Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day...WTF ??!!

Valentine's Day - heart broken - breakup - red heart torn
Valentine’s Day was a big deal in my high school, and for me that meant a day filled with high anxiety and insecurity.

Oy, another “Hallmark Makes A Billion Dollars”, holiday is upon us. Approximately one billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent world-wide each year, making it the second largest card sending holiday right behind Christmas. What, the Yom Kippur card didn’t make the list? And since when is Valentine’s Day considered a holiday? Does that mean I don’t have to go work? School? Are the banks closed? 

Valentine’s Day is supposedly to celebrate love by exchanging candy and gifts. Really? How many women out there are going to be saying the following, or if not actually saying it, thinking it? “If you loved me, truly loved me, you wouldn’t be giving me a ginormous box of assorted fattening chocolates. Didn’t I just tell you that I can’t fit into my skinny jeans? You’re an enabler. What’s wrong with you?” 

Valentine’s Day was a big deal in my high school, and for me that meant a day filled with high anxiety and insecurity. The day before, students filled out little slips of paper, Valentine’s cards if you will, to those one was either dating or had a crush on, or both. It cost $1.00 a flower to send with the card. Then, on Valentine’s Day, many of the juniors and seniors dressed up as cupids. They walked into classrooms, read the recipient’s name off of those little slips of paper, and handed them their flower or flowers. 

Of course high school being what it is, at the end of the day, the popular girls and boys walked off carrying friggin’ bouquets, as if they were Miss or Mr. America, while others were left empty handed. Although I always received at least one flower, my heart ached for those that received none. 

Realizing that this system was terribly flawed, and that it probably wasn’t good for those with self esteem issues and fragile egos, the school implemented a plan that made sure that every student received at least one flower, even if it was probably from your guidance counselor. Wait, that would be creepy. If the note that accompanied your flower was signed, secret admirer, you had a 50/50 chance that it was sent from the front office. 

Wouldn’t it be nice if this happened in real life? That on Valentine’s Day everyone got a flower and a little note from a secret admirer or a guidance counselor. Sure, Valentine’s Day is traditionally for lovers and romance but maybe we can expand the scope a bit to include friends that we love and family that we sometimes love. Why should anyone miss out on chocolate, candy hearts or a nice card that says, “Hey, I love you.” 

Valentine’s Day should be about inclusivity, rather than excluding those that don’t have a special someone . Frankly, I feel that the whole day is much like New Year’s Eve. It’s a chance to look around and say, “Oh, yeah, I’m alone. I forgot. Thank you Valentine’s Day for throwing that shit up in my face. Again.” I’m not implying that being single, or alone, is a bad thing (it’s not) and that everyone is looking for a someone. I’m saying that there’s too much societal, and marketing pressure put on these two days, and it’s ridiculous. 

So this Valentine’s Day, look beyond your naked lover and see who is out there that might be warmed by a card, a flower or a fattening piece of fudge.

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