have to impress in the first place. I get it.
A lot of what Valentine’s Day is portrayed as sucks. We’ve let the holiday get away from us. What it’s become is not what it’s supposed to be about. It’s not supposed to be about fancy dinners or heart shaped balloons or unrealistic expectations. It’s supposed to be about love.
That should be obvious, but apparently it’s not.
What Valentine’s Day should be is a day dedicated completely to love. Love of all kinds. It’s not about punny cards or a nice brand of chocolates (though I won’t turn those away either). It’s about the one thing that we should be giving out daily with no reservations. We’re not doing that. Not even close. We should be giving out love everyday. If there’s one day where everyone is strongly encouraged (required if I ran the world) to stop being assholes and tell a stranger that they’re glad they’re alive, I’ll take it.
The headlines are all about hate. We gossip about the people all around us more often than we admit to ourselves. We don’t always call our parents. We’re too hard on ourselves. Day to day, we don’t remember love. Call me an optimist, a hopeless romantic, a tacky greeting card, but I’m telling you, love is the most important thing.
Every year, no matter where we are, my mom sends each of her kids a Valentine’s Day card, usually with chocolate. Vday is advertised as being a day for lovers, but my mom sends her kids cards every year to remind us that we will always be loved by her. She’s doing it right.
This year, do me a favor. Between your self loathing, stalking and mocking your various exes on Facebook, and exploring the different flavors of Ben and Jerry’s, forget about your hate. I know it sits on the tip of our tongues all day, just waiting for the world to piss us off again, but try to swallow it and keep it down for a while.
Take a look at the world through compassionate eyes instead. Give a compliment to your boss who you’re convinced hates you. Buy five-dollar flowers from Trader Joes and give them to a flustered looking woman on the street. Tell your bus driver that he’s doing a great job and that you appreciate him. Don’t yell at your mother when she asks you how to use Facebook for the eighteenth time this month. Smile a little more. Smile at people you claim to hate. Smile at homeless people you pass. Look in the mirror, and smile at yourself.
Remember the word love. Remember what it means. Remember how it makes you feel. Participate in it. I’m not saying you should declare Valentine’s Day your favorite holiday. Instead of scowling the day away though, tell one person that you love them, and be sincere about it. Tell two, five, thirty-seven, hell tell everyone you see. They might find you creepy at first, but you’d be surprised how little love some people get. That’s what the day should be about. That’s what life should be about, too.
And if all else fails, at least CVS will be chock full of half price Valentine’s Day chocolate. There’s nothing to hate about that.