Ignoring Valentine’s Day

My boyfriend and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. When he tells people this, the response varies from shock to teasing disbelief. He gets a lot of “I bet that’s what you think, but your girlfriend probably feels differently.” They are wrong. I love the way we pass Valentine’s day, by completely ignoring it. Of course we are pleased with the fact that Mike usually gets a good gig on the day. Valentine’s does tend to get people out of the house. It is a boon for comedians, a bunch of confused couples fumbling for something to do and not being permitted, for this one night, to slip into their regular Thursday night TV coma.

Today is Valentine’s Day and I didn’t have to buy anything, make anything, give or receive anything, or think about it much at all really. Tonight I get to sit at home with my cat on my lap, treat myself to a nice glass of wine (red is for lovers) and watch Valentine’s TV specials. When Mike is finished his gig, he might join me for some heavy chocolate eating. It’s perfect.

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I have never taken to Valentine’s Day. The very idea of having a festival of love in the middle of February puzzles me. What are we celebrating? How many TV shows we have managed to consume as a couple over the long winter’s hibernation? Or another year of family Xmas hell passing by without divorce? It’s the wrong time of year for love, love floats on the wings of spring, creeping out of the frigid ground with the first crocus, and ripening to a sticky sweetness as the apple blossoms bloom.

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February is much more suited to Carnival, a chance to dust off your dancing shoes and escape the confines of your house and your self. Putting on a mask and momentarily escaping the stale routine is ideal for the dreary month of February, where your patience with the winter is wearing thin as slippery ice. Why on earth then do we North American idiots splatter ourselves in red and celebrate the stuffy confines of our winter loves? This is why companies should not be allowed to chose holidays.
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In grade school Valentine’s day is a crafty pink popularity contest. I have never been great at those, so no surprise that I hated it then. Later, through and after high school, Valentine’s was a torture to remind me that I wasn’t great at finding men to love me who weren’t dicks. In my waitressing years Valentine’s was exhausting and barely worth the hard work, as unhappy couples being forced into a bizarre ritual of winter wooing are not great tippers. When I met my love of my life, he was fearful of the upcoming Valentine debacle, knowing he would likely have to work and make me sad and alone. We were both happy to discover that we neither of us felt like obeying our corporate overlords on February 14. Now we ignore the day and enjoy the candy. Happy winter everybody!

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