I look forward to February 14th as much as a visit to the gynecologist.
Just like the annual pap smear, this day is uncomfortable, full of anxiety but goes by quickly. Then you forget about the experience until the following year.
I wasn’t always public enemy one against Valentine’s Day.
In fact, I have fond childhood memories of giving and receiving cards in elementary school.
But those romantic ideals quickly dissipated in high school.
In grade 9, I had a serious crush on Nostril Boy*. We never spoke one word to each other. He didn’t even look my way once. But somehow in my delusional mind, I thought it would be a good idea to give him a wine glass filled with red and white jelly beans.
After school on Valentine’s Day, I deployed my BFF Sarah to give the gift to him. I went to bed that night thinking I was a genius creating a conversational starter for Nostril Boy to thank me.
The next day, I strutted down the hallway anticipating my first encounter with him. Instead, people were looking and giggling at me like I had toilet paper stuck on my shoe.
It was worse…
Sarah came up to me “Nostril Boy gave the jelly beans to his mom and told everyone you were stupid to give a gift to someone you’ve never spoke to.”
I don’t remember much after that conversation because I ran away and hid in my locker until graduation.
Fast forward to my mid-20’s, my friend Jen and I started our own Valentine’s Day tradition by having dinner with each other – whether we were single or in a relationship.
One year, I was working late and couldn’t meet up for dinner until later. I picked her up and drove to our nearby fave Vietnamese restaurant. It was 8:55PM and we saw this schmuck walk out of Zellers with those cheap heart-shaped box of chocolates.
Jen and I laughed joking that it was a real tragedy whoever was receiving those chocolates was dating such a loser. To my horror, it was my boyfriend.
We broke up three weeks later.
It hasn’t been all doom and gloom. I’ve had plenty of lovely Valentine’s Day including a boyfriend who sent a bouquet of roses to my office. But it was more to spite a single colleague he knew I hated.
Revenge can be romantic!
My point is that this is another day set aside to glorify and overindulge in consumerism – cards, flowers, chocolate, candies and Tiffany’s.
However, it is also a day to share our love and gratitude to family, friends and ourselves.
At least you’re not a mistress, this has got to be the most depressing day for them.
What are you doing on Valentine’s Day?
*name has been changed to protect his identity and pseudonyms are more fun