I used to hate it too.
And I totally get the bitterness.
Valentine’s is a day with waxy chocolate, shady origins and an abrasive color palette. It’s just obnoxious. But. (And it took me years before I could accept this) I actually have to defend it.
Valentine’s Day prompts people to focus on those in her/his life that get overlooked — on non-birthday, Christmas, Hanukah or anniversary days, of course — and tons of people get laid. But even more than these things, is the fact that resisting Valentine’s Day ends poorly — trust me.
I should say now that I’ve never had a romantic Valentine and I have had some pretty bad February 14ths. But last year I decided the self-pitying was over, holstered my bitterness and made an effort to have a good day. It worked. It worked so seamlessly I was mad at myself for never trying before. So let me, let you, learn from my mistakes and find your way to a love-ly February 14th that is tear-free.
1. Don’t Celebrate Bitterness
Three years ago I thought it would be funny to celebrate Valentine’s Day ironically. I mean, I was single but that did NOT mean I was UNHAPPY and WHERE did St. HALLMARK GET OFF making me feel inadequate just because I wasn’t getting a bottle of wine, some chickens tacos and a romantic foot rub?! Huh? So I bought a cake. I bought a cake and piped “My Feelings” on it in icing — so that I could literally eat my feelings. Yes, it was a dark time. I found the saddest movie I could think of (Requiem for a Dream) and made myself a generous whiskey sour. My roommate even agreed to watch the movie with me, because there is no “I” in sad. As we realized, however, there is an “I” and a “we” in weeping. I don’t have to tell you what happened when I left my room filled with cake, whiskey and feelings. But I will anyway — I ended-up very unstable and completely covered in sand. Please, don’t celebrate bitterness, it’s just too strong.
2. Don’t Ignore It
The next year, determined to avoid fiasco, I tried to ignore the holiday completely. I didn’t mention it or ask anyone what he or she was doing. I had a lot of work to do so I grabbed some dinner, a pint of Ben & Jerry’s (RED FLAG) and an empty room. As the hours ticked on, I started spending more time on Youtube than my primary research source, Wikipedia. I opened the ice cream and started looking through clips from my favorite movies. The problem is that I love sad movies (I mean, SAD movies) so with-in a second I was watching the restaurant scene from Stepmom and SOBBING INTO my pint of Half Baked. Before I realized what was going on I’d already consumed several ounces of my own tears. A pint of ice cream may seem like a loyal companion, but those bitches will drown you. Valentine’s Day can’t be ignored and isolating yourself from the festivity will quickly and ungracefully turn to loneliness. Don’t try to ignore the holiday.
3. Go With The Flow
The most abrasive part of Valentine’s isn’t the aggressive store displays, “show your love through merchandise” commercials or the possible feelings of loneliness — it’s the people who actively hate the holiday. These cupid cursers are a motely crew of broken hearts, merchandise martyrs and individuals that hate joy — I’ve been one. I know it’s cool to not like things. But hate is a heavy emotion to carry around and you’re ignoring the fact that some of these people are crazier than you are. Instead of going on a crusade, use the day to appreciate yourself and the great people around you.
Have a cupcake, wear a little red, (don’t listen to Adele) and have a Happy Valentine’s Day!
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