Let’s Rethink V-Day

So now that that epic Super Bowl is over (Go Pats!), we need to talk about something.

There’s a certain day coming up that causes people to ignore their budgets and invest in a ton of sweets and heart-shaped things they’d never want otherwise. It turns us into some pretty loopy emotional rollercoasters. You’ve guessed it, I’m talking about Valentine’s Day.

I hate to overly generalize. I am usually quick to root for us ladies to get it together and prove that annoying stereotype wrong, so before writing this, I wanted to do some research to see if my suspicions were true. Highly scientific, MIT-approved Pinterest proved to be the best place to start, and I searched ‘Single Valentine’s Day’—gasp!—but I wanted to jump into the insanity pool with both feet.

It’s worse than I’d anticipated. When V-Day comes, all bets are off.

Happy Single’s Awareness Day!
The ‘I Hate Valentine’s Day’ Mixtape
How to Have an Anti-Valentine’s Day Party
How to Make It Through Single’s Awareness Day (S.A.D)
V is for Valentine’s Vodka

Apparently, it’s also been renamed Singles Awareness Day and Galentine’s Day. What the ____?!?

Now, I get that some of this is meant to be purely humorous, but I’ve also seen too many people buy into these notions over the years. And it’s not just the single ladies either… The holiday is just as stressful for girls in relationships, spelling ‘I Love You’ out of M&M’s and trying to rhyme poems for their men because it’s “cute”.

Why does this holiday illicit such extreme emotional swings? Why are we so devastated by it that we drown ourselves in ice cream and too much wine, and hibernate until the pink storm passes? Why do we allow ourselves to devote a day (or days if you count the dread leading up to 2/14) to hating our lives when we wouldn’t otherwise? Why do we make a point of telling everyone that the holiday was invented by Hallmark and that they should despise it just as much as we do? Why does our ability to share love climax on this one day, and leave our apartments covered in glitter and bits of construction paper?

Robert Indiana & His sculpture, 1970's
Robert Indiana & His sculpture, 1970’s

What if instead we took the power back from Cupid and opened this holiday up to a much larger conversation without the emotional loop-de-loops?

I’m not saying that you can’t be crafty and cute, make stuff and bake things, and get excited about a day devoted to celebrating something. I love to cook and bake and decorate and give well-wrapped gifts, and I really enjoy all of the special things that holidays allow us to enjoy in together. What I am saying though, is that the turmoil associated with Valentine’s Day is a symptom of a larger problem. In all of the planning, plotting, and expectation, we’ve missed the point of this holiday: LOVE.

While we’ve spent way too much money, time, and energy, building this day up in our minds, frantically securing plans, or getting ready to hide from the world, we’ve focused narrowly on the pseudo-romantic piece. We’ve missed the wide and deep definition of love and the bountiful amount of it that’s available to us.

It’s with our families. It’s with our friends. It’s with those we serve. It’s within ourselves. It’s in Him. And for some of us, it’s also with a significant other.

But don’t you think on a holiday that’s supposed to celebrate love, we’d have a whole lot more fun resting in the celebratory fun of all the love in our lives? Heck, why then even limit it to just one day? And it’s not just Valentine’s Day really…this posture should be applied to every holiday. It’s fun to get caught up in the hype and merriment of the holidays, but let’s not forget that Christmas is about more than presents, MLK Day is about more than an extra long weekend, and the Fourth of July is about more than partying hard. In the same way, Valentine’s Day is about more than your relationship status.

So put down the bottle of wine and the huge box of chocolates (or keep them, but proceed into both minus the emotional dependency, and enjoy!), and step away from the over-priced teddy bear (no guy wants a bear holding a heart anyway, trust me). Take some time to remind yourself that love is more than this, and that you have plenty of it to cherish.

The Square Peg

P.S. Here’s a playlist of songs I curated with all facets of love in mind. Plus, it’s perfect for dancing in your kitchen… just saying 🙂

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

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