A Curmudgeonly View of Valentine's Day

An Essay By Sarah // 2/8/2014

It’s that time of year again – the Holiday is upon us. The one with sentiment and disgusting feelings. You know what I’m talking about.

Wait, no; not that one. Have you been living under a rock since New Years? It’s the horrifying one. It’s the one rampant with commercialism, and attempts to purchase affection. The one with desperation lurking on the edges of every smile while fisticuffs take place in the local Aldi’s over the last remaining overpriced and sweetened box of chocolates.

I’ll be the first to admit that this description still doesn’t narrow down the list of nauseating holidays all that much, but the box of chocolates ought to have given it away to even the most determinedly in denial.

Aha! I see awareness flooding over your faces. It’s all right; I’ve been living in denial, too. Unlike the masses of lovelorn romanticists who delight in extravagant displays of affection, there has always been a fringe group who rejects the trappings of pink and red heart-patterned everything. Rather, we favor hiding under the covers with bean dip and cheez-its (don’t judge – it’s tasty!) obsessively re-watching all fifty years of Doctor Who on Netflix while waiting for the temporary insanity of Valentine’s Day to be purged from the systems of the afflicted.

Call me insane, but I’ve always preferred to be spontaneous with my affections. I see nothing appealing about the stress and expectations that is automatically placed on anyone in a relationship on and leading up to this day, nor the sense of worthlessness conveyed to anyone not currently “Facebook Official”.

Love is accepting another person, not despite their faults, but possibly because of them. It’s thinking your partner is the most attractive and amazing person in the world, right down to their nose hairs and wrinkles.

It’s shown by sitting by the toilet bowl rubbing the back of your throwing-up-sick partner. It’s demonstrated through learning about your mate in order to better show them love in a way they comprehend. Love is unconditional, does not place undo stresses, and does not place unrealistic expectations.

Love is not Valentine’s Day.

If you enjoy celebrating the holiday – please! – continue to celebrate it in the way that you best know how. I hope, however, that you will plan romance and love for the rest of the year as well.

Meanwhile, I’ll be stocking up on the bean dip and cheez-its.

Happy Beheaded Catholic Saint Day.

Comments

Despite...

Despite your criticism and disgust of Valentines day, I really enjoyed this essay. It was well written and your sarcasm was fun. I agree that Valentines day probably shouldn't be about the pressure of showing how much you love your "valentine" by buying their love with chocolates and cards... But really, as long as Valentines day is about making someone else happy, and sharing love, then I think it's great! I get what you're saying about making everyday a day to love and show your love, but like a birthday, it's a time for people to go all out... Sometimes people need nudges, reminders, etc. to encourage them to love someone other than themselves. So I guess you could think of Valentines Day as a holiday for the young lovers, the ones that want to fall in love or have just fallen in love. I don't know about you, but in the beginning you want as many excuses to show how much you care without being completely obvious (I have no idea why human beings are like that? Why don't we just say "I love you" and be done with it!).
I wish Valentines day was more geared and centered towards sharing love with the world, community service, volunteering, showing the unloved that they are indeed loved even though they don't feel like it... If we would step away from today's consumerism and focus on helping and loving others (especially our enemies) I think everyone would like Valentines day better.
Sure the origins of Valentines day aren't the prettiest (focusing on fertility, because back in the day making babies and keeping the family name alive and active was a major priority), but I think we can turn Valentines day into something very healing, loving and happy.
Happy Valentines Day :) and don't spend it feeling miserable, it's defeating the purpose of Valentines day, which really, truly is about sharing love and being happy!

Kassady | Fri, 02/14/2014

"Here's looking at you, Kid"
---
Write On!

Haha, I love this. I'll have

Haha, I love this. I'll have to try bean dip and cheez-itz sometime.

Erin | Wed, 02/19/2014

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

Are you a Whovian?

Sorry, had to get that out of the way before we discussed this essay. I am a diehard Whovian, having seen all 50 years of TV episodes and read a number of novels and audio dramas.
I agree with the sarcasm of this piece. Think I spent most of Valentine's doing laundry. Suppose that's a kind of love.

Julie | Thu, 02/20/2014

Formerly Kestrel

Replies:

Kassady: o.O that's quite a lengthy ramble. I did say continue celebrating however you like. It's the commercialism and societal expectations of it that I dislike.

Erin: so do it. ^^

Kestrel-Julie: indeed I am, although I haven't seen nearly as much of it as you. Actually, I've probably only seen about a dozen episodes, but those span the doctors from the first to the eleventh. :)

Sarah | Fri, 02/21/2014

"Sometimes even to live is courage."
-Seneca

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