I can’t remember why I started hating Valentine’s Day at the tender age of 12. It might have been the fact that I was the only female to not receive a pink carnation from a secret admirer in homeroom, or maybe that I was in my fourth year of wearing braces and the only person who’d ever expressed interest in me was the boy whose body odor was so horrendous that teachers based their seating charts around him.
I just remember feeling like a true original when I told my friends’ boyfriends that I was anti-love as I drew an ‘x’ over a clip-art Cupid in computer class.
Bitterness, I would soon realize, is not becoming. And it’s certainly not original.
Everyone hates Valentine’s Day, and there’s endless evidence. (As I write this in Starbucks, a girl behind me is telling her friend that it’s the “stupidest holiday ever.”)
“Happy unimaginative, consumerism-oriented and entirely arbitrary, manipulative and shallow interpretation of romance day,” reads a greeting card for sale on Etsy.
One New York City sewage plant is offering tours for lovers today. Women nationwide host Anti-Valentine’s Day parties. The Los Angeles Times even ran a story last week about how global warming is causing a sharp decline in cocoa production, making this holiday bitter for the single and smitten alike.
It’s not just single people who are coming up with these news stories and sewage tours. Even some of the most in-love romantics think this holiday is a joke.
“It’s just a money-making scheme,” my friend Mike, who’s hopelessly in love with his girlfriend, told me. Tonight, his plans include “Criminal Minds” and Easy Mac.
I don’t know what’s happened to me over the past few years, but my Valentine’s Day hatred has shrunken so significantly that Feb. 14 is now one of my favorite days, and my relationship status hasn’t affected it since eighth grade. Now I love Valentine’s Day, and this is why:
1. Feb. 15, AKA the Day Heart-Shaped Reese’s Cups Are 75 Percent Off Self-explanatory.
2. Hanging out with happy couples “My favorite about Valentine’s Day this year was having my apartment filled with my roomies’ boyfriends,” my friend Vivian told me Sunday. “They are such happy couples.” Little is sweeter (or rarer) than liking the significant others your best friends choose, except for maybe having the privilege of seeing the happiness they provide each other.
3. Latin-Greek Valentine sale at Lalumiere Forget what you heard: Hallmark did not create this holiday. It’s been celebrated since Geoffrey Chaucer roamed the earth. But if you remain convinced of the consumerism conspiracy, these handmade cards benefit nobody but Eta Sigma Phi and the Classics Club of Marquette. And they’re cool! Buy some for friends.
4. Pink Midwestern Februaries are no more picturesque than the Cuyahoga River. Something about pink streamers and balloons, plus heart-shaped window decals and Starbucks cups decorations make monotonous gray days more merry.
5. Awkward Family Photos: Valentine’s edition What’s a more resonant reminder of the perks of singleness than a picture of a couple in their underwear, adoring at the pregnant woman’s belly tattoo of their baby’s fetus?
6. Reconnecting with far-away friends and family Every year, my grandma sends me a Valentine and a $20 bill and I call her just to chat — something I rarely think to do at any other point throughout the year. “Happy Valentine’s Day!” texts are usually sent to high school friends, too, which spark some long-overdue updates of our lives.
7. An excuse to celebrate I stopped hating Valentine’s Day when I realized that it’s about celebrating everyone you love, romantically or platonically. Whether that translates into a dance party in red tights or a bottle of pink champagne, I believe in going all out on this day, no matter whose honor it is in.