In Defense of Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine's Day! I made it myself!

Happy Valentine’s Day everybody! Whether you have a sweetie to share this particular Valentine’s Day with or not, the point of this non-holiday holiday is to celebrate love (at least, I think it is, though commercials seem to be hinting that it’s about me receiving a jewellery thing called an “Eternity Band” or some such).

While I’m not all that supportive of the idea of FORCING people to be loving on a particular day of the year, or making people feel like dummies if they happen not to have a paramour at the moment, I am very supportive of love. It makes my world go round.

And you know what? I’m sick and tired of Valentine’s Day having a bad rap. Sure, it’s been hijacked by jewellery stores and florists and candy companies and the people who make those shiny heart-shaped balloons. But hey, some people like shiny heart-shaped balloons, and those that don’t do not have to buy them.

When I was in elementary school, everyone had a little paper Valentine box on their desk and it was customary to give a Valentine to everyone in the class (even icky sticky boys…). I thought this was fun, and I also always loved making Valentine cards out of paper (folding paper in half makes PERFECT hearts and paper doilies make great fake lace). When I was in grade 4, our teacher sent pieces of paper around the class, one for each student, that said, for example, “I like Lauren, because…” and everyone else wrote something nice that they liked about the person whose name was at the top of the piece of paper. On Valentine’s Day, in addition to the homemade cards we got from everyone, we also got this sheet of paper. It was lovely, at the tender and impressionable age of nine, to read that I was liked because I was intelligent, or because I could make someone laugh, or because I was cute. I wish we still did that now.

And why don’t we? Sure, a lot of people focus on the romance of Valentine’s Day, but for most of my life I haven’t actually had a sweetheart on Valentine’s Day to be romantic with. What I have always had are friends. Last year I went to my friend’s house to celebrate Valentine’s Day and we ate heart-shaped sugar cookies (with pink icing of course!) and gave our (usually very intellectual) brains a rest by watching “Wedding SOS” and “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta”. And that was perfect.

Another year one of my bosom besties sent me a picture of a whale that said, “Have a WHALE of a Valentine’s Day!”. What’s wrong with that as a celebration of love? NOTHING, that’s what. I love my friends and family. And I’ve been lucky enough to have their love and support as well.

So you don’t have a special someone or a significant other this Valentine’s Day? I know it can suck sometimes, especially since we all do want a little romance once in a while, and since advertisements seem to be force-feeding us “romance” by the bucketful, but there’s no reason to hate an entire day just for that. You may not have a “someone special” this year, but I bet you have special people in your life. You may not have a “significant other” but I bet there are people whose friendship has made a very significant difference over the years. If you don’t have a paramour this year (or even if you do) why not tell THOSE people they’re special and significant on Valentine’s Day?

Stop hating Valentine’s Day. It’s not designed to make you buy things, or feel bad. It’s definitely not about hate. It’s about love, the people you love, and the people who love you, whether it be platonic, familial, or romantic.

I have a lot of special and significant people in my life, and while my TC is certainly one of those (and we will be celebrating today–a rack of ribs has been marinating since last night, woot!), I am also lucky to have my parents, my sisters, my bosom pals, besties, and childhood friends, great coworkers and a good community to fall back on.

So Happy Valentine’s Day everybody! I like you because you are smart, you are kind, you are cute, and you lift my spirits. I hope February 14 is a a smiley and warm kind of day for you, whether you feel like celebrating anything or not.



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