Friday, February 14, 2014

My Funny Valentine

Valentine's Day. It can be a real drag. I think probably 100% of single people, and 65% of people in relationships feel this way about Valentine's Day:


Of course, my statistics are entirely made up. But I rarely come to the 14th of February and hear how excited people are. I mostly just hear complaints about the ridiculous expectations, the reminder that you are once again alone and single, and the "hallmark holiday" that was created so we could all drop a ton of cash on chocolates, roses, and corny cards.

If you find yourself feeling like this:
Read on. Because I've got something to say about all this heart-mongering.

First of all, I totally agree that Valentine's Day can cause more problems in love than it solves. This is the result of many things, but mostly that we buy into the idea that there is only ONE DAY each year you can tell someone that you love them, and it better be good. Men, I'm sorry you often encounter this:

I mean, that's a lot of pressure. And frankly a little crazy. The fact is, we've all been brainwashed into thinking Valentine's Day is about telling the world how much you love your significant other through some over-the-top romantic gesture, and if the lady doesn't get that...her relationship is a failure. But it shouldn't be about telling the world. Because that's empty, shallow, and insincere. Which I think is why a lot of people don't like Valentine's Day.

But that just should not be the case. In a healthy relationship (be it with a lover, friend, sibling, or parent), you can often express love and affection through your actions and words in little ways that can be seen throughout the year. You know how people talk about keep the Christmas spirit year-round? Well, this is why Valentine's Day is silly. Because we don't keep what the spirit of Valentine's Day should be or could be. That is, valuing our relationships and letting people know that we care. It's difficult to not focus on the lovey-doveyness of the holiday, but I'm sure you get what I'm putting down here.

Love is a beautiful gift we have. Can you imagine a world without it? Without affection and caring and appreciation for people? More and more we see the lack of it, but that's why we can make Valentine's Day so valuable. Yes, we should be telling and showing people our love for them throughout the year, but sometimes it's nice to have a day set aside to let people know they are special to you. If we were all perfect loving beings, we wouldn't need a day for it. But as humans, it's nice to have the reminder. And yes, we can love someone without it being disgustingly romantic. Although disgustingly romantic is sometimes a viable option, too. Love in our language is used in so many different ways. So don't limit the kind of love you can show on this day (and all others!). Let your love flow. It can be like how you love your mom, or how you love your dog, or how you really love crème brûlée-flavored-ice cream. Just show it. I'm sure that if we all celebrated this way, Valentine's Day could be a lot more enjoyable. Seriously people, the sadness and whining has got to stop. 

Of course, you could also say that we should avoid celebrating the holiday all together in order to avoid supporting "The Man" and the big mean corporations that revel in the way they've tricked us all into buying (literally) their idea of Valentine's Day. But hey, just celebrate a day later. Or a couple days later. You'll get good candy for cheap, and flowers at a bargain price. If you don't like the crowds, treat your dear one to a nice dinner the week before (or even the night before, it's sooooo much better). Or a candle-lit dinner at home. We don't have to show love the way the TV or magazines or commercials shows us--Especially those Kay Jewelers commercials, because they are the worst--and if you're just sick of love/dating/affection altogether, have a night where you treat yo self.

Watch your favorite movie, while eating your favorite food. Give yourself time to relax, to read that book you've been wanting to, or even to do just nothing at all, guilt-free. Because you deserve to be loved, too! This day, February 14th--like any day--is what you make it. So make it a good one. Celebrate Love. Tell someone you care. Give yourself a pedicure. Whenever you want, too. Doesn't have to be on the fabled day of love, no sir.

But share the love. Because puppies.