Valentine’s A-Okay

So I’ll be straight up with all of you: saying that I love Valentine’s Day is pretty much the understatement the century. I’m excessively passionate about it. It’s pretty and in the winter – I’m also convinced that winter is the most magical time of year – and everything is pink and red and sparkly and fun and you get to be five years old again and eat candy. It’s great. And let me be clear, I don’t know any of your personal lives – you might not be into “The Big V” for personal reasons and I can’t address that. This article is directed at people who hate it because of the cliche it has become. Good? Good.

Right off the bat, I’ll say that Valentine’s Day is about so much more than romantic love and being smooshy and gross. Even though that’s fun too. It’s about love in the most basic sense. And I know, I know everyone’s gonna get all worked up about how “it’s constructed by the greeting card companies” and “it’s marketed towards romantic love so that’s what it’s really for” but I’m going to go ahead and call bullshit on that and here’s why: if there’s one thing we, as a school community, are good at, it’s stepping outside of cultural norms and coming at things from an entirely different angle. So why is it this thing where everyone has to jump on the “woe is me” bandwagon and wave their party pooper flags around like they’re guest starring on Daria or something?

I don’t understand how a day based on expressing love gets so much flack. You see these silly articles on like “Elite Daily” or whatever, and they’re talking about how single girls should hate Valentine’s Day because it reminds them that they’re alone and all this ridiculous crap. Feminist issues aside, I just don’t understand how romantic, monogamous love is the only thing being considered here. Yes, that’s how it’s marketed to us, but as we discussed before, we’re smart people and original thinkers and can probably look past advertising ploys and think for ourselves for five seconds.

Valentine’s Day is about love and love is found between friends, between parents and their children, with yourself, with nature – anywhere! Like, I’m not suggesting that you buy nature a valentine – unless you want to, you do you. I’m just saying, use Valentine’s Day as a meditation. As chance to think about the love in your life – how you give it, how your receive it, how you perceive it, if you want it, if you’re open to all different types of love? It’s a chance to center yourself and others; to have fun and give your friends chocolate and buy flowers for you significant other(s) because life is short and just buy the stupid flowers, if you can. Or draw pictures and glue doilies together and give them to people you care about. It’s all kind of insipid stuff, but remember how we’re all just giant five year olds? It’s fun and it makes the people around you feel special and thought of and loved. And if you’re against a random day in the dead of winter that’s meant to make people feel loved then you’re a monster. Nah. But do you see where I’m coming from? It’s just a reminder that love is still here and that it’s okay to be silly sometimes and show it. It’s kind of beautiful, actually – like outside it’s cold and everything’s dead and frozen and the days are long but then Valentine’s Day pops up out of nowhere and it’s sparkly and sweet and childish and innocent and kind of brings things back to life for a hot sec.

And it frustrates me so much that perfectly intelligent people all go on this weird crusade of hating Valentine’s Day every year because – what, it’s trendy or something? C’mon you are better than that. Claiming it’s a social construct, an excuse to spend money, a reminder that you’re single or whatever the reason is to hate Valentine’s Day when there’s actually so much beauty found in it. News flash: like 99% of holidays are social constructions – Christmas, Fourth of July, Mother’s Day…all of them.  And yeah, Valentine’s Day is presented in the media as a day for couples and whatnot because society, but that doesn’t mean that Valentine’s Day can’t be individualistic and reclaimed according to people’s personal needs and social situations.

Look, if there’s one thing in the world that really bugs me it’s the opinions of the masses: not because I’m a contrarian, but because often times, people just have opinions because they’re easy and popular and whatever but they’re not actually super well thought out. And then, these widely believed opinions become culture, and I feel like that’s what’s happened with Valentine’s Day. And this year, maybe you can just try to think about how you can show love – to yourself, to your friends, to your partner(s), to your families – whatever. Not everything has to be so serious and complicated. Sometimes you can just be goofy and eat chocolate and wear body glitter and give meaning and value to a random, somewhat meaningless day of the year just because we’re alive and we can and why not?

I can’t defend the way Valentine’s Day is marketed because it’s heteronormative as hell and there are a million and one other issues with it. So hate the way it’s advertised, hate the way it’s been trumped up in our culture  – but don’t hate the day itself. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Reclaim it, make it your own, and don’t just have opinions because they’re easy.  I dunno. Hopefully you can walk away with something from this and have a nice February 14th this year if you’re a former V-Day H8er. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, EVERYONE!

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