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Valentine’s Day Approacheth

February 12, 2011

No matter how hard I try, I can’t escape the signs that it’s coming.

The profusion of red and pink in every store display. Dangling hearts exhorting you to give into that loving feeling. Roses, foil-backed cards, chocolate, special “guides” in the newspaper on how to make the day of romantic bliss the most perfect one ever.

Excuse me while I grumble here in my corner.

See, I’m not a big fan of holidays that make you feel like a failure if you don’t participate. It’s like New Year’s. Everyone always asks what you’re doing on New Year’s Eve, and if the answer is “Nothing,” it implies that you’re not fun enough to get a party invite, or not social enough to go, or just weird. Never mind the fact that maybe you just feel like sitting by the fire and toasting the New Year with a quiet glass of wine (or something non-alcoholic, for that matter).

Valentine’s Day is worse, in my opinion. If you’re in a relationship, you’re expected to do something, and it must be perfectly calibrated to the stage of relationship you’re in. If you’re not in a relationship, you’re barraged by reminders that you’re excluded, that you’re not part of the club of happy couples, and maybe there’s something inherently wrong with you if no one loves you enough to save you from singledom on Valentine’s Day.

Of course, I’m biased. If I was in the Love-Club, I might be writing something along the lines of, “Oh, it’s so nice to have a day set aside for love!” But I doubt it. Again, I recoil from that sense of forced participation and social judgement if you can’t (or won’t) comply.

If we want to have a holiday about love, that’s fine. But maybe it should be about all the different kinds of love. 

I truly believe that love is one of the most important and wonderful things we get to experience as living beings. However, I have an issue when the focus shifts to having a romantic relationship for its own sake. Maybe I’m too idealistic, but I would rather be alone than with someone I didn’t truly care about.

And if I, or anyone else, feels that way, then we shouldn’t be made to feel like the last lonely, loser penguin on the ice floe.

-Arvik

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11 comments

  1. Have you read C.S. Lewis’s “The Four Loves”? If not, you’d love it. (I couldn’t resist.) I agree with you that a day that has been pumped up into an artificial holiday is best ignored. It’s going to be a Monday this year, anyway.


  2. I’m despising Valentines this year. I agree with you.


  3. No one can make you feel [like the last lonely, loser penguin on the ice floe]without your consent. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt 😀


  4. I completely agree! Even though I am in a relationship, this holiday annoys me. Nathan and I have never “gotten it right” on Valentine’s Day, so we gave up trying really. But, it still is annoying. I am much more succesful at giving my daughter Valentine’s and even a little love for my dogs.


  5. I also am a lone penguin…and most days I happily embrace my lone penguin status…but tomorrow makes me feel, as you stated, that perhaps there is something wrong with me, as a lone penguin. Sigh…I have never liked Hallmark holidays…feeling more that love and the tokens thereof should be, “hey, it’s Tuesday and I thought of you, so here…”
    At least there is chocolate everywhere to eat…


    • You’re absolutely right about the chocolate. For me, the real holiday is February 15, when it all goes on sale. 😛


  6. Finally! I’m not the only one with those thoughts! Personally I feel these holidays are created by the Hallmark store to generate business. I have a problem with a holiday that makes so many people depressed and feel like a failure when there’s no compelling reason to feel that way. There should be a Singles Day, or even better, like you suggest, a day to celebrate love in general. Great comments.


    • Valentine’s Day does not make us feel good, bad, happy, or sad.

      IT is not doing anything to us.

      WE make ourselves feel whatever emotions WE attach to the day by the thoughts WE choose to think.

      http://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2011/02/14/all-we-need-is-love/


      • True, but for many, those emotions come to the surface more readily on a day that advertises the cause of those emotions and becomes a reminder of what one has, doesn’t have, etc. I also found, back in my single days, that the holiday seemed to make people feel they had the right to ask you questions about relationships. Always thought that invasion of privacy was odd. But those types of questions also brought to the surface emotions that one might be able to control easier on the non-Valentine days. Good reminder though.


  7. […] posts:  Valentine’s Day Approacheth (Intergalactic Writers Inc. ) * Dear Valentine’s Day (JannaTWrites) * Happy […]


  8. I’m married and I hate Valentine’s day… trust me, you’re not alone in this. I also try to avoid leaving the house as much as possible, and as you get older, you’ll find that there’s less pressure to socialize, because, well, everyone’s too damned tired.

    On a happier note, your little cartoons are just adorable, and I was laughing like a moron on the bus today as I read the captions on my teensy-weensy smartphone screen. Great work!



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