In Defense of Valentine’s Day

People sure like to hate on Valentine’s Day.

While I thought it was weird that the cashier at the Vancouver airport on February 11th wished me a “Happy Valentine’s Day” as if it were a real holiday, I don’t quite get all the whinging.

So it’s a cheesy, commercialized day that forces feelings (or hope of feelings) upon us that we don’t necessarily feel.  Doesn’t every holiday?  Thanksgiving dictates that we feel thankful, Christmas urges us to love our families (and maybe our Lord, Easter has been completely co-opted by the bunny industry (or Cadbury…).  Mothers’ and Fathers’ Day (and Secretaries’ and Space-Cowboys days…) were created the same way, yet most of us are willing to put that aside and be nice to our parents for a day.

And like the aforementioned made-up celebrations, Valentine’s Day is often thought of as a day for kids.  I remember writing out a dozen cards for a boy I liked in the fourth grade, signed your “secret admirer” of course, (then promptly realizing I couldn’t sign my own name to the cards for the rest of my class because my nine-year old future husband might be a handwriting detective and figure out my secret, I had to sign the rest as from “a friend”), homemade doily cards and mailboxes, and chocolate. What’s not to love?

But with adults, V-Day seems to bring a lot of pressure.  As a Single, I was expected to loathe the day and spend the day pining for my one true love.  Now that I’m in a relationship, I either have to LOVE LOVE LOVE the day and spend a bunch of money, or gripe and complain about how prices get jacked up, restaurants are over-crowded and about how Hallmark is ruining my life.

Can’t we just find some middle ground?

Instead, I am heading home to eat dinner with Ryan.  It will probably be like most other days, but today we’ll keep our computers off a little longer, maybe talk a bit more, and spend some time just hanging out with each other.  Like an unexpected snow-day, maybe we all just need a fake-holiday to slow us down and give us the chance to appreciate our lives.



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