While everyone seems to love Saint Patrick’s Day, Independence Day, and Christmas—I mean, even non-Christians love Christmas—there are some holidays people love to hate. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and perhaps Valentine’s Day most of all.
It’s not that folks hate moms or dads or love (okay, some people might). But more often than not, you hear the same mushy, sappy, gag-me-with-a-spoon junk like “we celebrate our love every day” or “we don’t need the corporate machine telling us how and when to show our love” or the eve- popular “shut up and stop flaunting your love in my single face.” Haters gonna hate. But Valentine’s Day isn’t for everyone.
I admit I’m guilty of telling my husband “I love you” to the point that its value and meaning may have lessened over the last nine years, and I certainly do not make the time to celebrate my marriage every single day. But let’s be real. Who does? I suppose I may just be a crappy spouse, but I’d venture to say I’m your fairly typical, run-of-the-mill, busy working mom and wife. Life is crazy and nuts, busy and hectic. I consider it a success when I manage to get out the door looking halfway put-together, with the kids presentable, and everyone fed and on time. Oh, and without forgetting lunches, coffee, shoes, diaper bags, and the nine million other items we cart around on a daily basis.
A Chance to Stop and Smell the Roses
Our days have kisses, hugs, conversations, and helping each other out with all the goings on of this life with school, work, the Army, and three young kids. It’s not a daily celebration of our matrimonial vows. It’s just life.
In this busyness of life, where our calendar overflows with this obligation and that appointment, and our minds are preoccupied with this assignment and that shopping list, we likely don’t celebrate our marriage or our relationships as much as we claim. There may be date nights here and there, special times throughout the year when we go out of our way to do something nice, but celebrating every single day? Ha. Who has time for that? If you have candlelit dinners every night, and passionate sex all the time, and your days are bursting at the seams with romance and lovey-doveyness, then I’ll try to give you the benefit of a doubt and give you major props. But to be honest, I don’t buy it.
So let’s say you don’t actually celebrate your love every day as you so boldly pronounce across all of social media. You then claim you won’t let “the man” tell you what to do and when to express your feelings. Never mind that you’ve just let that proverbial man drive you to do just that in order to express your disdain for the commercialized holiday.
Thank the Market for Providing Me Chocolate
Oh the horror. A bunch of companies and stores and businesses discovered that a large segment of the public did, in fact, like this holiday, and so they met the demand for cheap teddy bears and chocolate roses and flowers and cards and whatever else they can slap a heart on and sell as a potential gift option. I may not be an expert in economics—far from it, actually—but the supply wouldn’t be there if the demand didn’t exist.
Oh, right, I forgot. That supply and these businesses have us brainwashed into thinking these things are required to be successful partners and quality spouses. Perhaps, but honestly, I don’t care if my husband buys me a box of chocolates simply because the display caught his eye, because, duh. Chocolate. In a red, heart-shaped box or plain ol’ paper bag, I just like chocolate, and I don’t generally question whether his brain has been overtaken by the evil corporate big-wigs—whom I assume must be in posh offices yukking it up over how naive we all are to buy their heart-shaped junk. Instead I simply thank him for buying me a treat he knows I love.
People Who Hate Valentine’s Day Should Stop Being so Selfish
If it’s not “the man” keeping you down, it’s the singles. What about the singles? Society now demands we do nothing that could potentially hurt the feelings of any segment of the population. No, we must all act as if we are all the same, never speak or do anything that even hints at our varying demographics, because feelings. We are all so fragile, we can’t possibly handle someone celebrating something we don’t have or something we have lost.
What’s the point of finding contentment in our lives, when we can simply force others to feel guilt and shame for having something we covet? I mean, I wish I had my friends’ gorgeous house on all that acreage outside of town, but I don’t insist they stop inviting me over or stop posting pictures online that might force me to see their property. Nope. I suck it up and move on, accepting that it’s just not my time yet—if ever—to have what they have. That’s life. It’s not fair. Get over it. And if this holiday upsets you so much, you can always shake it off with a little T-Swift and your other single friends.
Regardless of what you might think, this holiday isn’t the enemy. If you don’t need a special day to celebrate your marriage or your relationship—or you don’t have any special someone to celebrate with—no one is forcing you. Those red and pink aisles at Target aren’t shaming you when you bypass them to continue on with your life. The card aisle isn’t mocking you when you walk past, and the cashier isn’t bad-mouthing you in her head when she notices you have no holiday items in your cart. Whether you’re the perfect every-day romantic, the anti-capitalist, or the frustrated single, this holiday isn’t about you. This holiday is for the people with busy lives, who don’t mind chocolate coming in a heart-shaped box once in a while, who like having one day marked on their hectic calendars to take a bit more time to celebrate love and relationship and life together.
But hey, if you just like to find something to complain about, go for it. Whine away. I’ll be over here telling my husband I love him for the millionth time today and thanking him for the chocolate.