Forget It, I’m Boycotting Valentines Day!
I was recently on a forum where the question of ‘what are you doing for Valentines Day this year’ was posed. ‘Nuthin.’ I responded. Simple. Short. To the point. I wasn’t expecting the response. “Oh wow. I’m so sorry!”, she said. Great, Now I’m getting pity for not celebrating a holiday? Why was pity the automatic go to response? I had been wavering on how I felt about the big V-day this year, but that sort of put the last nail in the coffin for me. I don’t want to celebrate Valentines Day this year! Does that surprise you?
I know that the automatic suspicion is that I’m probably bitter. Maybe I am! I suppose that if every February 14th had been crushed full of awesomeness and love and goodies that I may indeed fill differently. However, I’m human, the people I have loved are human, and that means that sometimes any holiday I celebrate has on occasion been a tad lacklustre. I’m just tired of the negativity that comes along with it!
I’m tired of the pressure. The expectation that on this day of all days, the one who is sweet on you must somehow express their feelings. Somehow… that doesn’t seem very genuine to me. It also doesn’t seem that fair to put that expectation on another. You must express your love. Now! I dunno. I also am tired of the fact that this social expectation can unfairly lead to feelings of disappointment. Even if you know your partner loves you, even if you know that they have very valid reasons for not showering you in love, it’s a little…. sucktastic… to see all the love and be visually love exempt. That may be the bitter part- but there’s more to it! I don’t want to feel crappy because someone ages ago made some random decision about the day.
Plus, and perhaps it’s just me- it bothers me how commercial the thing is. I can’t help but feel that maybe half the pressure we feel on this holiday is all the not so subtle reminders we have from manufacturers and stores telling us how important it is. I know that the ads and all the merchandise started hitting stores right after New Years (if not slightly before). It’s not that I don’t like physical stuff (I’m really not that anti-materialism), because I do! I don’t like people telling me that I *have* to buy something to express my feelings. It takes almost no thought or effort to pick up a card and flowers this time of year. So, is that really an expression of love, or is it one of conformity? Maybe I would appreciate Valentines Day more if all I saw were thoughtful expressions of love instead of lots of money exchanging hands in the name of it.
Finally, there is so much judgement that is entailed. No one needs to think less of my partner, or me, or anyone, for not gifting someone something on that day. Not celebrating, participating, or doing something special doesn’t mean that they are loveless. It doesn’t mean that they don’t care, or are a horrible person. And for the love of gawd- there is no bad gift on this day. If the thought and love was behind it, one dandelion picked off the side-walk is as amazing and wonderful as a dozen red roses, a box of chocolates, and a stunning diamond necklace combined. Even if the person was a millionaire.
I understand the love and joy that others get out of it, but I have to excuse myself of the burden and stress and simply say ‘this day is no longer for me’. I will continue expressing my love whenever I feel it, however I feel it. I welcome the expression from others whenever they feel it, however they feel it, whenever they feel it- even if it falls on Valentines Day. I’m saying “No” to the forced expectations, and still saying “Yes” to love.
What’s your stance on Valentines Day? Happily celebrating or doing something else?
Image Credit: The Big Quack via flickr.com