I F*cking Hate Valentines Day

by Robbie Romu on February 14, 2013

broken heartFebruary 14
(feb-ru-ar-y 14) noun
the 45th day of the Gregorian calendar; Valentines Day; on February 14th I’ll show you how much you mean to me.

Valentines Day makes my skin crawl.  Of all the manufactured holidays we are forced to endure, this one really busts my balls.

When I strip away the ludicrous trappings of holidays like Christmas or Easter, there is a glimmer of merit buried beneath the spectacle that makes sense to me. I get the value is celebrating special days dedicated to our Mothers and Fathers and even our secretaries… oh wait, our Administrative Professionals, but I just don’t get Valentines Day.

In fact, I loathe Valentines Day.

Every year, like some diabolical doomsday clock, February 14th ticks closer and closer and closer until there is nowhere left to run and hide. It’s here and the cloyingly sweet smell of expectation and hope is in the air.

It is a day that is designed to make us feel shitty about ourselves.

From the very beginning, when our grade school teachers tell us that everyone in the class must get a valentine, “so that nobody feels bad,” this day is tied to our self worth – the more you get, the more you’re worth.  Inevitably Smelly Suzy gets a couple of cards but she knows, in her hardened six year old heart, that they only arrived out of pity; already she is plotting the messy demise of Popular Patty, whose cup runneth over with sentiments of friendship and love.

As we grow older it only gets worse as Valentines Day becomes a popularity contest. Second Base Sally is inundated with candies and cards with comments unbecoming for a girl her age while the marginalized and mistreated get nothing; silently Carrie The Cutter adds another slice to her arm and cries herself to sleep.

At some point, most of us mistakenly decide that our value is tied to the value others place in us and Valentines Day perpetuates this misconception in the worst possible way. You are only important if somebody loves you. You are only desirous if somebody covets you. You only matter when somebody tells you so – with gifts.

I’m married and love my husband very much, but I don’t buy him a Goddamn thing for Valentines Day. I don’t want to be told that it’s time to show him just how much I care or assign a dollar value to our relationship; I am perfectly capable of screwing these things up on my own without a specific day – I’m looking at you February 14th – to help me out.

Single people hate Valentines Day more than life itself. I’ve already received texts this morning from friends – of the single variety – who’ve said, “I hate VD” and “FML, I don’t even want to leave the house.”  Nothing makes you feel more worthless and alone than happy shiny people showering each other with gifts and demonstrations of their undying devotion.

We’ve co-opted Christmas and desecrated Easter with our unending consumerism, we’ve perverted Halloween and made birthdays into buying sprees; do we really need to do the same with love?

I encourage you to buy your special someone flowers on June 17th or pick up a small something for a friend on August 8th – not out of obligation or guilt, but because you want to.

These manufactured holidays have run amuck and the only way it ends is when we stand up and say enough is enough.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Deirdre February 14, 2013 at 8:22 pm

I'll never forget the Valentine's Day you sang desperado to me – the only singleton in the store I was!

I don't hate valentine's day – but you're right – it's become showing everyone how much people love you – if I see one more pic on facebook of people showing what their partner got/made/did for them I will scream. The keeping up with the Jones feeling to it is disgusting.

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Anonymous February 15, 2013 at 2:27 am

I am single and cannot say I hate Valentines day….I have soma y people that I love and while I agree, the trappings are silly, I never pass up the opportunity to tell them I love them….love you lots Robbie and Jason…off to Israel in April if you want to join me

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Deirdre February 14, 2014 at 7:19 am

Hey Robbie…..this is the first year I actually am in a great relationship with the love of my life…. NOT crazy “I must be with you all the time” lust love, but the mature, fucking pick up the bloody bath mat you ingrate… it is just common sense love… I might just buy a Valentine’s Day card for him and some yummy chocolate… but agree with you totally… I celebrate every day with him…. we just get along…. he tells me he loves me and shows me by sometimes vacuuming and doing the laundry. Frankly probably does it better than I do.

Have a great day…

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Sarah February 14, 2014 at 9:35 am

You are bang on about VD encouraging people to externalize their value and seek happiness and fulfillment anywhere but within. I truly believe that VD must claim some responsibility for skyrocketing divorce rates, drug and alcohol abuse, depression and crime. People settle in relationships out of fear of being alone, have children with these unsuitable partners, instill those poor innocents with misguided ideas of what love is, and the process begins again. We should know better, but every February 14th, we hearken back to the days of Sinatra, tuning our behaviour to the theme of “You’re nobody ’til somebody loves you”, and it’s society that pays the price.
As an opinionated and vocal child raised in a community that valued quiet sweetness more than a backbone, this day always made me feel insignificant. I never wanted to be other girls, but I still found myself adopting a different persona at times in a bid to be more “loveable”. Fortunately, I have parents who loved me and taught me where a person’s value truly lay, which in turn kept me from suppressing my true self. That, in turn, allows this onion in the petunia patch to love others as they deserve to be loved.
Today, my spouse works and I’ve exchanged more words with the cat than I have with him. The closest thing we have to a Valentines Day tradition is watching Love Stinks and having a beer, something I strongly recommend to anyone feeling lonely today. Or to anyone not feeling lonely. Either way, I’m lucky enough to know that being loved means getting to warm my glacially icy fingers on another human’s back without getting punched in the mouth. Whether that poor unwitting human is a friend or a spouse, that kind of love is priceless and year-round and means more than an appropriate VD gesture ever could. Let’s see Hallmark make a card that does that.

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