• Dwan L. Hearn

Why I Don't Celebrate Valentine's Day

In about a month's time, people from all walks of life will be filling restaurants, flower shops, and candy stores to prepare for, in my opinion, the most pointless and meaningless "holiday" there is, Valentine's Day. And this comes from the guy with multiple made-up holidays like Double Day and the guy that celebrates random birthdays because, well, just because. If I say a holiday is pointless, I have a reason.

And if you're reading this, you're here to find out what that reason is.

The short of it: Valentine's Day is a calendar holiday with no "true meaning".

How can you say there's no meaning behind Valentine's? It's all about love!

There you are, random Blog Entity. I know you'd show up. Well, here's what I mean. You have holidays with religious meanings. Despite their historic origins, holidays like Easter, Christmas, Passover, Yom Kippur, Ramadan, and Eid al-Adha have meaning based on one's spiritual beliefs which are significant to a religious person's identity. Holidays like Independence Day, Juneteenth, Patriot Day, and Cinco de Mayo have historic significance. Something happened on a certain day and that day is remembered and celebrated.

As for Valentine's Day's origin, it's thought that the holiday was named for one of three saints named either Valentine or Valentinus, all of which were martyred. Other thoughts are that Valentine's Day was the "Christianized" celebration of Lupercalia, a Pagan festival of Fertility dedicated to the Roman God of Agriculture, Faunus along with the mythical founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus, which is celebrated on the 15th of February.

Valentine's Day would be deemed as such in the late 5th century by Pope Gelasius, but wouldn't be associated with love or romance until the Middle Ages as February 14th was thought to be the beginning of bird mating season in France and English. in 1375, Chaucer wrote in his poem entitled, "Parliament of Foules" the following line: “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day / Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.” - this marked the first record of this being a day of romance.

Some might look at all this and say, "Well, Moon, there's your meaning!" to which I'd counter, "What is the meaning for me?" I'm not Jewish nor Muslim, so me celebrating Passover or Ramadan would make no sense. I can respect those that do, but I'm not one of them. It's the same with someone outside America celebrating the 4th of July - it's meaningless to them.

You're not making any sense! You just sound bitter!

Okay, fine. I'll go into the reason I specifically don't celebrate Valentine's Day.

Many years ago, I was in a long-term relationship with this girl. Every year I would buy or make her something for Valentine's Day, as many people did. One year, my friends invited us to join them for a Valentine's Day dinner out at some restaurant. After the nearly two-hour wait, outside, in mid-February, with quite a few other couples, the four of us had dinner. We had a great time on our double date, but man, it was a long wait.

It may have been the following year that I made a plan for my girlfriend's gift, more specifically her card, that would lead to my mind change. I bought her a really nice card to go along with her gift and planned for her to receive it on the 14th. The following day, I would present her with a second card, handmade, emphasizing that I loved her even AFTER Valentine's Day. This was just to make the point that I didn't just do the gift-giving because it was the day the calendar told me to and that I really cared about her.

This got me thinking: Why do we put so much effort into Valentine's Day? Why is it that some couples only seemingly express love and affection on this one particular day? How is this holiday special when everyone is doing essentially the same thing - Chocolate/Candy, flowers, a card, dinner out somewhere "nice", gift (maybe), and sex (typically). As I've gotten older, I've started to look at what my male friends were buying and what my female friends were getting (this is not to imply that gift-giving is one way, but I've noticed more male-to-female gift-giving) and the trend hasn't changed. Guys are buying flowers and candy and taking the girlfriend/wife/baby-momma out to dinner. Lines outside restaurants are wrapped around the building and the wait times are insane. Why? For no personally significant reason. It's what they do in the movies and on the TV shows and in books. It's what women have been conditioned to expect and I've heard first-hand accounts from women who made it very clear that hell would be raised if "he didn't do [insert expectation here] for Valentine's Day." I've seen the looks on the faces of the guys who "forgot" and ... it's just sad.

You know it's wrong to generalize!

You're right, and there are always exceptions, but this is my experience as it has impacted me and my personal thinking. In the end, as I look at Valentine's Day, I see more often than not, couples going through the motions for the sake of the motions. I've seen couples in turmoil looking forward to Valentine's Day hoping to fix things instead of working on things right then and there. Valentine's Day isn't some magical day of love because, when you truly love and care so someone, romantically or otherwise, you should express that every day, not just when the calendar says so and everyone else's is doing it.

Well, what have your girlfriends or your wife thought about this?

The girl I was seeing at the time agreed with me and we mutually agreed to no longer celebrate the day. I dated two women afterward and I explained this to them beforehand. The first got me a gift despite the fact I didn't celebrate it and the second girl saw a giant stuffed monkey she wanted and so I bought it for her. I didn't consider it a Valentine's Day gift, but she did. As for my wife, I again explained this well in advance, though she knew prior to us dating, and since then, we just keep our expressions of love consistent throughout the year so it's no different between January 17th to February 14th to July 24th to Unofficial October (September) 20th to December 8th. When the love is consistent, the day is meaningless.

In closing, these are just my thoughts and feelings about it. If you celebrate it, more power to you. If it's special to you, I wish you the very best. If you're happy, I'm happy for you. It's just not for me. If my kids want to give valentines to their class, we buy them and help them fill them out. The kids still enjoy the candy (again, they get candy often so it's nothing special). I don't impose my thoughts or feelings onto others.

Thanks for reading. I love you all (all year long, not just on any particular date!)

- Moon

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