Valentine's Day Sucks
I hate Valentine’s Day. I have always hated Valentine’s Day.
Call me cynical, but it’s a cheesy, consumer-culture-driven holiday exploited by Hallmark and Dove that has lost its original meaning. Beyond that, why do you need one single day to celebrate your loved ones? You can love them every day. Not to mention, this holiday gives totally unrealistic expectations to men and women. Girls want extravagant dates/gifts, guys don’t perform as expected, girl gets sad…you get the point.
This year, I ranted to Nick on and on about how much I hated Valentine’s and instructed him not to get me a gift. And if he felt so inclined, I would appreciate a letter or anything of that sort - something more meaningful and less tangible. We agreed to go on a run in the morning, but that would be it. Simple and sweet.
The night before Valentine’s, Nick made me dinner and we did crossword puzzles together. Perfect evening, right? Until, it wasn’t. One thing led to another, and we were fighting about everything – work and time management, what we were doing as a couple, plans for the week, the way we communicate, the way either of us handles anything difficult, and everything in between. We’ve had tiffs here and there, but not like this. I got up and left in the midst of this, realizing it was going nowhere (only to be sassy in a slew of following texts).
The next day – Valentine’s – I woke up pissed. Despite my cynicism of the holiday, I was disappointed when our plans to run didn’t work. I was disappointed to not receive flowers, be whisked away for a surprise makeup date and I was mad that we couldn’t get along on the one day it seemingly mattered to our external world.
Eight hours later, I went home from work and yoga after receiving a really sweet “I’m Sorry” card (seriously, the nicest and most undeserved sentiment I think I’ve ever received) and figured we could salvage some part of the evening. Instead, I found a flea on my cat. And, well, there went my entire night (dude, flea meds are expensive…and surprise indoor cats can get them from other pets in the complex). After struggling to bathe my kitten (who looked so scary skinny under all his fluffy fur), I sat in silence across the room from Nick. I was just angry that the whole day didn’t go according to my expectation.
How come everyone else seemingly enjoyed the holiday while I dealt with the aftermath of a fight and disgusting fleas?!
I woke up the next morning, trying to figure out why exactly I was so upset about an “expectation.” From my point of view, I had no expectations for Valentine’s. Somehow, in the midst of sappy social media overload, I found myself trapped in the expectation I so often criticized people for. Oops. Thanks, subconscious.
After some thought, I returned to my initial point. That’s life…and it really is just a day. An arbitrary day.
Love isn’t always going to be Instagram-picture-perfect, and maybe we need to celebrate both the ups and the downs. Love is about the person you’re with (even if it’s yourself!). If Valentine’s is truly about love and everything it entails, well, I hit it on the head this year. Ups and downs make for a healthy relationship – whether you want to admit it or not.
Last night (the day after Valentine’s), we went on a bowling date, where we knocked down pins, drank beer and really enjoyed each other’s uninterrupted company. That felt like a celebration of love. And it didn’t matter what day it was.