Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Believe in Valentine's Day

Last year, one of my best male friends told me that he didn't "believe in" Valentine's Day. I was like how do you not believe in a holiday? But I suppose it's like those who don't "believe in" Halloween.... but it's Valentine's Day. You know: the hearts, the love. What's there not to believe in? The interesting thing was that a few weeks passed and this same friend sent me a text on Feb. 14th to wish me a happy Valentine's Day. (I still have it saved on my phone, lol.) "Happy Valentine's day to the woman who has always been there for me..." After gushing and thanking him for the thoughtful text, I reminded him that this was the very holiday that he did not believe in... His response was, "I still don't believe in Valentine's, but you are important to me.”

This brings me to my first point: I believe that there is a good chunk of people out there who think they don't believe in Valentine's Day, but maybe it's just that they haven't had someone to open their eyes to the potential. February 14th shouldn't be about stress, or flowers, or late-night candle-lit dinners. It's about reminding the people around you, those who matter – like my friend did for me – that they are important to you. It's about expressing love. And no, expressing your heart-felt feelings doesn’t just happen one day a year, but if the country wants to set aside a day to that, I don't see the harm.

I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge that social media plays a bit into the feelings of the young men and women of my generation. I have heard repeatedly in the past week about how men know that women will be comparing what their significant others get them for Valentine's. Facebook, twitter, and Instagram will tell it all -- Amy's man surprised her with roses in the office, took her to a five-star restaurant downtown, and then whisked her away for a weekend in beautiful wine country. Bethany's engaged now. Oh, and Susan – who has only been dating George for like 2 months – posted that her new beau planned “the most romantic evening she's ever had.” Now, whether women are posting these pics and statuses to let every other women know how much their man loves them...or if it's to rub it in the faces of all her haters *shrugs,* I don't know. But, I would like to hope they are doing it because what their man did for them made them happy – and I'd rather people share happy stories on social media than sad ones (Lord, knows we could use more happiness).

But with all this posting, it's no wonder that men freak out when it comes to this holiday. If the holiday disappeared off the calendar in 2015 I strongly doubt their hearts would break – heck, some may not even notice, lol. My best friend once told me that he worries, because he feels like every year he’s supposed to top what he did the previous year. Talk about exhausting! And for all this effort exerted by men, how much are women doing to reciprocate?

And for those women who do try and romance their sweeties... I've read a few articles and posts today: giving up the goods, apparently, doesn't count as a present. (LOL, I'm just saying.) I know that some of us have sat down and tried to think "What do you get a man on Valentine's Day...?" While racking our brains for an answer, did it ever occur to us to just ask him what he might want? Maybe he'd rather not celebrate Valentine's Day, lol. Or maybe, a round of golf with the guys, or like my co-worker told me today, he wants to attend a concert. (The problem is his girlfriend isn't into the band that he wants to see. When I suggested celebrating Valentine's Day on Saturday instead, it was like a novel idea, smh.) But then I wondered if enough other women thought like me, and would be okay with celebrating Valentine's Day a day late, because their boyfriend wanted to go to a concert or whatever other reason there might be.

Some women may not even want to celebrate the holiday, either. (I have found that it’s not just men who feel some type of way towards this holiday.) I have a female friend who isn't big into Valentine’s – and she’s currently in a relationship. I have another friend who’s allergic to flowers (I know her boyfriend is happy about not having that expense). And, I have a friend who is allergic to chocolate… Now only if we could combine the 3 of them into 1 hybrid woman, then the world would be an interesting, and less stressful place (haha). But, the point I’m trying to make is that maybe your women isn't as stressed about this Valentine’s Day hoopla as you think she might be: so, ask her.

Now some of you reading this may be single. Good for you! You don't have to deal with what some would call the "drama" of Valentine's Day. But, some of you may wish you did have this drama. To you I say, remember that when you do get into a relationship. Remember that desire you have today to share a day of love with someone, and when you’re given the opportunity in the future don’t mess it up. In the meantime, celebrate Singles' Awareness Day. Buy yourself a box of chocolates, watch the movie you want to watch, treat yourself to something, or *shrugs,* try a blind date. Now, I'm not trying to be insensitive: of course you're allowed to feel lonely and wish you had someone to go out with on the 14th, but it's just not your year yet. And for a holiday that so many don't believe in anyways – there are worse things than not having a dinner companion on Friday.

Valentine's Day should be about letting important people in our lives know how much we love them – not about raising the bar on a holiday, showering people with material things, or showing off for others.

Happy Valentine's Day to all you: non-believers and believers alike. Now go tell someone they are important to you and that you love them.