Dear Valentine’s Day

Dear Valentine’s Day,

Our relationship was rocky from the start, Valentine’s Day.  While I found joy in your candy and school parties, I also felt a bit sad when you rolled around.  I have a summer birthday, meaning that I could bring treats to school to celebrate on my half birthday.  Well my half-birthday is you, February 14th, and I never actually got to celebrate my birthday at school. What a bummer for an elementary student!

As I grew older, Valentine’s day got weirder.  In middle school, it was the day that the few “couples” the school had would make out by the lockers.  I still thought boys had cooties, so it was pretty disturbing and gross.  Add the fact that we didn’t have Valentine’s Parties at school anymore, and it all equals a pretty lame day.
In high school, I finally had my first boyfriend, and I figured that I would figure out what the big hype about Valentine’s day was.   We were together for all of high school and some of college, and I still never figured it out.  Sure, we exchanged nice gifts and went on dates, but it still felt weird.  Why was there a certain day set aside for everyone to be in love?  Couldn’t that be every day?
I started dating another guy in college. We didn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day.  Neither of us felt that heart-shaped chocolates, expensive meals, and fancy gifts on a certain day was the way to show love to each other.  We just went on dates when we wanted to, not when Hallmark and ‘tradition’ said we had to.  Neither of us were needy or would get upset.  In fact, we would rather go out when there aren’t a bunch of couples pretending everything is great and trying to out-spend each other for the sake of appearances. It was refreshing to not feel obligated to celebrate.
Well that man turned out to be my husband.  He had the same distaste for Valentine’s Day as I did.  We have yet to exchange gifts or go on a real Valentine’s date.  For many years now, we have ‘celebrated’ the day by cooking a yummy meal for another couple who might be too busy to go out and enjoy the day. It’s more fun for us to do something for others on Valentine’s Day, and it is a tradition we hope to continue in the future.

Our 1st Valentine’s meal-making, Valentine’s get together!

We aren’t falling for your tricks, February 14th.  We don’t need your overpriced “Valentine’s Day Deals” to express our love.  That happens every single day in the small gestures that mean a lot more than a required expression of our love.  We know we love each other with or without you.  We’ve decided to stick with doing fun things for others on February 14th.
Although we have stopped buying into your hokey, pink-and-red, flowery scam, some people truly love every part of you, and that’s okay too! And if Valentine’s Day can be a day where we get to serve others, well then I guess you aren’t so bad after all.
Best wishes to you, Valentine’s Day,