Rachel Roth / Roundup
I hate Valentine’s Day.
At least I think I do.
It’s a holiday that is impossible to celebrate without agony, regardless of your relationship status.
On the one hand, I strongly believe that the entire fête was created by greeting card companies, then perpetuated by chocolatiers, restaurants, flower factories and the like. They exploit our desire to be loved and romanced by making us feel that our lives are less complete if we don’t acknowledge this farcical day.
I would much rather my boyfriend, James, shower me with love, affection and presents on a day that does not mandate it. Receiving flowers, a mix-tape, candy — chocolate covered Gummy Bears, please — for no reason is a lot more significant when he does it without being prompted.
But what if he does nothing in observance? When I was in my first “serious” relationship, I made a big show of how ridiculous I thought Valentine’s Day was. When the 14th arrived, I waited for something, anything, to acknowledge how much I was loved and adored.
I got nothing. It stung.
Yes, I told him I thought Valentine’s Day was ludicrous, but after being neglected, I realized it wasn’t as silly as I previously thought.
Years later, Valentine’s Day was again approaching. I was in a new-ish relationship. We’d gone on dates fairly regularly for about a month, possibly on the road to serious, possibly not.
I nearly had a coronary trying to determine proper Valentine’s Day etiquette. I was consumed with it!
“Should I do something for him?”
“Was he going to do something for me?”
“What if one of us did something and the other didn’t? Furthermore, what gift says; ‘I think I like you, but I’m not sure yet?'”
Truthfully, every year when Feb. 14 rolls around I would rather be single… even though Hallmark tries to make the unattached members of the population feel like social pariahs.
My favorite Valentine’s Day memory is of my sister, my best friend and, I sans boyfriends, making chocolate covered strawberries, drinking champagne and laughing at all of the fools spending considerable amounts of money on prix fixed menus. It was the first time I didn’t feel anxiety regarding how to spend the evening.
Frivolous or not, experience has taught me that this holiday isn’t going anywhere. The trick is to spend it with people whom you enjoy.
This year, James and I have decided that we are going to celebrate Anti-Valentine’s Day.
We debated dressing up in Halloween costumes and going Trick-or-Treating, but I think we may settle for making dinner and watching movies at home. Romantic comedies are banned, of course.