Hate Valentines Day

Hate Valentines Day

Hate Valentine’s Day? You’re not alone. You don’t have to be single to hate Valentines Day, which forces love and romance and arguably isn’t very feminist. And men aren’t mad keen on it either.

The first thing that someone might think after reading this title is that I’m single and that’s the simple answer. Actually, I’m engaged to be married in 8 months. So how can I hate this ‘holiday’ (I use that term lightly)? Well, I don’t see how anyone wouldn’t despise this forced, mass consumerist melee inspired by greetings card companies.

Not convinced? Take a look at the convoluted and distorted history of Valentines Day and the (non associated) Saint Valentine. If you still feel that it’s a beautiful holiday with a purpose then by all means, feel free. However the feminist in me cannot and will not celebrate this holiday. I love romance and I’m in love with love but Valentines Day is a far cry from love and romance.

Hating Valentines Day does not mean you’re single.

I’m probably preaching to the converted if I mention the consumerism of this day. The only people that end up happy on Valentines Day are store owners and greeting card companies. Restaurants, jewelers, florists, candy manufacturers, stuffed animal pushers…..you name it, they turn a profit.

However, my issue lies in the fact that they don’t profit from love and adoration – they profit from sheer panic and bravado. A male knows he’ll be in the dog house with his woman, talked about by her friends, and even scoffed at by some other males who know what the routine is. So what does he need to do? Just buy something, anything, that will save his hide. Last minute racks in the front of the supermarket or drug store are perfect. Non-emotional? Check. Cheaply made? Check. Something that looks like you’re supposed to buy it? Check.

If you’re saying “I don’t need the junky present scene, I want love letters or handmade presents that have meaning.”, I agree with you. So why do I still promote the abolishment of this holiday? On the principle that we shouldn’t be shown we are loved only one day a year. Appreciation and respect do not have an expiration date. If the affection is expected on a certain day of the year then it loses some of its romantic appeal and it definitely loses its spontaneity. A present loses all meaning if it’s just given because one is “supposed to”, or because the gift was given under pressure. We as women are amazing creatures who I personally believe do not get enough recognition. So why have a day where we end up disappointed when we aren’t pampered like the media tells us we should be? We ought to be given credit all the time – we aren’t amazing only once a year.

And let’s be honest – Valentines Day is a girls holiday.

But maybe the holiday is pushed so that women might actually have a chance to get some pampering and recognition. After all, do you know of a holiday where we ladies are supposed to pamper the men? No, because we do too much as it is.

Besides commercialism, the only other thing associated with this holiday is sex. Which takes away any possible semblance of romance associated with the act. People spend their money on bad novelties, lingere, kits and games because it looks like a good idea. However, buying supplies for it doesn’t mean it’s going to be any good.

I care deeply about my friends and for a single person, this holiday can be upsetting. Single folks are made to feel like outcasts which is wrong. Not only is it a glaring fact that not everyone is in a relationship but it is an overlooked fact that being in a relationship does not mean you get treated so great that day. I have always had a boyfriend on Valentines Day – however they always seemed to forget about me when that day rolled around.

Not only have I never had a Valentines Day but all of them have been extraordinarily bad. I have been with my fiancee for 3 years now and still have never had one. My single friends get upset this time of year and it isn’t fair to them. However I am the only “attached” person I know that hates this time of year.

So where did all these ideals come from that people get disappointed by? I have ultimately found that we are creating our own disappointment. Romantic gestures are in books and movies. Knights in shining armour aren’t real. Ever since we were little girls, our parents read us fairytales and told us of pixie dust and princes and princesses. And as we grew up, romantic comedies and novels perpetuate those romantic notions of a “knight saving the princess”. After all, that’s what sells.

How about this year we focus on making ourselves happy? We love ourselves and we could use a day to give the world the proverbial finger and just do as we please. Or maybe start a tradition where you volunteer your time to a cause on February 14th. Two years ago I got involved with an organization called To Write Love On Her Arms which tries to help young adults suffering from self mutilation, addiction and depression. It’s a fine cause which donates funds to suicide prevention hotlines. I couldn’t think of a bigger expression of love on Valentines Day than by giving hope to teenagers suffering from depression and letting them know they are important.

Art by NikChik