This is a post was inspired by Opal Elephantâs post, Why the Hate for Valentineâs Day?
I donât hate Valentineâs Day. Up until this morning, I probably would have told you Iâm simply indifferent towards it. I think itâs a completely useless holiday, and I remind Ben every year that he doesnât have to get me anything for it. He doesnât usually take much convincing. We usually spend it at home watching a movie together since our friends are usually unavailable due to their private festivities.
But after reading Meg and Mattâs post on the subject and giving it some thought, I realized my feelings towards Valentineâs Day are slightly above complete indifference. I actually rather dislike it. And hereâs why.
The last thing in the world we need as a society is an entire day devoted to romance.
See, a lot of people would argue that Valentineâs Day serves to remind us of the value and beauty of romantic love. Itâs a day to celebrate couples and remember our sweethearts. Or, if we donât have a sweetheart, to remind us why we ought to have one: because romance is the most important thing in the world.
Thatâs the message we get from music, movies, and television, anyway. If you take a listen to the most frequently-played songs out there, or check out all the major blockbusters, and switch on the TV, you will notice that they are almost all about romance. If theyâre not specifically about couples hooking up, they have a romantic subplot. They teach us that romantic love conquers all, that love between man and woman is the most powerful love in the world. A man or woman who abandons all for the sake of love is a hero. I donât even need to list the titles for you, this message is so pervasive.
Dating. Finding our soulmates. Love triangles. Cheating and jealousy. Unrequited love. Passion. Sex. These are what all major stories are about.
Everywhere we look, itâs romance, romance, romance. The central relationship in almost any modern Western story is the heterosexual couple. Only occasionally do we run across a story about the parent-child relationship, or the friend-friend relationship, or the sibling-sibling relationship. (There are probably other important relationship types I am forgetting).
If nothing else, Valentineâs Day is simply redundant.
Yeah, yeah, we know. Love conquers all, blah blah blah. All I need to do is walk down to the nearest video rental store to get the same message retold a thousand different ways.
Iâm not saying romance is unimportant. Iâm just saying we get enough of it as it is. We donât need a holiday to put love in the spotlight: it hasnât left it in the last two centuries!
Please note that I am desperately in love with my husband. I adore him. This is not a rant resulting from jealousy or dissatisfaction with love. I am undeservingly satisfied. I am so grateful for the romantic relationship I share with my Ben, and I thank God every morning and night that he has blessed me with a sweetheart who adores me back. Our relationship is very special and I donât want to knock romance.
But romantic love is not the most important kind of love out there. I know that a lot of people would agree with me, but we certainly donât have a day celebrating friendship or charity, two other important kinds of love. The dominant message is that romance beats all. I wouldnât mind seeing some kind of Friendship Day for a change. Although it would probably just end up being another day for buying stuff.
Because the other problem with Valentineâs Day, of course, is the way we celebrate it: by buying stuff. More specifically, by buying useless crap. Pink stuffed bears, snipped/dying flowers, foil-wrapped confections, manufactured greeting cards. But you can already predict anything else I could possibly say on this subject so Iâll leave it at that. I dislike the commercial aspect of Valentineâs Day more than anything.
So all in all, yeah; Iâd say I dislike Valentineâs Day. I will not be celebrating it this year. My husband and I, along with the rest of the Western world, celebrate love all the time. Â We donât need a special holiday to do it.
What do you think? Do you love/hate/feel indifferent about Valentineâs Day? Why?
Photo courtesy of Stuck in Customs