Dear Valentine’s Day,
You’re kind of a bully; don’t you think so? You pressure poor men into finding the “perfect” gift for their sweetheart, the perfect box of chocolates and right shade of roses, the perfect reservation at a restaurant where the food is most likely overpriced and the decorations are most likely bright pink and tacky. You send us all into a frenzy in the greeting card aisle, searching for the precise sentiment of love to seal up and stamp to mail off to loved ones. You promote the image of a scantily clad baby wielding a bow and arrow as the bringer of “love” (come on, that’s just not right).
Sure, I can see your pros, too: you promote a reckless abandon toward love. You allow us to give in to the feelings of being weak in the knees, having butterflies in your stomach, and every other cliche in the book. You make us all sentimental and mushy. You increase the awareness of heart-shaped items, and you give Hallmark a booming profit while you’re at it. (You also give me an excuse to buy chocolates at half-price with no regrets come February 15th.)
But here’s my gripe with you: why do you think we should only celebrate love on this specific day once a year?
Who told you that love was conditional, that you need flowers, candy, and greeting cards to be happy with your significant other? Who said you have to make an impression on February 14th, or else you’re in the doghouse for a week? Who gave you the impression that love should be spotlighted in the middle of this month instead of every single day of the year?
Love is abundant and overflowing. It knows no barriers; typically, it cannot be contained. So why do we contain some of the most loving and kind gestures for today? Better yet, why do we contain them simply for the “romantic” interest in our lives? (This is where you run into Single’s Awareness Day territory. Yup, you’ve gone so far as to create another “holiday” where people feel sorry for themselves. How does that make you feel?)
So, let’s pull you out of this hole you’re digging. Let’s aim to promote love all-year round. All 365 days. Now you’re shaking in your boots, aren’t you VDay?
Whether it’s a letter mailed off to a distant relative, a phone call once a week to check in with your best friend, paying for someone else’s coffee at Starbucks, having a spontaneous girl’s night, or treating yourself to a new pair of shoes, show a little love in the every, every day. In the nitty-gritty moments. In the moments when American Greetings, Ferrero Rocher, and Cupid aren’t all breathing down your neck. Strip all of the commercialism away and have the gestures come solely from your heart.
“Do everything in love.”
1 Corinthians 16:14
It really could be that simple.