Lost in Love: Valentine's Day Edition
Valentine’s Day. It is a consumer-based holiday that happens on February 14th of every year that promotes celebrating the love between two people. Typically, cards, flowers, and chocolates are exchanged. As a child, your teachers in elementary school as you to create baskets for all the valentines you’ll collect from your classmates. As an adult, the day means three-course meals, gift exchanges, and lingerie. Every year, I always receive a little present from my parents and the day passes me by like any other day.
My distinct dislike for the holiday stems from bad memories throughout elementary school. As most of you know, elementary school wasn’t the easiest for me. I was bullied. A lot. Valentine’s Day definitely didn’t help that. I remember one year (I think it was grade five), I brought enough valentines for all my classmates. They were Looney Tunes themed. And at the end of the day, when everyone was collecting their baskets, I had none. Not one person in my class gave me a single card or valentine. Maybe it was an elaborate plan from my bullies to isolate me even more but from that day onward, I despised Valentine’s Day.
In grade seven, I had a massive crush on a boy. By this time, we were young teenagers and instead of sending gimmicky cards, we sent candy grams. These were little gifts that you could purchase from the school (candy, roses, chocolate) that would get sent anonymously to the receiver. I remember buying a bunch for my friends and for my crush. When Valentine’s Day rolled around, the “cupid” came to our class and handed everyone their candy grams. All the girls in my class easily received 5-7 from different suitors and friends. I guess my friends didn’t get the memo (or my crush) because I didn’t receive any. I was the only person in my class without a candy gram. This was when I learned not to expect anything from anyone.
Years passed by. Every year throughout high school, the grams would be sent (which were now different coloured roses) and I wouldn’t receive any. But I expected that. But as you get older, the young crushes turn into relationships and big celebrations of love. In the cafeteria, girls would be serenaded by groups of handsome men. My friends would find their lockers full of flowers. Every year, it got harder and became more evident how single I really was.
Once I graduated, I thought it would get easier but social media evolved and made it easier to see the big declarations of love from couples. I remember one year I became so sick of the holiday that I decided to make something good out of it. My sister and I went through the drive-thru’s of Starbucks, Tim Horton’s and McDonald’s buying cars behind us their meals. We donated money to charities. We spread love in our own way. That was the last year before my sister started going to LA in the winters though. Valentine’s Day became a day alone again.
The first year I celebrated Valentine’s Day in a relationship was last year. We didn’t do anything extravagant but I remember him specifically asking me to be his valentine and I was happy. I really cared about Oliver. But it turns out he cared more about partying, drugs, and alcohol than he ever cared about me. He was the one valentine I was happy to let go of.
I think the main reason I find myself sad on Valentine’s Day is because I become more and more aware that I’ve never had a meaningful relationship that I would be happy to celebrate the day with. Every year it becomes more apparent that I’ve spent my entire life (pretty much) single. It hits me hard that each year I get older, I may find it more difficult to find the love I’m looking for. I was told by three different guys in 2017 that they didn’t want to date me yet because I was the type of girl they saw themselves marrying. While I should take that as a massive compliment, don’t I deserve love too? Don’t I deserve a Valentine’s Day with flowers, chocolate, cards, and a big celebration of love?
When it all boils down to it, I would rather spend the other 364 days of the year loving someone than celebrate one day of the year where I am loved. Besides, I would SO much rather celebrate Galentine’s Day created by the wonderful, Leslie Knope. This year, I’ll be in Disneyland for Galentine’s Day with my best friend… My sister. And for Valentine’s Day? We’ll probably be at a bar somewhere during happy hour, getting tipsy and celebrating our love for ourselves and each other. For all my single ladies out there reading this, Valentine’s Day is just another day in the year. Go do something that YOU love doing and that makes you happy. You don’t need the grand gestures. They’re for pansies anyways.
Credit for Artwork to OssuariumFloreus of Etsy