Why I Love Valentine’s Day

February 8th, 2012 by Terra | Filed under Uncategorized.

A lot of people I know (both in relationships, and not), hate Valentine’s Day. To them, Valentine’s Day means only one thing: cheesy coupledom. And then only in a commercial sense. February 14th represents the materialistic necessity to BUY something stupid that Proves You Are In A Relationship: cards, chocolate, flowers from somewhere-that-isn’t-local, needless diamond tennis bracelets, etc.

And I completely understand where they’re coming from. Valentine’s Day, whether you have a valentine or not, can be ridiculous. I remember myself in 7th grade, spending hard-earned babysitting dollars on bleached-out carnations for all of my friends. I sweated¬† in homeroom over the order form, making sure I’d included EVERYONE, so that no one’s feelings got hurt. I’m sure I still have pimple scars from the stress it caused. And, yet, where are those carnations now? Did they even matter, when they were delivered then? Stupid tradition. I have also, of course, watched jealously as girls with boyfriends made starry-eyed plans for the 14th, while I gnashed my teeth around how “happy” I was for them.

It’s easy to be cynical about Valentine’s Day, because there’s so much that’s silly about it, including the mascot. (A naked baby with heart shaped arrows? Come on.)

And yet, I love Valentine’s Day.
I love the roses. I love the chocolate. I love the stupid plastic heart garlands for sale at Party City, and I love the “Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman” commercials for those diamond pendants she’s selling now.

Because, to me, Valentine’s Day is more than Victoria’s Secret underwear, more than a Sweetheart Steak dinner. Instead, it’s all about love. REAL love. And sure that means real love between you and your partner-if-you-have-one (or even just the crush kind you have on the guy you pass in the halls), but it also means the love between you and everyone else you like to have around, especially your friends.

I mean, how often do we really tell our friends how much they mean to us? Maybe once in awhile, in a fist bump or by buying them lunch, but not always in so many words. And for me, Valentine’s Day is that day. It’s an opportunity to reach out to all the friends I adore, and say to them, “I love you.” Or, at least, “I really, really dig you a lot, man.” It’s a chance for me to get out all my decoupage supplies, and spend some decent time making a card that I will send slow-style, USPS, in order to convey to someone else:¬† I AM GLAD THAT YOU ARE IN MY LIFE. I like this tradition more than I like my birthday.

So, I know it’s an annoying holiday. Even a Valentine lover like me can do a whopping eyeroll at some of the chintzy stuff that’s out there. But this year, give Valentine’s day a chance. Go ahead and buy that three-foot-tall mylar balloon in the shape of a teddy bear squeezing a glittering heart dripping flower petals. Give it to your BFF. Or even just your co-worker. Spread a bag of pink Hershey’s kisses around in the grocery store line. Write sweet, inspiring anonymous notes and slip them in your friends’ lockers. Hold somebody’s hand. Get yourself some flowers. Use this day as your annual opportunity to spread a little extra love around, cheesy as it may be.

(Because –I’ll tell you a secret– it isn’t that cheesy, after all.)

 

Songs in my Head Upon Waking in the Last Week:

“Feel My Love,” Bob Dylan; “I See the Rain,” Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoff; “What Will You Do When Your Suntan Fades?” Beulah; “Why Should I Cry?” Sting; “Who Says,” Selena Gomez; “Candyman,” Christina Aguilera; “I Wish I was the Moon,” Neko Case


One Response to “Why I Love Valentine’s Day”

  1. [...] year I wrote quite the manifesto about Valentine’s Day and why I love it. So I am not going to bombard you with that again. [...]

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