Seeing as today is a National “holiday” centered around love, relationships, and dating, I feel compelled to post about February 14th. I use quotations around the word holiday because I have never considered it to be a legitimate day of celebration but rather an excuse to party and a way to stimulate the economy. Greeting card companies, florists, candy manufacturers, restaurants, liquor stores, etc. make a ton of money selling gifts of love or places to spend the special day. Girls build it up to be this important time for guys to demonstrate their devotion and guys buy into it because they do not want to upset their girlfriends and so this tradition continues on through the generations.
There are a number of legends pertaining to the origins of St. Valentine’s day and all that is really known for certain is that it incorporates traces of Christian and Roman history. While it initially may have been about celebrating a noble saint or honoring the idea of love in a time where it was not a sacred component of marriage, it no longer serves that purpose. In the modern world it is has become focused on commemorating your current relationship rather than celebrating love in your life. I categorize this holiday with Thanksgiving—why should we only acknowledge who and what we are thankful for on just one day a year and why should we tell our significant others we appreciate them and buy them gifts signifying our love especially on February 14th? Furthermore, if we are celebrating love, why only focus on romantic love and not familial and friendship love as well?
I suppose I am being a cynic about the holiday because I have never been in a committed relationship for this time of year but even if I were, I doubt I would make much of a deal about it. I talked to a couple last night who has been married for sixteen years and they aren’t doing anything for Valentine’s Day. They love each other and feel that if they have been together for this long and continue to care about each other as much as they do, they must be doing something right—why make their love more significant on one certain day a year when they are grateful for each other daily. Yet, I spoke to another friend who was saddened by the fact that this was his first year single on February 14th and he laughed at the fact that I never had a valentine.
I used to feel dejected and inferior for not having love to celebrate on Valentine’s Day but now, I just really don’t care. I have great friends, two jobs, and own a home and I am happy with that for now. Do I hope to find romantic love, absolutely, but do I need it right now to survive, no. If you tend to let this day get you down because you are single, don’t give a commercialized overblown holiday that power. Celebrate the love you do have and be happy with your independence and autonomy. Worst case scenario, there is always next year for a romantic dinner and a dozen roses.