You would think, given my preoccupation with love, that I’d be all over Valentine’s Day. A day set aside to honor love; a day when romantic gestures, from the silly to the sublime, are celebrated; when chocolates, roses and jewelry can serve as a sort of shorthand for “You have the power to break my heart. Please don’t.” I think that’s a little bit beautiful.
And yet, I don’t like Valentine’s Day.
Maybe it’s because it’s too narrow. It focuses entirely on romantic love (an emphasis that may or may not have come from the greeting card industry), which leaves out a lot of people. People who’ve fallen out of love, people in love with people who don’t love them back. People walking around with big smiles and broken hearts, pretending to be normal and happy and sane. They’re just trying to make it from one day to the next without emotionally bleeding out.
And then we hit them with Valentine’s Day.
I don’t see why we need it. Lovers have other days to celebrate their love – wedding days and anniversaries, date nights and Wednesday nights. They shouldn’t need an additional Hallmark day to remind them to express themselves. And people who aren’t in relationships? They don’t need Hallmark to remind them of that either.
I know I’m posting this at the risk of sounding like a Valentine’s Day Grinch. I can imagine some of you are hugely disappointed in me. Hopefully, your disdain is tempered by champagne, the smell of roses, and a 1-pound heart-shaped box of chocolates you’re devouring as you read.
But I’ve had my say. Now you can have yours. Go ahead and let me have it. (Nicely, though. It IS Valentine’s Day, after all.)