It is once again that time of year where curmudgeons pump out articles about hating Valentine’s Day as if it’s an original idea. And in doing so they just show how wrong they are. Valentine’s Day is great. It’s nice. It’s a nice thing that people can look forward to in a bleak month. And, maybe because it’s seen as girly and pink and flowery, it gets guff that no other holiday does.
Look, I’m familiar with all the arguments people use to justify their hatred. Here’s a brief list, and some responses I would probably be too polite to ever make in person.
It’s a commercial holiday!
Yes. Most holidays that have rituals associated with them inspire people to buy some products, even if those products are just a large turkey. You think companies aren’t profiting off those weird sunglasses that they sell on New Year’s Eve? The ones that still have 0s in the eyes even though it’s 2019, and that just really should have ended a decade ago? Don’t worry, they are. And there’s no way those are a smarter purchase than a box of chocolates. If you can’t imagine paying money to get your beloved some nice flowers for Valentine’s Day but can imagine going out and buying literally any store-bought costume from Party City for Halloween, then I suspect your thrift isn’t the actual issue you have with the holiday.
It’s Still a Greeting Card Holiday, Isn’t It
Oh, I don’t even have to take this one. I can just quote my friend Alana Massey, who wrote on this topic for The Guardian. She notes:
In a world where you have your pick of Shell Oil and the Koch Brothers and Walmart, the real problem with the world is Hallmark Cards, Inc? They’re a family-owned company based in Missouri…find a better hill to die on, friends.
A Meal Costs More at a Restaurant on Valentine’s Day Than It Does Other Days
I mean, yes. Again, it’s a holiday.
- Those restaurants sometimes make a little chocolate cake heart-shaped, so I will give them all my money, because that’s cute.
- Restaurants offer specials for every conceivable holiday. Here is a list of restaurants I guess you can patronize for St. Patrick’s Day. The restaurant industry, which is filled with people of all stripes doing tremendously hard work—for tips—is hardly one I’m going to begrudge for capitalizing on something they realize might draw in customers. They thought about the needs of people dining out on that night and designed some specials for them. Cool. Good for them. I’ll happily pay a little extra to go out on a holiday and eat a piece of cake cut to look like a heart. Or a shamrock shake. Whichever.
It Discriminates Against Single People
How the hell are you existing in the world if you think every holiday is for every single person? I’m sure the British aren’t crazy about July 4th, a holiday specifically designed to commemorate kicking their asses, but they bear on, with a stiff upper lip. Non-dads seem to make it through Father’s Day without screaming “this holiday should also be for me.”
But, some people will say, holidays to celebrate parents are fine because parenting takes work. Well, so do relationships. Maintaining a long term partnership with one person is wonderful. It’s a huge blessing, and, hopefully a source of tremendous joy. But sharing a life means that, sometimes, romance has to take a backseat to getting the laundry done, cleaning the dishes, and taking care of the kids. The exciting nights out you might have planned when you were dating get—not unhappily—replaced with nights curled up on the couch sharing ice cream and watching Netflix.
And that’s great, a vast majority of the time. But it is nice to have a few societally sanctioned nights where you act, once again, the way you did when you were first dating. You can have one night where you sit over a slightly corny candle at a nice restaurant, and look at your partner, and remember how you saw them in those first early days. In a hectic world where it’s sometimes hard to put aside time for romance, it’s nice to have a day where it’s celebrated.
I Am Too Cool to Ever Expect My Partner to do Anything so Silly as Celebrate Valentine’s Day
In my experience, people who insist on expecting absolutely nothing from their partners just get a string of crappy partners.
I Do Not NEED Valentine’s Day Because I Celebrate Romance Every Day of the Year
Wow, well, that’s great, for you. But if most of us were going out for an elegant dinner and wearing elaborate, sexy underwear every night of the year we’d be broke and have a lot of yeast infections.