You either love it or hate it, look forward to it or dread its arrival. Not the new season of “The Bachelorette” (though I suppose some could argue that this gamut of emotions also holds true for that occurrance), but Valentine’s Day.
Very few holidays – I’d go so far as to say no OTHER holiday – comes complete with the varied spectrum of emotions as does February 14th. We don’t have people wearing black on Christmas or Easter as a way to mourn the arrival of this holiday, yet one could argue that those days are religious in nature, as opposed to Hallmark-inspired. Yet I believe its the very core of the day that wields the dichotomy of emotions, as traditionally this is a day for lovers. As such, some of us who are presently Lovah-free (as I am) find this day to be a bit melancholy. At least, I normally do.
For some reason, I look to Saturday with unusual apathy. While in years past I’ve taken one of two routes – either complete denial or complete sadness (both entailing consuming copious amounts of alcohol) – this year I’m quite unfazed by its arrival. Could I be growing up? Am I accepting that this day is like all others, just with more people being shmoopy, gushy and (admit it) more annoyingly lovey-dovey than usual? Or have I realized that Valentine’s Day should be no different whether you’re single or attached?
I’d say the latter. Though I do love to buy and send Valentines (especially the homemade variety with doilies, glitter and red markers), I don’t really expect much in return. I’ll admit that I’ve bought a little trinket for a friend or roommate or family member in the past (or present – can’t ruin any surprises, you know) yet am not stalking my mailbox for sentiments of affection in return. In fact, I believe the net total of gifts/cards/presents received in the past five years includes flowers from my Dad, flowers from my Mom (yeah yeah, I’m an only child), a drawing of flowers from a guy/quasi-ex, a mix CD from aforementioned guy/quasi-ex, funny cards from friends, but no 1) romantic flowers 2) sappy love letters (which, actually, I don’t think I’ve ever received said sappy love letter. Ever. That’s pretty sad, come to think of it. But I digress…) or 3) lingerie. (Though am happy to provide suggestions…) Still, with the exception of sappy love letters (c’mon, every girl wants at least ONE in her lifetime), I don’t feel like I’m missing out on too much. After all, Valentine’s Day isn’t just a day for lovers, it’s a day to recognize people that you love, friends & family included.
Valentine’s Day speaks to commitment, a commitment that I’m surprised I’m not yet ready to make. There’s something to be said for long-term relationships, but there’s something to be said for harmless flirtation, be it with a neighbor, a new crush or even a far-away friend. Flirtation is innocent as long as you keep it that way, and subtle inuendos are oft-times the impetus for a flip-flopping nervous tummy like no other. Flirtation is fun, and sometimes I’ll happily trade the lazy Sundays in bed for an email chock-full o’ sexual tension.
So as we’re infiltrated with red hearts, cupids, roses and an influx of Victoria’s Secret ads, remember that though this holiday has many interpretations on its origin, I’ll be spending it with good friends, a bottle of red and some no-stakes email banter.
That is, unless I get a better offer…