For the better part of my life, I thought of myself as having a Valentine's Day curse. Sounds a little dramatic, I know, but hear me out. Something -- always, without fail -- went wrong on Valentine's Day. There were little offenses, like my date forgetting it was Valentine's Day and being two hours late to pick me up, to larger issues such as the time I accidentally backed my car into a brick wall. There was one year in college when I woke up to find my car encased in snow and ice, and thus I was completely unable to get to my Valentine's Day date. But hey, that was probably everyone at my university's curse that year.
It all started when I was in the 7th grade when I wore my first "Valentine's Day" outfit. Being that I was 12, a girl and in Junior High School, I was a target audience for consumerism, i.e V-Day obsession. You remember those little Valentine's Day cards you'd buy in the store? They came in packs of 20 and you'd save the nicest/ biggest one for the person you really liked? "I choo choo choose you." Yeah, I had a box of those cards.
So I put on my white dress with this big, red heart in the middle of it. Topped it off with white stockings (I was 12) and black patent leather (probably plastic) demi-boots. Armed with a box of Conversation Hearts, I was all set to tell the guy I liked how I felt about him. I patiently sat on pins and needles by myself in the cafeteria, waiting for my crush (an 8th grader) to arrive. And finally, five minutes before the bell rang, he sauntered into the cafeteria with not one, but two other 8th grade girls on his arms. My Conversation Hearts did a terrible job at consoling me, and so the V-Day curse began.
After getting sorely disappointment throughout the years with my over-expectations of what Valentine's Day was supposed to be like (thanks a lot, romantic comedies), I began to hate the holiday. By the time I entered high school, I'd show up to class dressed in black. I would exchange sardonic anti-V-Day cards with my single friends, attend anti-Valentine's Day-themed parties and make fun of any of my friends who weren't having a terrible day. You know, just really got into hating it.
Of course, none of this was constructive behavior, but year after year, I would be disappointed by this obnoxious holiday. Every year, I convinced myself that I had a V-Day curse. Other curses have included but were not limited to getting food poisoning after Valentine's Day dinner; getting into a huge fight with my then-boyfriend on the day; the restaurant I planned on going to closed down; planning a trip to Miami and having it rain from the moment I got there until the moment I went home. Seriously, four consecutive days of rain. How?
Not to mention the fact that I'm from NYC, so it was always around 20 degrees in February. So, for about 15 years, I have had a crummy Valentine's Day.
Eventually, I got old enough to realize that I was wasting my energy hating something so irrelevant. Something that I still, to this day, think of as a holiday invented by the greeting card company, ignoring all historical facts about Saint Valentine. But there really was no reason for me to hate it.
I'm older now, and I like to think wiser, and I want to share some reasons not to make such a big deal out of Valentine's Day. Whether you're upset because you're solo or you are in a relationship and your expectations weren't matched with reality, here are six reason's not to let Valentine's Day bring you down:
1. It literally lasts only one day. After February 14 comes the 15 and V-day will be quickly forgotten. And even if you were very sad on that day because you didn't have a date, you will feel a lot better as soon as it's over.
2. No one is having as good of a time as you think they are. It's not like it is in the movies. Mostly, it's just a little awkward.
3. If you are in a relationship, your anniversary is so much more special then Valentine's Day. V-Day is celebrated by everyone, but your anniversary is your own private day to show each other how much you care.
4. Candy is ridiculously reduced the next day.
5. If you don't have a date, you're saving a ton of money by not having to buy a gift. Go buy yourself something nice instead.
6. If you DO go out on V-day and have a terrible night, in time you'll be able to look back at it and laugh. At the very least a year from now, you'll have a good story to tell.