I hate Valentine's day. I basically always have. At the risk of sounding like a bitter old hag, I didn't even like it as a child, except, of course, that it was a party at school with tons of chocolate and goodies and the obviously amazing part where you didn't have to do any school work all day long.
Even as I got into my teenage years, it didn't make sense to me. I mean, I get it, but I didn't get why is was such a big deal. When I was in middle school, I got my first "boyfriend". I use that word fully knowing that you will understand why it's in quotation marks and understanding that yes, we did use those labels at that age. My first "boyfriend" and I got together a short time before Valentine's Day but I can't remember when...I am 25 years old now, so it's basically ancient history. Anyways, I definitely felt the pressure to live up to "expectations" because Valentine's Day was (of course) on a school day. My mom took me to the store to pick out something to give to him and I was immediately assaulted with the plethora of red, pink and white colored chocolates, flowers, stuffed animals, feathered boas...you name it it, it was Valentine's-ified and basically attacking you like rabid dogs as you walked down the isle. It was terrifying. So traumatic I don't even remember what I bought for him, but I do remember that he gave me a little white gorilla wearing a red bow tie that had tiny white hearts on it. All I remember is feeling so much pressure that whole day, because it was supposed to be special. Instead it was full of anxiety and filled to the brim with awkward.
And high school it wasn't any better. I actually developed quite a disdain for the "holiday". Even though I am outgoing and bubbly and an extremely social person, that doesn't really translate over to my relationships. To say that I'm uncomfortable with publicly showing romantic affection is an understatement. It makes me anxious and nauseous and all together panicky. Out of the public, I'm fine, but in public, I can only handle very minimal. So every Valentine's Day at high school was torture. Every couple was wrapped in raptures and the PDA was at full throttle. Seriously, try walking through the quad when every couple is stopped kissing each other- it's like trying to avoid land mines; with every step you take forward, you have to take another one back and two to the side just to get out alive.
After high school my feelings didn't really change.
In 2010 the movie Valentine's Day was released, though I'm not sure if anyone remembers it. It was rather forgettable to be honest, even though it had an ensemble cast with as many A listers as they could fit in. While I don’t recall all the story lines, Jennifer Gardner was dating McDreamy…I mean Patrick Dempsey (who was actually cheating on his wife with her), Ashton Kutcher was Jen’s brother who ran a florist shop…Umm…Oh! Julia Roberts was flying back from somewhere in her military uniform, sitting next to Bradley Cooper (hot! Who turns out to be gay…saddest day ever for this fictional world!), and Jessica Biel is some sort of business women who doesn’t have relationships and hates Valentine’s Day. The best part of the movie is that she throws an “I Hate Valentine’s Day” party every year, complete with a heart-shaped piñata that people get to whack the crap out of. At the end of the movie, Jen finds out she’s “the other women”, breaks it off with McDreamy, comes to Jessica’s party and proceeds to annihilate the pink heart-shaped piñata with impressive force. It’s the BEST scene in the movie. Mostly because I think we’ve all been there…someone tramples on your heart and all you want to do is beat the crap out of something because everyone else is celebrating love and you’re left celebrating the fact that you’re alone.
The thing about Valentine's Day is that you can't be alone because then you're a 'bitter old hag' or a 'cat lady' and you run the risk of having a full on meltdown... There's just too much pressure to not be single, it's maddening. Even worse, you may not feel all that upset about being alone (hey, you've got you, and you're pretty amazing!) but everyone else looks at you like you're either a leaper or some pitiful creature, like a homeless chihuahua left out in the cold and rain with patches of missing fur that nobody wants. (Okay, that was the saddest analogy I've ever thought of...but it's true so I guess it has to stay. Just for the record, I'D WANT THAT DOG, BECAUSE MY SOLE MISSION IN LIFE IS TO SAVE ALL THE UNWANTED ANIMALS FROM A LOVELESS LIFE. Okay, sorry...back on track.)
It's just really irritating, even though I know we shouldn't care what people think about us, the truth of the matter is, it's human nature! It's not easy to overcome! (Though I'm trying desperately to make it happen!)
I'm not gonna lie...I've been here before...
And if you don't have a boyfriend and you go out with your girlfriends, you're affronted by couples giving each other googly eyes everywhere you go. Not to mention the hour and a half waiting time just to eat...ANYWHERE. A couple of my friends and I started a tradition of watching horror movies on Valentine's day. Instead of going out and facing a crowd of the likes of the The Walking Dead, we'd get dressed up but stay inside, cook dinner together and watch a horror movie...the goriest one we could find.
The thing I hate about Valentines Day, outside the expectations and PDA, is that it feels forced. I don't want nice things to be done for me because it's an obligation, because some executives from Hallmark and Hershey's teamed up to create a SUPER "holiday" to increase sales revenue after the post-Christmas dip. I want a bouquet of flowers or a box of See's Bordeaux chocolates or a surprise candlelight dinner just because he thought about me and just because he wanted to. I guess Valentine's Day just takes the spontaneity out of romance...and isn't that what makes things romantic? Isn't that the fun?! Sure, Valentine's Day is a "celebration of you as a couple" but so is your anniversary, and so should every day you're together! Why save it for February 14th? Why not celebrate your relationship every possible chance you get? I'm not saying hearts and tarts everyday, but the sentiment, the thoughts should always be there. And sure, chocolate would be nice too...who am I kidding. But to me, it just feels like the expectation of romance sucks all the romance out of romance, ya know?
Exactly. This is the only good thing that comes from Valentine's Day- clearance chocolate. And laughing at the suckers that paid full price for it the day before. ;)