Whenever Valentine’s Day comes around, I can’t help but roll my eyes. More than I usually do. I don’t like the holiday, and it isn’t because I’m bitter. In fact, I practically live for those cheesy Valentine’s Day Hallmark movies. They’re just so cute, but that’s not the point.
It’s nothing but a cookie-cutter holiday created by Hallmark. (I am so sorry Hallmark; I still love you.)
According to Eric Leigh Schmidt who examines St. Valentine’s Day in his article “The Fashioning of a Modern Holiday: St. Valentine’s Day, 1840-1870,” “…the reconfiguration of St. Valentine’s Day suggests the reshaping of popular ritual in terms of vast markets, private exchanges, and standardized commodities.”
I just don’t understand the real purpose of the holiday. We expect our significant others to do something fantastic for us one day out of the year. What about the other 364 days? I realize that this makes me sound very high-maintenance, but your significant other should pamper you all the time, not just on Feb. 14. All the time. OK, now I am definitely high-maintenance.
According to Psychology Today, Valentine’s Day can often lead to dissatisfaction. With social media, it is expected that most of us will come across a post about what a couple did for Valentine’s Day. It is not unlikely for people to become jealous and start comparing what they did to what others did.
“These comparisons can lead to dissatisfaction about our own way of celebrating, even if it was perfectly enjoyable and satisfying in the moment,” says Jonathan Fader, psychologist and writer for Psychology Today.
Valentine’s Day is a day that simply brings out the jealousy or pettiness in people. I saw a lot of this while I was in high school. Girls would complain when their boyfriends didn’t plan an elaborate date for them. I almost see Valentine’s Day as a form of catty competition. The romance is on the bottom of the list while extravagance and expense take first place. It’s a holiday that is managed by the heads of Hallmark greeting cards and Hershey’s chocolate to get money.
It’s not a life-or-death situation if your significant other bought you a candy bar, and your best friend’s boyfriend bought him or her a diamond necklace. After all, it’s the thought that counts and not the price tag.
If you’re feeling bummed about being single this Valentine’s, fear not! Get a group together and have fun. Or kick it the Leslie Knope way and celebrate “Galentines.” For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, let me explain. “Oh, it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies,” as Amy Poehler’s character on “Parks and Recreation” explains.