It’s February 14. That means it’s Valentines Day.* A holiday both adored and reviled by the young and old alike. Some people loathe it, other people ignore it, and some people embrace it.
*I spell it this way on purpose, guys. It’s not Saint Valentine’s Day anymore. It hasn’t been for a long time. It’s a day to celebrate Valentines. Ergo, Valentines Day.
I’m one of the embracers, guys. And I’m not ashamed of it. But I don’t embrace it because I think I’m somehow owed flowers and tokens of love today because I just so happen to be female.** I think people lose their minds around this time of year – the same way people lose their minds on Black Friday and spend a whole day trampling each other in stores instead of spending a post-feast day relaxing with their families.
**How is that fair, anyway? How did Valentines Day turn into some affection-test for guys? Who was in charge of that nonsense? Can’t we just relax, people? Why does this aside involve so many questions?
I like to present a front that I have no time for love anymore in my life. I’m an independent woman, after all, single and in my 20s. TV tells me I should be a champion of everything.
That’s not really the real me, though. I come from a home that has always been full of love. My parents loved me and my brother endlessly, and never skimped on affection. They also love each other – a fact that I’ve never had to question, ever. They’re loving and affectionate and sometimes they even flirt. Frequently, there is cuddling.***
***All of this is, of course, accompanied by obligatory “ew, you made me, stop that, gross, parents” faces from me.****
****You’re welcome, Mom and Dad.
So despite pretending to be a cold-hearted monster without concern for love, what I really am in someone who wants to find the perfect partner. I want, in the longterm, the kind of relationship I see in my parents. Ew-faces aside, I’m a pretty lucky girl to have grown up in a household like that.
This has led to some issues along the way. I’m not exactly talented when it comes to picking romantic partners. This tendency has further fostered my posturing as a coldhearted, aloof girl, destined for a future full of cats.
But the point remains: I firmly believe in love. And I believe in Valentines Day. Not because it’s a test of someone’s love for you – and how well they can show it on demand – but because it’s a great time to do something that makes you happy.
Frequently, I am single on Valentines Day. That tendency is actually what drove me to embrace it.
Last year, with the help of a fellow single friend – who we shall call The Hero of the South (THotS, which is pronounced “Thhhhh-oates” as of this very moment) – Valentines Day was celebrated with style. We dressed up. We high-fived. We got drinks.
Most importantly, we went out for ribs.
Most people can’t bring themselves to go out for ribs on a romantic holiday, because…well…it is not attractive to eat ribs. They were delicious.
Other single Valentines Days have been celebrated with fellow single friends and movie nights – not in self-pity because we’re single, but because we’re at the same stage of life. Sometimes it’s refreshing to be surrounded by people who are sharing your current life goals, problems and, well, lack of couple-related responsibilities.
This year, I have a date. I’m celebrating Valentines Day romantically, it’s true.
But no matter what, it’s still kind of an awesome holiday, if you let it be. Couples get to be coupley. Single people can throw parties. Married people can set aside some time to go out on a real date.
If we all just stop being bitter and thinking this holiday is all about showing off.
So, Happy Valentines Day, Internet. I’m really glad we’re in each other’s lives.