What’s worse than bro tanks, the flu, and a spider that just won’t die? Valentine’s day… and all of the materialistic nonsense that accompanies it.
Valentine’s Day is one of those useless holidays that I would much rather replace with a day dedicated to eating burritos and drinking a 12 pack of beer. It’s one of those meaningless occasions that claims to be all about ‘love’, but instead just feeds into more and more unnecessary consumerism. And frankly, the whole charade kind of makes my ovaries hurt.
If you don’t know me, I come from a few long-term relationships, 2 (and-a-half) times in love, to currently single and far from ready to mingle. In other words, when it comes to love and the works, I’ve pretty much experienced it all. And guess what?
I always have, and always will, loathe Valentine’s Day.
I could barely get through February 14th during my days of being hopelessly in love and emotionally consumed by another person. But now, as my first year single in 6 years, it’s safe to say that I now find this day virtually unbearable. Valentine’s Day is a slew of different things to different people, but for me it’s a combination of pukey pink hearts, and wanting to stab both of my eyes out with a fork. In my opinion, Valentine’s Day is not a celebration, but truly a dishonor to love and all of its amazingness. It desperately undermines its beauty with a bunch of useless, and often horribly predictable crap. And.. well.. that just SUCKS.
You see, love is not a $7 hallmark card and shitty tasting chocolate covered pre-diabetes. Love is not 2 dozen roses to overcompensate for your lack of affection the other 364 days of the year. Love is not a competition with your co-workers over who received the best flower arrangement, the prettiest necklace, or the biggest teddy bear. Love is not a 2-hour wait, and a $200 mediocre meal for two. Love is not a show, or a feeling to be obnoxiously celebrated once (maybe twice) a year.
Love is not any of those things.
Love is the instant connection, the undeniable chemistry, and the beat your heart skips at the mere mention of his name. It’s his ability to hopelessly take your breath away with a simple move in your direction. It’s days in bed, ordering in, and watching football or re-runs of shitty television. It’s stuffing your face with cheese curds, because that’s what you both prefer to a menu full of entrees you can’t pronounce. It’s the jolt back to life you so desperately needed. It’s creative, thoughtful, spontaneous, and impulsively romantic. It’s missed opportunities, bad timing, and the inability to ever let go. It’s the dreaded moments of goodbyes, and the joyous reunions that follow. It’s drunk texts, “I miss you’s”, and every moment spent together forever replaying in your mind. It’s the butterflies, the rainbows, and the everything in between.
But every year, Valentine’s Day brings about the same predicament. Men are expected to shower their partners with predictable and thoughtless gifts, and women are to swoon over the whole charade. Love is not cherished, but instead made a spectacle of. And more common than not, the whole ‘love’ thing becomes overshadowed by the desperate need to have a perfect day together, with the perfect gifts, and the perfect guy who doesn’t find Valentine’s Day to be a complete chore (bore). And if we’re being totally honest here, that in itself, is not an easy task.
And if you’re single? Be prepared to be coddled, felt sorry for, and quite potentially set up. After all, it’s not abnormal for others to view ‘single’ as some sort of disgraceful disease that you desperately need to be cured of. In fact, single and happy is often so unbelievable that people will try to set you up with just about anyone simply because you were both born in the same decade and have a mutual love of cheese. Must be destiny.
And if other people aren’t feeling bad for you, the whole ‘day dedicated to love’ thing often leaves the singles feeling depressed, alone, and sorry for themselves. And any day that has someone questioning his or her self worth without a relationship, is a day worth skipping altogether, in my opinion. Because, to most girls, being single on Valentine’s Day means buying her own heart shaped shitty box of chocolate and crying to “The Notebook”, while their wifed up friends go parading around showcasing their relationship to the world. It might even mean a bottle of wine and a drunk taco bell run at 2 a.m., too. This then leads to more tears, and reruns of Law and Order- SVU, to cap off a wild night of sulking.
And while that sounds incredibly exhilarating, single often doesn’t get enough credit, in my opinion. Because single is SO much more than that. Single is celebrating your independence, embracing your freedom, and discovering yourself and who you want to be in this world. It means showcasing your talents, moving freely, and knowing that there is a big difference between being alone and being lonely. It is being responsible for fueling your own happiness, and creating it within yourself, never relying on another person to create it for you. It means never settling, and successfully weeding out those not meant for you. It means setting yourself up for a success, when it is time to fall in love again… and it’s enjoying every moment of the journey until you get there.
So whoever you are on this Valentine’s Day, remember that the hype of it all can only ever be so meaningful, and that in reality, February 14th is just another day in the many more to come.