“You’re a liar. Straight liar,” my friend, Kyle, said. “No way any girl who says she doesn’t really care about Valentine’s Day is telling the truth.”
I was shocked. Was I really the first girl to ever admit I’m not that into Valentine’s Day? And if so, am I breaking some pact I didn’t get the memo about keeping it a secret?
I can’t say I’ve always been like this. Let’s be honest, in high school when they sold carnations I secretly believed I would die if I didn’t receive one from the boy I liked at the time. Lucky for me and my mental sanity, I basically “dated” (AKA held hands with, had awkward silences on the phone with and used “hehehehe” way too much in AIM conversations with) the same person throughout that time period, so I pretty much had it in the bag every year.
I’m sure some readers will say it’s a “Hallmark holiday, intended to get consumers to dump loads of cash into products they would never buy on a regular basis and no one should play into it.” Yeah, we’ve all heard that a million times, jaded commenter.
But my question is: if this wasn’t so hyped up, would people respond to it the way they do?
“There is no such thing as Valentine’s Day without flowers, cards, candy and stuffed teddy bears, it just doesn’t exist then, at least not in my girl’s mind,” Kyle said jokingly when I asked him.
The main argument is that we know it no other way, just like other major holidays throughout the year.
Valentine’s Day starts with us as young children having our parents buy Valentine’s Day cards that we would address to all of our classmates and take in the next day to place in special pouches laid out on everyone’s desks in elementary school. In middle school and high school, we’re given a little more responsibility and able to choose who we want to give cards and gifts out to. Then comes college. Either you’re “too cool” to celebrate it, which means you’re trying to be a non-conforming cool kid, don’t have a significant other and/or frat party event planning and promoting has taken over your life or option C is that you’re so in puppy-love that you’ll go crazy with it.
I enjoy the concept of taking time out on a special day to show the person you care about just how much they mean to you. Life can be so crazy and hectic that showing someone just how you feel about them everyday can be swept to the side and replaced by other daily tasks.
So yes, if you have someone special, take the time out to tell them you care. Don’t go over the top. It IS a consumer holiday, and buying someone the world because of it doesn’t mean you love them anymore than giving them a hand-written card. In fact, I’m pretty sure a hand-written note will go a lot further than a stuffed dog that barks, “I RUVVVV you,” when you squeeze its paw.
I have to tell you though, I still don’t 100 percent buy into this whole you must have a Valentine to participate on Valentine’s Day thing. We’re putting way too much pressure on the other person to make us happy if that’s the case.
What day is the day that is marked specifically to love, care and cherish yourself and the life you’ve made? Which day have we marked on the calenders to take a moment and be proud of everything you’ve accomplished? Oh, that’s right. There isn’t a day like that.
We beat ourselves up everyday to get where we are. And a lot of the time we rarely get a thank you in situations that truly deserve more than those two words. We should find reason to throw a huge celebration for just surviving every single day in this insane world. Yet, we’re so worried about making other people happy that we forget about taking some time out to make ourselves happy. Kind of backwards, right?
It’s time to stop relying on other people to tell us that we’re amazingly fabulous.
I’m calling on all women (and men) to declare your day. A day where you go out and get something nice for yourself. Treat yourself to a dinner and movie of your choosing. Come back and eat some chocolate without worrying about how many laps you’ll have to run later to burn it off.
Now that’s the kind of day I can fully stand behind.
It is, afterall, the time of the year where love is overflowing. Why not keep a little of that love for yourself, you pretty young thing?