How I despise this holiday. Just to be clear, this feeling does not stem from the lack of a significant other. I have hated this holiday from the first time I celebrated it in Kindergarten. The western tradition of St. Valentine’s day is nothing more than a celebration of corporate exploitative greed designed to line their own pockets.
In Kindergarten we exchanged valentines. Those little mass-produced cards featuring the faces of our favorite sesame street muppet or cartoon star with their oh too cute messages of friendship and infantile love. I got none. As we went through school it became a popularity contest. There were those who received so many their decorated shoe box was almost overflowing. Then there were those, like myself, who got a few token valentines from people who felt bad knowing we did not get any. Part of me is glad our schools don’t let this kind of thing happen anymore. Everyone knows the sting when you did not get the valentine from someone you liked. And I would be willing to wager we equally know the horror of getting the valentine from someone we did not like. Somewhere along the line I decided not to participate in the ritual parade of my social ineptitudes.
The first time since school I felt the need to give a valentine I decided to do something wholly unexpected: I made my girlfriend a valentine. I spent days working on the design and coming up with the right words. Along with the card I gave her a single purple tulip I found from a garden several blocks away. I thought since I made it and went to the effort to find her favorite flower in her favorite color, she would at least be appreciative, but no. After receiving these things she asked where her real present was. Up from the devastation in my heart through the bubbling rage in my voice I told her she was not getting one. Ever. Again. And then promptly I left the room.
I swore valentine’s day off at that point. Even with my last girlfriend who I loved dearly and very passionately; I flatly refused to participate in the holiday.
Every year decorations and cards for valentine’s day go up earlier and earlier. Christmas had not even come and Wal-Mart already began lining their shelves with Cupid’s merchandise. The really sad thing is, once you start buying valentine’s day gifts, you have to keep buying them. And you can’t keep buying the same one. You have to buy something different, unique, just like all the other stuff there is to buy, or you have to continuously outdo your previous purchases.
Give me someone: who would be grateful to have a significant other in their life who takes time out of their day to think of nothing and no one but them, who does not have to have every little thing the corporate conglomerate says you have to have in order to feel loved, and who is not so jealous of what others have they can not appreciate what is right in front of them.
I spit on what the corporate giants have done to this holiday. A holiday with no ties to the people it is named after. A holiday only recognized by the entities who stand to make the most off of its plundering: Corporate America.