5 Reasons to Stop Being a Valentine’s Day Curmudgeon

Trade your “Love Sucks” piñata for a little pink and lots of love this February 14.

If you’re gearing up to throw an Anti-Valentine’s party complete with black heart decorations and Stupid Cupid cocktails, think about this: you’re still acknowledging Valentine’s Day. Though I was once a fellow Valentine’s meiser and curmudgeon (it’s a corporate scam, every day should be special, yada yada . . .) I have since changed my tune in favor of a February 14 full of love, sparkly hearts and sweets.

Here are five reasons to bring on the babies doing archery, fuzzy stuffed animals that sing, and lots and lots of love this Valentine’s Day:

1. Valentine’s Day can be fun.

What really gets people all stressed out about Valentine’s Day is the expectation surrounding it. The expectation of grand romantic gestures and falling in love under the moonlight and marriage proposals and . . . I’ll stop there. But guess what? Those are made up. Fake. Lies. A scam. And they certainly aren’t necessary for an enjoyable Valentine’s Day.

If you want to hang out with your friends, do it. If it’s important to you and your significant other, celebrate it. If you want to be home alone with a good book, by all means, avoid the crowded restaurants and movie theatres. Valentine’s Day is a day to stop and purposely say, “Romance is not dead, and I’m going to do something I enjoy.”

2. Valentine’s Day can be delicious.

There are a lot of ways to look at the delicious, feasting possibilities of Valentine’s Day. I know you’ve been grocery shopping diligently, and your recipe box contains spaghetti and a few choice casseroles (or you keep making the same thing over and over because you can’t seem to use up all the ingredients at the same time). Valentine’s Day is your chance to experiment.

Go to that restaurant with balsamic pear grilled cheese sandwiches. Finally get around to making that creamy garlic sauce from scratch. Make those Sea Salt Nutella cookies you can never seem to feed to enough people. Indulge a little! Valentine’s Day is a chance to break from the routine and give you an excuse to eat that tiramisu you’ve been eyeing.

3. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to feed the corporate beast.

Just because you love all things romance doesn’t mean you have to buy into the greeting card industry’s generic fluff. If you want to give someone a card, hand make one. If you have nice things you want to say to them, write a note. If your special someone loves flowers, give them the seeds. Get creative, and it will be more fun for you and your loved ones. I should also say, if your Valentine loves getting a boxed rose every year, keep it up for the sake of tradition.

4. Valentine’s Day is special.

One of the most common arguments against Valentine’s Day is that “every day should be special.” This is true if Valentine’s Day is the only quality time you’re spending with your significant other, but really that points to a larger problem that I encourage you to bring up pronto. Every day is precious, but it is not special. It is unreasonable to expect each and every day to be an outpouring of love in exactly the way you need it.

Should this specialness happen outside Valentine’s Day? Absolutely. But Valentine’s Day is an opportunity — a little nudge from cupid — to be intentional toward all the people near and dear to you. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Everyone could use a nudge sometimes!

5. Valentine’s Day is in February.

By February, in the depths of winter, most of us are suffering from SADS. (Minus maybe Californians and Floridians who should draw a heart in the sand for the rest of us in the frigid north.) In the midst of the doldrums of February, we need a little pick-me-up.

We should welcome the color and passion that Valentine’s Day brings to a world of drying up New Year’s resolutions, slush, and mostly sunless, bitterly cold days. Chances are, you don’t have a lot of other exciting things planned for February, and spring still feels very far away. So liven up this otherwise gray month with chocolate in a slightly different shape than it was at Christmas, lots of red and pink, hearts and sparkles. A reminder that romance and color exist.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Katherine McClintic
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