I really, really hate Valentine’s Day. Not because I hate romance (I’m actually an incurable romantic), or because I’m single and bitter (still with Milady), or because I’m overly cynical (though it is a “Hallmark holiday”).
No. I have a problem with it because of the way our culture has taken a really lovely concept and twisted it out of shape until it’s completely broken. Love is a beautiful thing because it engenders hope, gives us strength to do things we otherwise couldn’t, and motivates us to commit acts of selflessness. It sustains us in the darkest of times, and the memory of it lives on when the one who loved us has passed. The love of a mother for her child gave her the strength to save that child against all the odds. The love of a sister for her brother caused her to shield him from abuse and shoulder the brunt of it herself. The love of a young man for his best friend saved his friend’s life. The love of an aunt for her niece gave the young girl some of the freedom she desperately wanted. The love of a brother made him defend his sister, sometimes in terrible circumstances and even against his own friends. The love of a father saw him break the law to visit his daughter in the hospital.
These are stories from my life, and the lives of those closest to me. But the cultural emphasis on romantic and spousal love on Valentine’s Day discounts those kinds of love. Oh, they’re important of course, but the romantic passion and all-consuming love for your lover/partner/spouse is always going to be more privileged, always going to hold more weight and be given precedence.
If you love someone, you shouldn’t wait around for a special day of the year to prove it to them. If you have to wait for one day a year to tell them they’re special, then how special are they to you, really? Will, Liz, Milady, Fatherbot, Hero, Auntie Dude, Cousin Sparky, Alex and Ruby all know I love them, because I show them throughout the year, and not just on February 14th.
So to all my nearest and dearest: I love you. And not just because it’s Validation Day.
I think this goes without saying, but as we live in a world of rampant asshattery, please allow me to state for the record: this is my intellectual property. As such, please do not copy, circulate, edit, alter, take credit for, or otherwise appropriate this material without my express permission. Thank you.