Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day seems to be one of those days that you really look forward to or the one day of the year that you really dread. By mid January the stores turn decidedly pink and red in color. There are hearts and teddy bears everywhere. Extra candy aisles are added overflowing with chocolates and conversation hearts. If our culture was not so consumer based I would conjecture that the reason why Valentine items come out so early is a plot of the girlfriends, fiancées, and wives to give a not so subtle reminder to their significant others to not forget this important holiday of love.
So if you are fortunate and have a boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, or husband you can expect to spend the 14th of February surrounded by chocolate, flowers, plush stuffed animals, champagne, maybe a delightful bubble bath, candles with dancing flames, and hopefully love. On the other hand you may belong to a group of people that are single. I would venture that most singles are content with their life most of the time. However, when Valentine’s Day casts its pinkish shadow over the world, being single is a loathsome thing. No other holiday has such exclusivity that points a finger at singles and declares, “You have no one to buy you chocolates for Valentine’s Day. You must not be important.”
I have been single for many a Valentine’s Day. I have experienced the range of unwanted emotions that comes with singleness and have come to view Valentine’s Day quite apathetically. It is a day like all others and it ceases to have much significance for me. I don’t have the energy to loathe it, fight it, cry over it, or really anything. Really all I do now is philosophize about it.
There were several St Valentines who were martyred for their faith and originally this date honored their sacrifice. One of these Valentines was known for secretly marrying soldiers, because it was thought at the time that men fought better if they didn’t have wives. From that Valentine we get our view of Valentine’s Day. Other countries don’t view this holiday with the same mind set as we do. If you are interested look it up for yourselves. I would like to mention one. In Mexico, February the 14th is called Dia del Amor y la Amistad (The day of love and friendship). So as Valentine’s Day approaches I would encourage you singles to not throw parties that center on griping about this biased holiday, but find someone or several someones to do something nice for. Send a card, buy a box of candy or a rose and give it to someone, the child who lives next door or the curmudgeonly gentleman who complains about your loud music and parties. And to those of you who look forward to spending this day with your significant other be nice to your single friends who may be sitting at home eating conversation hearts that someone in the office passed out that say things like “b mine” and “call me”, all by themselves.


  1. Personally, I think Valentine's day is a fake holiday - completely consumer driven - and it gets totally overhyped. I don't hate it, but I usually try not to acknowledge it... it's something akin to indifference. That said, I do appreciate all the chocolates my kids give me and the flowers Johnny bought me. So this year, I am going to try something new and send cards (real and electronic) to my co-worker, friends and roomie :) So, check your email.

    Heart you!

  2. I like your phrase: "when Valentine’s Day casts its pinkish shadow over the world,"