I’m sure many are hesitant to click a blog with the headline “Valentine’s Day”. Oh great, what does this happily married chick have to say about Valentine’s Day? Jasmine loves love more than anyone else I know, I’m sure this is her favorite holiday. Well, you will be surprised to know that I am a part of the majority thinking Valentine’s Day is extremely overrated. (Minds blown all over screens everywhere).
Valentine’s Day used to be the bane of my existence. I remember passing out those cheaply made Valentine’s in elementary school, trying to decipher who may or may not have feelings for me. Yep, my seven year old self was devastated no one confessed their love to me. The one person I hoped to receive a valentine from (my third grade teacher Mr. Howell- or was it Howe? I’m shocked I can’t remember), surprisingly never sent me anything, haha! Sick, but true. I believe all of the girls in class felt their heart break for the first time when he was late to class because he was proposing to his girlfriend. How could he? Wonder where he is now? Ridiculous. Anyhow, this is where my mind goes when I think of Valentine’s Day. Where did this joyous holiday really originate you might ask?
Well, let me take you back to school for a bit, maybe third grade? There are actually many different versions to the story of St. Valentine, but my favorite is as follows…
Saint Valentine was a sympathetic, third century Roman priest put to death because he believed in love. Emperor Claudius II was a cold-hearted, mean man and believed that single men were better equipped to be soldiers than those with families, more specifically with wives. Due to this crazy belief, he forbids marriage for young men. The valiant St. Valentine realized how unjust this was and continued to secretly marry young lovers. It is said that imprisoned, before being put to death, St. Valentine sent the first “valentine” greeting. He supposedly fell in love with the jailor’s daughter, who often visited him. He concluded the romantic greeting with “from your valentine” which is still used till this day. We celebrate February 14th because that was the day St. Valentine was executed.
Whether this is true or not and I believe it to be true, I don’t see how Valentine’s Day has turned into what it is today. Girls everywhere are upset like my younger self because they don’t have a valentine. If they do have a valentine, there is so much added pressure placed on the other person to deliver the Valentine’s Day of their dreams. I am guilty of building up the day so much only to be let down, why do we do this? Asking ourselves, will I get flowers? Will I get jewelry? Where will we go to dinner? What should I wear? Why doesn’t Hallmark have the perfect card for how I’m feeling? And my all-time favorite (sense the sarcasm?), will I get engaged? Gag me with a spoon. (Valley Girl reference. Anyone?- see SJP?)
Now I’m not knocking anyone who has gotten engaged on Valentine’s Day. I can only hope that it was at night, maybe 12:01AM? Or the one proposing created a diversion, acting as if they forgot it was Valentine’s Day and when you are brought to tears because all they made was Ramen Noodles, they pop the question. I just cannot get down with the cliché dinner proposals on Valentine’s Day. Some people are really into it and that is perfectly fine, but I feel spontaneity is the spice of life. Don’t be like everyone else. She is going to expect it! We as women have no control over when it is going to happen (unless you are the one proposing in which case, you go girl), but typically we are not to blame for the Valentine’s Day engagements. It is the men taking advice from their brilliant friends. Listen up fella’s, do NOT do it! While you might receive a standing ovation, what you don’t see are those people like myself sitting, chugging their wine, rolling their eyes, secretly wishing she says, “No”. Why not yesterday? Why not tomorrow? Why not in the privacy of your own home or with family? It’s time to be a bit more creative.
I believe what we fail to realize and what makes me upset, is the same time and effort put into all the preparation for this one specific day, could also be placed on any day. I think some people might hold off expressing feelings, showing their gratitude for their lover, gift giving, and all those good things until Valentine’s Day. You know if you want, Valentine’s Day could be any day. I believe Valentine’s Day should be all the time, minus the fancy name. I understand many people are busy. Our society is very busy and maybe because Valentine’s Day is a recognized holiday, you are able to take a break to celebrate, but this goes to the point that I made earlier, be spontaneous! There is no need to hold all of your cards until Valentine’s Day. If you are in love, every day is like a holiday. If you aren’t in a relationship, do not feel bad on this one silly day. This Valentine’s Day is not going to define you. It really means nothing! Everyone else is acting super-duper lovey because they didn’t find the time to do it every other day of the year. You are actually better off.
I do not think St. Valentine chose to put his life in jeopardy for us to pull out the big guns, demonstrating our love only for one day. He was a romantic, he loved love much like I do and felt like there should be no restrictions when it comes to love. May we think of St. Valentine this whole month, this whole year and not just this Valentine’s Day. Tomorrow buy your loved one flowers, make a nice homemade meal, tonight tell them how you feel. Love today, love tomorrow, next week… go on and spread that love!
Sorry if this sounds bitter at all, blame Mr. Howell/Howe 🙂