When I was a kid, I honestly hated Valentine’s Day. It seemed to always make me sad that there was no one in my life, other than my parents, who I could truly say that I loved. Of course, there were the elementary school card exchanges, but that was nothing that really excited me.
As I grew into my teenage years, nothing changed except that there were no longer any card exchanges at school. I can remember jealously seeing puppy love in all of its glory, but always as an observer. I could never find the person who interested me that was also interested in me. Valentine’s Day was just nothing at all as far as I was concerned.
It seemed that if I was involved with someone that it would either have ended or would not have started by Valentine’s Day. It was at this point in my life that I decided that Valentine’s Day was designed to make people like me feel uncomfortable and even more alone than I already felt. I consciously decided to simply no longer give a shit about the day and just go on with my own life.
Adulthood arrived. Relationships were fewer and there were longer gaps in between, but I survived. I prided myself on my own self-reliance and ability to cope with this day. I didn’t openly object to it, but I would always manage to find like-minded people to be around if I chose to get out at all on this day.
In 2000 I had turned 36 years old. On my birthday, January 20 of that year I met Hal (person) and my life changed. The first Valentine’s Day I made certain to get him a nice card and some chocolates. I didn’t want him to think that I wasn’t romantic, or at that time to know my secret hatred of Valentine’s Day. Since then, he has found out about how I felt regarding this day. We do still exchange cards, but we try to show our love to each other every other day in addition to this one.
I suppose that if I still have an objection to Valentine’s Day it is that I cannot help but wonder why people don’t show their love to each other more during the rest of the year. Is this day simply a chance to atone for some mistake that was made since the last Valentine’s Day? Putting an emphasis on something as necessary as love seems rather pretentious to me at the very least.
Anyone who read Peanuts as a child remembers exactly how I felt during those years. Valentine’s Day does more harm than good in my opinion. It identifies and effective isolates and ostracizes those who feel alone. Ironically, those tend to be the most beautiful souls and among the most creative. And yet, they are the ones who come to dread or despise this “holiday” the most.