I don’t know about you, but my least favorite holiday of any year has always been Valentines Day. Before you assume that it is because I do not have a special someone, or that I am just a bitter old maid, I will defend myself by saying that I never cared for it as a child nor when I actually was in a relationship.
All holidays to some degree, are a form of propaganda, but none more starkly defined as Valentines Day. That one day a year when not only do your loved ones hope to get a gift, they down right expect it. Failure to provide said gift leads to arguments and declarations of how you do not care for them, or do not care enough. Yes, I will agree that the holiday has more expectations on the female side of the line, than it does on the male end, but regardless of where the blame lies, it doesn’t negate the fact that Valentines Day feels made for consumerism rather that truly a lover’s holiday.
When we were children we would have those Valentine parties at school, where we would all exchange the little cards and whisper to our friends how we hoped “so-and-so” would give us a special card, different from the rest they were passing out, to give us that little hint they liked us too. If it didn’t happen, we weren’t too brokenhearted over it because we had 22-24 other ones to browse over, admire, and pretend they meant something more than they actually did. But what if we didn’t? What if we had been that one child who sometimes didn’t get any, because their name was forgotten from the list. Then what? That one child would feel left out, embarrassed, unloved and shunned because they expected to get to something. In reality the case would simply be their name had not been included and therefore the parents had no idea to make out Valentines cards for them. No slight was intended, no lack of concern or care, but just a simple mistake. All because we were taught to expect a Valentines from those around us who “cared”.
Those expectations do not whither as we grow from child to adult. Rather they grow stronger, like an out of control weed in a magnificent garden, weaving a path of destruction through the beautiful flowers, smothering them out. I have heard of forced office parties where all the employees were required to exchange Valentines. You heard me right required. I say, what the hell! If I do not love someone, I damn sure do not feel the need to have to buy them something, because the office romantic says it is so.
Those poor fools in actual relationships have it even harder. “You didn’t buy me jewelry; you must not be committed. You bought me chocolate; you must think I am fat. You bought me flowers; but oh wait these are [insert flower name here] and you know I love [insert coveted flower name here] so you don’t pay attention to what I like. Blah, blah, blah…on and on it drones causing arguments, breakups and even at times physical altercations until it passes, and the fog lifts, and suddenly you wake up in a daze thinking..
“what the F$#@ was that?!”