Valentine's Day, no thanks

It may come as a shock to some, but beneath this hard exterior and this mountain man inspired look I have going on, is a big softy.

I'm a hopeless romantic, and while it's tough for me to admit that publicly, it’s always been true. One might think that with the holiday coming up, I would be excited, but I'm not, I actually don't care about Valentine's Day.

My negative views towards Valentine's Day weren't born out of jealousy or loneliness. Back when I was a single guy, I wasn't one of those people who hated the holiday. I genuinely enjoy when people enjoy themselves, and if Valentine's Day brings you and yours happiness, then who am I to try and persuade you otherwise?

I guess being single allowed me to not have to worry about getting gifts, making extravagant plans, and it basically spoiled me. Valentine’s Day felt just like any other day growing up. Sure, we had the Valentine’s Day parties in school when we’re younger, but even then, I wasn’t necessarily counting my Valentine's cards.

It probably doesn’t help that my younger brother was born on Valentine’s Day. Feb. 14 was always his day. It belonged to him and the others rushing together plans to create one special night.

The National Retail Federation is expecting that this year’s spending will reach a record of $27.4 billion. And that is why Valentine’s Day is the way that is, and why it will never change.

I know that there are those out there who care more about the effort behind the gift, rather than the price tag. Those people are gifts in themselves.

I’m not even arguing against the effort of getting a Valentine’s Day gift for someone. I guess what it really boils down to is being expected to, almost through societal peer-pressure, give a hoot about Valentine’s Day.

There are those who say that a person should show you they love you on everyday, and not just Valentine’s Day, and that’s absolutely true. If you’re only being showered with gifts and admiration on a day in which the calendar dictates, then you may want to re-evaluate your relationship status. The same could be said for anniversaries and birthdays too. Effort is the name of the game, and love through effort shouldn’t be dictated by what day of the year it is.

Then there is the whole other side of Valentine’s Day, being the gift receiver. What happens if you don’t get the thing you wanted, or you’re the one person in the office who doesn’t get a bouquet delivered to them?

Valentine’s Day is a bully of a holiday. It comes around once a year to either shame you into spending more than you need to, or kick you while you’re down and single. Do we really need to invite that stress into our lives, just to give a quick shot to the economy? I don’t think so.

Valentine’s days will come and go, and I’ll keep getting annoyed by it, all the while claiming it doesn’t really bother me. So in the spirit of all of that, and everything else, Happy Birthday, bro.

Jarrod Mills is a staff writer for the Times-Tribune. He can be contacted at jmills@thetimestribune.com

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