Let’s keep this intro short and sweet. You’re here reading this because you must think Valentine’s Day is the suckiest of holidays on the calendar. What are we celebrating? If couples want to wallow in their love for each other, they should stick to their anniversary- that’s what it’s there for. But let’s not begin there. Let’s start with a brief history of V-Day (I like making it sound more like a venereal disease than an actual holiday).
While employing a random search engine, typing in, the history of Valentine’s Day, I came across several upon which to click. You can certainly bypass the blog post and search for yourself, but why, I’ve already done it for you. I chose this one from History.com , which has several thumbnails upon which to click with interesting facts about the holiday. My attention span settled on this one: 6 Surprising Facts About St. Valentine. Numero Uno: the Valentine to whom we attribute the holiday was martyred by beheading on February 14th. Congratulations, your Valentine’s Day is not as bad as his. And, before we continue to berate Hallmark for fabricating a holiday for consumerism, according to the 6 surprising facts referred to above, Geoffrey Chaucer may be to blame. In a 1375 poem titled, “Parliement of foules”, he refers to feast day on the 14th day of February to celebrate mating of both birds and humans, but not with each other as I understand it. No documentation or history of such a feast exists before this day, but became a popular celebration after publication. So there you go, someone at whom you may direct your ire at feeling more single or less loved by your unromantic spouse. Which bring me to my point of why Valentine’s Day sucks for those in relationships as well.
All of the sudden, on February 14th, our preconceived notions of attention and romance are skewed by expectations we see in movies and commercials and are projected onto our spouses, partners, significant others (hell, even insignificant others). They are allotted one day to condense all of their love, devotion and romance(or endure all of ours) into a box of chocolates, jewelry, flowers, or whatever gift which you deem valuable and appropriately symbolic of their love, affection or just plain like, for you. Forget that they are wonderful like a soft comfy Laz-E-Boy for you to rest your weary mate seeking bones upon every other day of the year, or week depending upon how long you have been together. There is this performance pressure that if not properly managed can fall flat and cost you an otherwise perfectly reasonable and overall sane relationship. Just like that, whammo! Beheaded like poor St. Valentine.
Social media has only exacerbated the suckiness of this upon-further-research-not-entirely-fabricated-holiday. Now you get to view pictures and saccharine posts about how wonderful some people’s mates are at expressing their love for them while it throws into sharp relief that one Valentine’s day in 8th grade when you were the only one in the class who didn’t get a candy gram…from anyone…not even your mom. Many of these posts are from people whose mate is a complete ass the other 364 1/2 days out of the year, while yours (if you have one) is an absolute steal in the someone loves me even though I’m a complete wackadoo sweepstakes- and yet you find yourself slightly peeved they didn’t love you enough to love you especially hard on February the freakin’ 14th and now you have to see your “friend’s” post about how her sociopathic boyfriend bought her flowers that he probably stole from a grave site on his way home from community service.
Take a deep breath. Do not stop and smell the roses you didn’t get, but find a place that is not thick with the stench of psudo amorous intentions. Just remember, the dude for whom this day was named after died violently by hopefully a blunt broad axe that required several attempts at the severing, rather than a swift stroke of a well sharpened guillotine blade. In case no one has told you yet today, Happy Valentine’s Day.
*In full disclosure I have been married 8 years and got several handmade heart cutout cards hung around the house. I was deeply moved and then went out and spent $250 on myself.