I don't like Valentine's Day.
I'm not bitter--I don't like the day whether or not I'm dating anyone. Even when I am, I give very specific instructions that I'm really not interested in celebrating Valentine's Day (and no, that's not a mind game). If a man wants to make a big deal over me, he should do it on some day other than a manufactured holiday celebrating the execution of a Catholic monk--like my birthday, or when I just took a hard test, or when I'm stressed or down, or for no reason at all.
I don't like red and pink and sampler heart-shaped boxes of chocolate and candy hearts that look like antacids with generic messages stamped on them. I prefer lilies to roses. I feel guilty getting flowers on the day when every florist jacks up the prices astronomically. And I don't find it remotely romantic to buy something red on February 14th out of guilt, or because Hallmark and Kay's Jewelers think it's essential.
When I tell people this sort of thing, they call me a cynic. I don't think I'm a cynic (see picture) --not really. I'm more of an idealist--a hopeless romantic, really. I believe in a love that is so deep it makes the glitz and glitter of Valentine's Day look cheap and empty. I believe in love based on deep and abiding friendship and care, mutual interest and affection. I remember President Hinckley's definition of true love: "anxious concern for the well-being of one's companion."
I have nothing against a day to celebrate that love--I just don't like what it has become, namely, a day when attached men stress out about elaborate plans and exorbitant sums of money that will convince their significant others of their undying affection and love for them, attached women measure their worth based on how many dozen roses they got, and everyone else sits at home and mopes and feels jealous and unloved. What kind of twisted holiday is that?
A (fairly recent) trend calls for referring to February 14th as "Singles Awareness Day," in some sort of strange attempt to reclaim the holiday for single people. That still comes off as awfully sad, on at least two counts:
1. Single people are already excruciatingly aware of how single they are, and most of them would rather give up that single status. We don't need another day to draw awareness to singleness.
2. It sounds a bit like "Cancer Awareness Week," or some such drive to eradicate a dreadful illness or show solidarity against a common enemy. Some people have AIDS, others are single--but be brave, I'm sure we'll find a cure.
Anyway, for all the cynics, romantics, and Hallmark executives out there-- happy... you know...whatever.