In the past, I’ve spent Valentine’s Day in very bad company and I’ve also spent it all by my lonesome. And alone was always better than spending it with some cheap asshole who “doesn’t believe in Valentine’s Day” and still expects poon or the other type that thinks he’s going to get the poon of a lifetime after he forks over all the cash, liquor and gifts. I’ve visited both sides and it’s always a shitty prospect to be approaching Valentine’s Day not knowing what to expect.
And any year we’re going it alone, we usually feel sorry for ourselves because we won’t be getting cards, candies, flowers and freaked cross-eyed silly and we’re a bunch of sore bitter crybabies for it. Or if we do have someone to spend it with, we expect 2 dozen roses to be delivered to us at work with the red carpet treatment followed by an engagement ring, and we snivel, whine and scream when it doesn’t happen. Either way, Valentine’s Day seems to set us up for disappointment, which is the entire concept- Valentine’s Day was designed to make people feel like shit. High expectations resulting in disappointing results or low expectations resulting in disappointing results. Take your pick- the game is rigged.
Compels You to Do What You Wouldn’t Normally Do
Run out and spend tons of money on things covered in tacky velvet dyed all shades of gaudy red that can only be used on Valentine’s Day. Buy a $200 bottle of champagne. Get a fancy gift basket with 2 pounds of cheap chocolates that give you the runs, and while you’re at it, take ‘em out on a cheesy dinner date upon which you’ll have to wait 2-3 hours for a table anywhere in the city. Sounds like a lot more trouble than it’s worth.
And if you’ll be spending it alone, it’s even worse yet. It immediately sets off alarm bells in our head, “Another day to deal with being single on a day it isn’t cool nor fashionable nor fun to be single.”
Then after we get off work we declare revenge upon the world by running out and buying an economy-sized bottle of booze we’ll be drinking alone, skip cooking dinner, plop on the couch and watch Lifetime Movie Channel B films that glorify a Valentine’s Day that is destined to seem even more foreign and unreachable to us.
Don’t buy into the hype. It’s another “Us vs. Them” diversion and especially, a “You vs. Yourself”. They want you to feel obligated to spend money on people and feel like shit or spend money on yourself and feel like shit. Either way, you feel like shit and your wallet is that much lighter.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve reiterated this type of nauseating senseless crap in my head on Valentine’s Day:
- “I don’t have anyone to spend time with on Valentine’s Day- so that must mean I’m a forgone ineffectual loser.”
- “A girl like me without a date on Valentine’s Day says a lot- that Valentine’s Day is for people worthy of receiving the gift of true love and obviously, I’m not.
- “I’m never going to get flowers on Valentine’s Day because I can’t find a decent man who thinks I actually deserve to get flowers.”
The list goes on and on.
Why the hell should we acclimate ourselves to spending time alone on Valentine’s Day and having to live with and accept that it’s “all our fault”, when in fact the situation is beyond our control? If we’re single the rest of the 364 days out of the year, how does being single on Valentine’s Day make us even lesser people for it?
Same goes for being with someone. On Valentine’s Day we expect the world, the stars and the moon to be handed to us white gloves, chariots and signed-in-blood promises and when our men do not deliver, we are disappointed in them for bringing us what “tidbits” it seems they barely even thought up. Not fair to you and definitely not fair to him.
A Sense of Lost Control and Co-Dependency
Valentine’s Day = Validation Day.
It’s a day for us to be legitimized in our own eyes and in the eyes of others and when we aren’t, we have to face a series of judgments and conclusions stemming from people who don’t and shouldn’t mean shit to us regardless.
Validation is about garnering a sense of control over certain people and if someone validates us, we have some control and influence over at least a portion of their feelings towards us. On the other hand, we have no control over the people who invalidate and judge us for spending Valentine’s Day alone and in a way that they deem is not uniform or celebratory.
Instead of freely handing someone your feelings and the ability to disregard them because you were or weren’t acknowledged by someone special on Valentine’s Day, why not invalidate the whole system in its entirety by displacing their judgment towards you and replacing it with some self-assurance that you don’t need Valentine’s Day to appear desirable, worthy, and “heroic”? I know plenty of people who get gifts every year on Valentine’s Day who are trapped in marriages barely hanging on by a thread and long-term relationships where the guy gets her nothing at all because he’s spending his money on another woman.
With relationships like that, who needs enemies? And who needs Valentine’s Day? If you really got it going on, it’s Valentine’s Day everyday of the year in the sense that love is always alive and well with you whether you’re single or not. Getting love and attention on Valentine’s Day alone doesn’t prove jack shit.
Sign up for another dating service, have an excuse to go out to the bar and get sloppy sappy drunk, and send flowers to yourself and try to make other people think they were sent by someone important, if you have to. But it just seems to me, these are the things that are designed to make you miserable when you pay for it dearly with your dignity, your pocketbook and what little pride you have enduring the shame being enslaved to the make-it or break-it Valentine’s Day mentality.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day- I’m saying you should celebrate it in the same way you should be celebrating how great you feel about yourself all year long- by knowing you don’t need one day out of the year to feel like an immortal god or a pile of horse pucky and it seems Valentine’s Day’s only purpose is to polarize such views.
Let’s get over it, shall we? It’s just Valentine’s Day.
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