Has it always been cool to hate Valentine’s Day? I feel like even when I was a teenager no one was really gagging for a fistful of roses on V-Day. We just all wanted to be left alone to play pixelated snake on our Nokia phones with the clip on covers and smoke cigarettes in the last stall of the girl’s toilets. Yes, it’s always been tres chic to hate on Valentine’s Day: “It’s a manifestation of corporate greed,” “Kurt Cobain is LITERALLY turning in his grave right now”, “I don’t believe in Valentine’s Day,” “4eVa aLoNe”.
How many other holidays do you celebrate that you don’t believe in? Christmas? Are you REALLY throwing a birthday party for Jesus? Or do you just like being around all your friends and family, opening gifts while drinking yourself stupid and eating yourself into a food coma? I mean, I’ve celebrated July 4th for the past three years and I’m not even American. Most holidays that we celebrate we don’t celebrate because they mean something to us. We do it for the simple fact that it’s really, really fun. And it’s the kind of fun that doesn’t hurt anyone.
So fuck the haters. If you’re in a super loved up couple and you feel like going bananas with roses and chocolates on Valentine’s Day, don’t let the misery crew that is the anti-Valentine’s grinch squad put you off or make you feel guilty. Celebrate Valentine’s Day. Celebrate Slurpee Day. Celebrate a God damned Tuesday for all I care. Just celebrate. Alternately, if you don’t want to celebrate, don’t. I am giving you permission to either celebrate or not celebrate Valentine’s Day with impunity.
Valentine’s Day is generally disparaged as a Hallmark holiday, and a time for the single to feel ostracized and forlorn. HOW DARE YOU BE ALONE ON THIS DAY OF LOVERS? But I say fuck it: Valentine’s Day doesn’t need to be a day for lovers, it can just be a day for love. You might not believe in Jesus and you might not be invested the complete history of the emancipation of the United States, but if you believe in family and fireworks respectively, then you probably have good reason to celebrate both of the aforementioned events.
When I was growing up, every year on Valentine’s Day my mum would leave an envelope at the bottom of the stairs that lead to my room. Inside it would be a cheesy Valentine’s card, and on it would be her lips, puckered and red, kissed right in the middle. She’d write a note, telling me that she loved me, and as our family grew she’d do the same for my brothers. It wasn’t creepy in a Stephanie Seymour way, but incredibly nice and adorable.
So if you don’t have a Valentine’s, don’t despair! If you, like me, enjoy all things pertaining to LOVE, you can make the day whatever the fuck you like. To that end, you can make ANY day whatever the fuck you like. Last year I went alone to the movies with a burrito, and it was wonderful. Do something that you love to do, with you. Or grab your girlfriends for a good old fashioned Leslie Knope style Galentine’s.
And then you could just ignore the whole damn fiasco all together, if that’s your style. But I would say this to the naysayers: you can reclaim Valentine’s Day. You won’t be suddenly uncool. It doesn’t have to be a shallow corporate holiday. It can be the day that we celebrate all the things we like about love. It can be a time to slow things down with our significant others, to take a night out of busy schedules to just BE. It can be a day to tell our friends and family, who we probably don’t tell often enough, how special they are. It can be a day to eat alone at our favorite restaurant, to mix ourselves our favorite drink, to sit in bed and pick at ingrown hairs FOR HOURS, to watch back-to-back episodes of that show that makes us feel like the characters are our best friends, to bake, to manicure, to read, to do a thing, however little, that says to someone, to anyone, to ourselves: “Hey. You are loved.”