It’s Okay If You Don’t Celebrate Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is one of my least favorite holidays. The whole holiday consumerist culture thing to prove your love for your significant other on VDay gets under my skin. The pressure to show the love — not from our loved ones — but from society, that’s the part of VDay that I genuinely despise.
I used to feel a little weird about this and stayed silent on social media during the day. My husband, David, and I would maybe do something or maybe not.
Honestly, I don’t remember specifically special years when we’ve done VDay stuff. It’s not our jam. Apparently, we went out for coffee and alcohol about 12 years ago. This came up over a recent phone call with my dad who’d received an email reminder that he could purchase another gift card for us to use at Hodges Bend. I’m sure we didn’t use the previous gift card on VDay, because neither of us likes crowded bars or restaurants.
I did vaguely recollect sipping evening coffee while David had some fancy mixed drink later in the year at Hodges Bend. The bar was quiet — it was probably a weeknight. That was nice.
Now, I publicly embrace my unease with the proverbial holiday of love. For the last few Valentines, I’ve posted art by Banksy on my social media feeds. The art depicts a woman throwing up hearts. It’s called “Lovesick.” It tickles me to celebrate VDay in this vehemently anti-Valentine’s visual message.
I think Banksy would share my disdain for the consumerism that goes along with VDay. Banksy is an anonymous antiauthoritarian English graffiti artist who gained popularity in the 1990s. I consider him to be anti-consumerism and counter-culture as well. I’m not sure if “Lovesick” was created as an anti-homage to Valentine’s Day, but that’s how I interpret it.
Fuck the capitalistic, consumeristic pressure of VDay.
Many years ago, a boyfriend got me a teddy bear for VDay. I’ve blocked out most of that horrible relationship, but I’m pretty sure he stole it for me. Yeah. That did not make my heart go pitter-patter. I got him a bottle of booze. He drank way too much. That bottle just hurt his feelings.
The societal and marketing pressure on couples to show each other our undying love for one another on Valentine’s Day is bullshit.
Love changes. It means different things for different people. There is an ebb and flow to it, just like with all passions in life. As couples, we’re all quite unique. For myself and my husband, Valentine’s Day feels like another chore to check off the keeping up with the Joneses to-do list. No thanks.
Love is a year-round, whole relationship thing! If you want to celebrate it on a special day, cool! It doesn’t have to be VDay though.
Mostly, I feel disdain for VDay, but there’s a small part of my gruff heart that knows there’s a place for it.
I respect the couples who do love to celebrate. My dad and stepmom married on VDay. I hitchhiked for the first (and hopefully last time) that year, so VDay, when I was 12, was pretty memorable. This year, they’ll celebrate 29 years. I don’t have an issue forgetting their anniversary.
It’s fun watching our kids’ faces light up as they go through small goodie bags VDay morning and retrieve a little bit of candy and fun keepsakes. It breaks up the monotony of our freezing winter a little bit, too.
David’s birthday is a few days after Valentine’s. At first, this felt like extra pressure. It was a chore to figure out our VDay and then his BDay. Thankfully neither of us speak the love language of gifts hardly at all. We both top the list with acts of service.
If I really want to brighten David’s day, I’ll do all the laundry, clean the kitchen, sweep, and vacuum (things I don’t do on the regular). If I really, really want to show him my love, I’ll attack my stacks of clutter that drive him bananas.
And, if he really wants to brighten my VDay? He’ll cook amazing food. Lots of amazing food. And, maybe he’ll do a little cleaning, too.
Last year, I didn’t celebrate VDay besides posting Banksy, but I did go to my first Galentine’s Day party. That was a lot of fun! I hung out with all women friends, talked, laughed, and got henna art on my arm!
So, how are we going to celebrate this strange Covid VDay?
Our 10-year-old daughter is participating in a socially distanced school exchange of Valentine’s cards and candy. Her principal has planned a drive-through Valentine’s Day parade. It’s looking like it may be canceled due to the arctic blast that’s come our way, but I sure appreciate his willingness to think outside the box and add some normalcy for our children during Covid-Valentine’s.
Our 13-year-old son and our daughter will get little goodies on the dining room table when they wake up on VDay. I need to get on ordering them. I’m a procrastinator…What can I say? (Sidebar, I’m ordering David’s Bday present with these gifts, too!).
I’ll post Banksy on IG and Facebook, maybe I’ll expand to Twitter and LinkedIn this year, to share my disgust for the holiday. I’ve found that other people appreciate my opinion.
As far as me and David? We’ll play it by ear. We’ve never liked going out on VDay. Who wants to be in a restaurant on the most crowded day of the year?Not us.
Possibilities include: Getting naked and doing the horizontal tango, cleaning for each other, making food for each other and eating at the table, possibly a little champagne, wine or beer — we hardly drink anymore, so that’d be special, or we may wake up and decide we’re not in the mood for any of that.
This Covid-Valentine’s will be very similar to the last nineteen February 14ths David and I have spent together. We’ll go with the flow and see how the day plays out. That’s how we roll with Valentine’s Day now and it works for us.