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Questions of the heart (day)

15/02/2011

It occurs to me that I have some sort of annual reflection on Valentine’s Day — or Anti-Valentine’s Day, Singles’ Awareness Day, whatever you want to call it — so I decided to sort of stick with the trend, only I’m quite obviously a day late (and several dollars short).

Trust me, there were a few times over the last several days when I thought “hmm, today’s post is going to be something about Valentine’s Day.” I couldn’t bring myself to do it, though, not only because everybody else is saying something about Valentine’s Day but also because I hadn’t really resolved my feelings about it one way or another.

Don’t get me wrong; we celebrated, in a way. Saturday night Brian took me to bd’s Mongolian Grill on Coventry (one of my favorite places, but I hadn’t been since my birthday in August), and we played at Big Fun for a bit before trekking back home, but the only thing that distinguished this date night as a Valentine’s Day date night was that at the end of it we exchanged gifts wrapped in red and gold. The gifts, however lovely, were not the point — being together was.

I guess that’s one of my major issues with this “holiday”, which has not been a “holy day” to most of us for probably centuries. Even as I participate in the consumerism that marks every 14 February I recoil from it as a further sign that we hold nothing to be so dear to us as the holy dollar sign. When my friends call Valentine’s Day “the most romantic day of the year” I shake my head and scowl because every day should be a day to celebrate love in all of its forms — not because Hallmark says so, but because we are loving creatures who need to express our love for one another before hate swallows us all.

For a long time I thought that those feelings made me an Anti-Valentine’s Day activist, and I have even made the occasional joke about “Singles’ Awareness Day” — after some soul searching, though, I realize that I’m not. The single person who takes Valentine’s Day so personally is likely already painfully aware of their relationship status, and while they may allow themselves to more openly express their bitterness on that day it is unlikely that they woke up on that one day going “gee whiz, I’m single, that sucks.”

Also, the whole build-up of the “Anti-Valentine’s Day” movement strikes me as, well, rather juvenile. It may be tempting to snicker at couples who get all mushy with one another or to roll one’s eyes at an overblown display of romanticism, but to each their own. I agree with the many, many people who have said to simply sidestep the 2/14 mayhem if it makes you uncomfortable, but don’t act like it’s such a big shock or an offense to you or, dear goodness, the end of the world as we know it.

Instead, make your peace with Cupid and candy hearts…and even black hearts. Celebrate all you desire, or none at all. If you love, love deeply and openly every day of the year. And if you haven’t found love, keep faith and don’t let one little day break your stride.

Well…unless it’s St. Patrick’s Day. But that’s an entirely different story.

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