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A Love/Hate Relationship With Valentine’s

February 14, 2008

I was never big on Valentine’s. It just so happens that everytime V Day rolls around, I wasn’t dating anyone in particular, or liked anyone enough to ask someone out, like, on a real Valentine date.  

What’s Valentine’s Day? – a day when men are forced to turn their pockets inside out for overpriced airflown long-stemmed roses (which cost more than a month’s lunch money and has travelled more frequent flier miles than you can accumulate in that same month) and undercooked bland exorbitant restaurant food and lovey-dovey red and pink commercialised heart-shaped balloons, candy and disgusting coupley t-shirts for ladies who are poised to pounce should their men get any of it wrong? Where coupley people make kissy faces at each other and evoke a rush of nausea in all the unfortunate audience surrounding them?

Some people love Valentine’s Day. Presumably, people with dates, secret admirers, loving husbands and wives or at least a beer party to go to get drunk at. From the many down-with-love anti-Valentine newspaper and magazine columns I’m seeing, and following the idea that column content is inspired by readership and demand, I can safely suppose that there are likely to be more people that hate it.

I think it’s tragically ironic, that a day set out to commemorate love, actually slices the world right down the center into two polar opposite ends — people who breathe, smell and drink their beloved Valentine’s Day, versus people who roll their eyes and desperately pray and hope the day be over soon. I would choose to join the latter, but honestly I’m too tired to bother.

I figured I am well positioned to outline why this day is so easily abhorred by people since I am almost the president of its hate club. Love is such a hapless victim of Valentine’s Day. Love is not Valentine’s Day. Love is definitely bigger than any of that. The association has been conveniently abused to the point that people who do not celebrate for obvious reasons end up bashing it and swearing against it instead. How has it developed into an anti-love hateful suppression of joyful emotions?

Valentine’s Day conjures up different imagery and connections for different people. Never mind the loveydovey people, I’m not here to dwell on their affrontingly saccharine presence; someday everyone will be part of that exclusive members-only club. I’m saying, Valentine’s Day is potentially painful for many, many people. It does not necessarily have to be, I hear you protesting. But truth is, the individual does not call the shots here, it’s the society as a whole. There is a social pressure out there that suggests that people should find someone and enjoy the day. And the last one to do that is a lousy, undesirable, unattractive flea of a loser. Thanks to V Day, singlehood has become a disease. A social disease to which people know of, doesn’t talk about it like it is, and would do anything to immune themselves from getting infected by it. Being single gets increasingly more criminal as you get older. Single has “sin” in it. Being single is also inherently SINful. Most people would avoid the awkward discussion about that particular status. BUT YET! Valentine’s Day is so in everyone’s faces. It’s everywhere. It catches up with you. It is one painful and blaring reminder that you are the carrier of an uncomfortable (though definitely not deadly) affliction, everywhere you look you see it. The more you try to act nonchalant the more agonising it gets. You imagine people are staring at you. YOU. (Singular, one person, solo, numero uno, alone!) For the true haters, you might even worry and wonder if people think you are a loser. That’s still manageable. And what if they pity you? You don’t need their charity. You are suddenly reminded of why you hated Valentine’s Day.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 15, 2008 1:03 AM

    Not sure in what religion staying single is a sin but it’s a nice play on words if nothing else. VD (ironic acronym, no?) is problematic precisely for the reasons you describe.

    I think that every day should be treated as a Valentine’s Day. If I find a girl I want to give her a new reason every day to love me. I may not do that but it will be my motivation.

    Like the blog. You’ve got one more reader.

  2. Paul Kolozsvari permalink
    February 17, 2008 4:45 PM

    I think sympathize. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head.

    — Paul

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