Valentine’s Day: The Human Experience
February 14th is almost here and all I can think about is how completely subjective the experience can be.
When I was a kid I moved at least 12 times. Over the course of my mandatory public education I went to 9 different schools, 3 of which were high schools. Valentine’s Day transitioned from a fun craft day full of cards and candy exchanges in elementary school to something totally different in high school. What it was in high school is sort of what it’s like in adult life.
Outwardly, people fell into different groups. There were those who claimed indifference. There were those who worried about having dates. There were couples who exchanged gifts and romantic gestures. There were girls who reclaimed the day for themselves, Galentine’s Day, and celebrated with their friends. There were those who were anti-Valentine’s, either claiming it to be a commercialized holiday or just plain dumb.
Does this sound familiar to this day?
What gets my head spinning is thinking about the people who loudly project where they stand. Those who make a point to declare their indifference, or how dumb the holiday is, or that they are having anti-love or monster movie marathons, you get me thinking really hard. Do you actually feel that way? If you do, that’s totally fine. As a person who enjoys cute pink and red heart aesthetics, I’m not even bothered that you do.
I just wonder, are you projecting these opinions out there because you actually feel that way? Or because you don’t?
If you don’t, that’s okay too. Sometimes it’s easier to feign indifference or disdain to hide something incredibly awful: loneliness. It doesn’t even have to be on a romantic level.
When I was in the 10th grade, at another new school, the faculty had this Valentine’s Day service. You could purchase individual carnations to be delivered during class hours to students on the actual day. Proceeds went towards a good cause. I remember sitting in class during the delivery time wondering if I was going to get one from someone. I figured I wouldn’t but couldn’t help hoping. Lots of students were getting them. Some girls were getting several. People weren’t just sending them to their crushes, they were also sending them to their friends. I didn’t receive any flowers.
Nevermind crushes. Always being the new girl, I’d never really had close friends. I didn’t even get Galentine’s Day! I remember that twist in the stomach feeling. I remember telling myself Valentine’s Day was stupid. I was really sad.
Later on I was also privy to romantics, as well as a broken heart. Such things can easily convert into a “fuck Valentine’s Day” attitude.
This year I have no plans and I’m not even fazed by it. Valentine’s Day got me thinking really hard about love. All sorts of love. I’m currently privileged with a lot of love in my life. It didn’t use to be this way, but I have some of the best friends in the world. I’m now the girl with a handful of carnations (which is so cheesy I’m making myself gag).
I’m allowed to feel how I want to feel and so are you. Don’t be afraid to show it. Wear your heart on your sleeve. Talk about it. Just as important, really listen to people when they talk. Try a little empathy. Loneliness is something we can all relate to in one way or another. When people share their real feelings, listen. Be kind to each other.
What I’m getting at, I suppose, is that Valentine’s Day can be pretty great. For some of us, though, it can be really terrible. It’s completely subjective and it’s important to keep that in mind.