Let’s dump Valentine’s Day. Please.
Even though I occasionally feel a little awkward witnessing public displays of affection, I’m not anti-love. The four-letter phenomenon certainly has its merits and should be celebrated. But not en masse. At least not the way we do it today.
Like so many other events we celebrate, love and Valentine’s Day are more about selling dinner packages and candy than about whoopee between two or more smitten people.
Aside from restaurant owners and lingerie peddlers, maybe the only other people who benefit from the festivities of Feb. 14 are school kids. But not for reasons you might think.
So many of life’s important lessons are learned in school, but not in the classroom or even in books. Learning to deal with rejection and hurt feelings is one of them and Valentine’s Day is the great facilitator.
Sure, life is all sweet candy hearts and “Be Mine” cards when you’re in grade school, but once the jump to junior and senior high school is made and you mix in hormones with chocolate Kisses, all bets are off. Nothing is more dramatic than teenage love, unrequited or otherwise.
But aside from those early lessons in coping with loving, losing and rejection, there’s no point to Valentine’s Day other than for millions of couples to publicly profess how unique and special their love is.
Excuse me for gagging.
If yours is the kind of relationship that thrives on the manufactured sentimentality of Feb. 14, then maybe your relationship is more delicate than chocolates locked in a hot car.
Perhaps unwittingly we have created a day that forces us to measure our self worth in relation to others. If you’re in a relationship then that must mean you’re lovable. And if you’re lovable then you must be OK.
Conversely, if you’re not one half of a couple sharing a candlelight dinner, wine and sweet talk, then maybe something is wrong with you.
Maybe you’re too fat or too skinny or too controlling or too mellow or too poor or too you. That has to be it. You are the problem. After all, everyone else has a Valentine. Why not you?
But we tend to forget that after the dinner has been paid for, the bottles of wine have been emptied and the teddy cast to the floor, there are 364 other days of the year where love is expressed in the little things that we do: by washing the dishes or folding the clothes or calling just to say “Hi.”
Love for a lot of those fabulous Feb. 14 people exists only on that one day a year and has no more meaning than a Chinese take-out menu written in Latin. If you’re one half of one of those couples, aren’t you better off being alone?