Juxtapositions: Why I Hate Valentine's Day

My friend Samantha posted her reasons for liking Valentine’s day on her journal. This is my response to her, and to everyone.

To explain why I hate Valentine’s Day, I’m going to have to step back into emo mode for a second. Please excuse me while I de-age by 6 years.

I used to love Valentine’s Day when I was in middle school and early high school. I was obsessed with romantic love, for one reason. Back when I actually liked the day, though, I had no significant other. No one. Which means that while I liked the day, I also hated it.

Now, of course, I’ve been in a relationship for 3.5 years with a lovely girl, and before that I spent two years comfortable not dating anyone and not really upset about it. During this entire period of relative bliss, I have not celebrated Valentine’s Day because of a pact I made to myself during the darker times of early to mid high school. As I realized how miserable February 14th made me I decided to start ignorning it. I swore to myself that I would not reverse this decision just because I got a girlfriend.

So let me describe now why Valentine’s Day is a horrible “holiday,” from the perspective I gained as a person who was way too single for way too long. The excuse for the holiday is that it celebrates romantic love and gives you a time to show your appreciation for those who love you.

[emo time]

Let’s get one thing straight: when you’re in a relationship with a person who actually loves you, every single damn day is a day of celebration of this fact. I don’t need a day set aside so that I can realize I have someone. I know every day that I am not alone. Other than buying crap for each other, this day does nothing for people in relationships at all. If you need an excuse to have a special dinner, your relationship is already in trouble.

What this holiday does do is crank all the sappy romantic imagery in the world up to 11 and twist daggers through the heart of every single person on the planet who would rather not be that way.

That girl you’re in love with? One of three things is going to happen on the 14th:

If she’s dating someone else, you have to spend Valentine’s Day watching her fawn and pet over the person she’s currently with.

If she’s not dating anyone, and she knows that you have feelings for her, you get to spend the whole day reveling in that fact. She’s right there, buddy, and she’d rather have nothing than you.

If you’re too chickenshit to have told her that you love her, first of all, you can tell her and make things even more awkward than they already are. And they’re already awkward, believe me, because she already knows unless she’s dumb as a post, in which case why are you bothering with her anyway? So now you’ve got a decision to make. Do you go for the obvious on Valentine’s Day and talk to her about it? If she doesn’t reciprocate, your entire day is going to be even more ruined, because now you’re not going to be able to think about anything other than how you got shot down on Valentine’s Day, of all things. If you can’t muster up the courage to talk to her about it on this, the easiest day of the fucking year to approach such subjects, you have to think about that all day. Going over in your mind how you can’t bring yourself to do it on this, the easiest day of the year. Avoiding that second feeling is why I talked to Rebecca (for the third time!) about our “relationship” on Valentine’s Day of the year 2000. It was a better choice to be reaffirmed in the negative than to keep questioning myself all day.

So what does this mean? It means quit celebrating this stupid, worthless, bullshit “holiday.” What good does it do, really? If you want to do something special with the person you love, do it on some random date in the first quarter of the year instead. It’ll be more special because it won’t be on the same day every other person is doing the same damn thing; it’ll actually have thought behind it instead of socially enforced generic “sentiment.”

And you know what else? While you’re sitting in the restaurant enjoying your dinner with your loved one, not only will you not be crowded by all the other idiots with pink colored presents, you won’t have to think about all the people at home, eating pizza and drinking while watching reruns or playing videogames, trying not to think about the fact that you are having a good time.

It might be their own fault they’re single. It might not be. I, personally, refuse to participate in the grand social tradition of rubbing their face in my (pink, with hearts) nightsoil.

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