Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The obligatory Valentine's Day post

Around this time of year, my facebook newsfeed blows up with people talking about how romantic and amazing Valentine's Day is, all of whom are counteracted by all those cynics who are bitter about it and refer to it as "singles awareness day," or something.

And now that I've written that, I bet you're wondering which category I'm in!


I am about to drop some serious knowledge on this blog: Almost without fail, everyone with V-Day-related facebook statuses fail to consider the fact that it's also called SAINT Valentine's Day and was originally a day honoring sacrifice and martyrdom.  The martyrs the day is specifically referring to were called Valentines who wouldn't renounce Christianity and were persecuted and died, etc.  It only became associated with romance and love when Geoffrey Chaucer referenced the day in a love poem.  The line where it talks about Valentine's day is such a quick little reference that I can't BELIEVE how seriously people took it at the time.  So seriously in fact, that it turned February 14th into a day about love.  All it says is something like on Valentine's Day is when birds go find their mates.  So there are a number of problems with that whole thing: one, VALENTINE'S ARE PEOPLE WHO WERE KILLED FOR THEIR BELIEFS, and two, WHY DID EVERYONE AUTOMATICALLY ASSUME THAT CHAUCER WAS REFERRING TO FEBRUARY 14TH?!?!!?!?  That makes no sense.  BIRDS DON'T MATE IN LATE WINTER!!!!  I mean, come ON.

(I also really can't stand those candy hearts- they don't even taste good!)

ALSO, the Saints Valentine were obviously NOT AMERICAN, because Columbus hadn't even discovered America when they were off being martyrs.  Joan of Arc hadn't shown up yet and no one had ever heard of the BUBONIC PLAGUE when they were off being martyrs (well I guess no one really heard of the bubonic plague until they stopped calling it the black death, but still...).  I believe that two of the main Valentines were Roman, and I couldn't find anything specifically about how today is celebrated in Rome, but in a lot of other places in Europe, it's either on a different day, for a different reason, or not really at all.

Anyway, I don't like that Valentine's Day has now become a day about getting your significant other chocolate and flowers.  And it's also become a day when people who don't have a person to give chocolate or flowers to get all sad and watch romantic comedies and eat chocolate by themselves (although I might go watch Chocolat now because I'm thinking about it).  It's become another way for Hallmark and EVERYWHERE ELSE to make money and it honestly means NOTHING to me.  Last time I had a boyfriend on Valentine's Day, I didn't even spend money on his gift.  I mean, I made him something, but it just felt so lame because it's just another day (I also might've felt indifferent about it because I broke up with him 2 weeks later anyway...).  It feels like a desperate attempt for people to hear that they are loved.  I'm sorry, but I tell my family that I love them all the time and vice versa.  I even tell my friends that I love them.  It sucks that some people need that kind of excuse to say and show how they feel.

The main thing I with which I associate Valentine's Day this year is the one-year anniversary of my first tattoo (complete coincidence), and what could have been the day that I could finally give blood again, but I've gotten more tattoos since then so I guess I'll have to wait until next September to help out the Red Cross.

MOM, I want you to know that none of my vehement irritation at this holiday means that I didn't totally LOVE the annual poem you sent me today.  It put a huge smile on my face.

So see?  I'm not super bitter about Valentine's Day, but I think it's a bit overdone and unfortunate that no one really thinks about the irony of the fact that it was originally about self-sacrifice.  And I also think that a lot of people tend to celebrate Valentine's Day, not necessarily because they actually care about someone.  THAT I think is the biggest problem I have with Valentine's Day in concept.  Next time I actually  have a romantic person to celebrate Valentine's Day with, at least I'll celebrate it and be educated on what's really going on.

I apologize if this post seems angry or pretentious or bitter or cynical or anything.  I absolutely appreciate the sentiment behind the holiday.  Promise.

I don't actually care what people do on Valentine's Day, but I do have an opinion about it and I felt obliged to write about it today because let's face it; everyone's thinking about it.

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