Written By: Tuesday, February 9th 2016

Hi, my name is Julia, and I kind of hate Valentine’s Day. I say “kind of” because the word hate alone is pretty strong. There is a very short list of things I actually, definitively, hate (black licorice, I’m looking in your direction), so we’ll go with “kind of” for this one – it softens the blow for poor ol’ St Valentine’s.

Before you jump to a bunch of conclusions, no, I am not the stereotypical bitter single woman. I am actually married with a couple of rugrats.

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Aren’t we cute? The answer you’re looking for is: Yes.

And no, I don’t protest this ‘holiday’ because of that whole ‘greeting card, made up holiday’ sentiment. Most of the things we enjoy today stem from weird origins – half the time we either don’t even know them, or we get them wrong, so who cares how it started?

If that’s the case though, what’s my problem? Why don’t I love “love”? Is my heart that cold that I have lost the ability to feel? (Maybe – that might be something I’ll have to bring up with some kind of psychologist – I’ll update you with the results as I find them).

Here’s the deal – I’m all for love and affection. It’s nice. Hugs are fantastic. Love me a good hug. You know what I don’t like though? An obligatory hug. See, if someone (preferably someone I know and love already) spontaneously gives me a hug, I feel great. It’s sweet, it’s unexpected. But if I’m just getting a hug (and a bunch of other stuff) because the day on the calendar dictates it, well, I’ve lost some of that lovin’ feeling.

Let’s take a moment to talk about that ‘other stuff’, shall we? Who came up with the idea of giving grown adults stuffed animals? Not only regular stuffed animals, but big ones with gaudy hearts attached? Any parent knows that the last thing you want in the house are more stuffies. Half the time, these ones holding hearts can’t even be ‘played’ with – even the kids won’t touch them. So thank you – let me put that in the corner with the one from last year, where it can get dusty, and that I will feel too guilty to throw out or give away.

“Gee, thanks – it’s just what I always wanted!”

What else do people give? Flowers, right? I will agree – flowers are beautiful. But in my house, flowers can be deadly. I have a cat who eats everything. We have to hide tomatoes from her because she will eat them.

Eating tomatoes THROUGH a plastic bag. Seriously.

Eating tomatoes THROUGH a plastic bag. Seriously.

So yeah, she obviously goes straight for the flowers without question. So in order to keep them, we have to put them in a room that has a door so she can’t get to them – typically that means the bathroom. Yep, we have to lock up those pretty, expensive flowers in the bathroom. Is that any place for a plant to live out its last days? I think not.

Here she is in the fridge. What kind of creature is this?!

Here she is in the fridge. What kind of creature is this?!

Then there is the card. This is going to make me sound crotchety (if I don’t already), but I really don’t like cards. (Almost said the word ‘hate’ there – it could be warranted in this case). Cards seem like such a waste of money to me. They are pretty expensive for what they are – a piece of cardstock with a sentiment that someone got paid to write on it that you found and figured it ‘almost’ applied to your situation. How many people actually read what is preprinted on the card (especially one of those really long ones?) What I’m looking for is the personal message. And my biggest pet peeve is when someone gives a card and just signs their name. That’s it – just Love “me”. You know what that tells me? The card giver was thinking “Hey, this stranger got us pegged, for the most part –  I have nothing more to add. And now I can cross ‘getting a card’ off of my list, because I’m supposed to get a card, right?” And then, what am I supposed to do with this thing? This thing that you just signed your name to? I guess I’ll put it next to the heart shaped stuffie you gave me, because I’m going to feel guilty about throwing this out too, even though I secretly want to.

 One of these has to apply, right?

Think of some of your past Valentine’s days. Guys – have you stressed out about remembering? Making sure you get the ‘right’ thing? Living up to some unreal expectations just because of a random day? Ladies – have you ever been disappointed by a Valentine’s day? I’m willing to bet you have been, at least once. Because we put so much emphasis on this random day so that it can rarely go as planned. Valentine’s Day is the New Year’s Eve for couples. No matter what you have planned, it’s always kind of a let down.

I won’t even get into how one calendar day can make a single person feel absolutely terrible for no reason. Here’s what I say to the single people out there: I deal with snoring, the cap being off the toothpaste, and stinky smelly socks everywhere on a daily basis. The grass isn’t always greener, if you know what I mean.

So, I’m guessing that I’m coming across as ungrateful or cranky. I might be a bit cranky, but I don’t think I’m ungrateful. In the past, I have accepted these tokens graciously – I would never receive a bunch of flowers and throw them down in a fit of rage. But I’d be lying if I said that inside I wasn’t thinking, “Great, what am I going to do with these now?” I believe my husband and I have an understanding. We don’t exchange gifts, or even really acknowledge Valentine’s Day. And it’s not some sort of protest – it’s just because .. Meh. Who needs that kind of pressure? We know how we feel – we hug on a regular basis. We give each other high fives when warranted – not because it’s national “High Five” day (although that would be kind of fun). A recent study said that 1 in 6 women lies and says that she doesn’t care about Valentine’s day just so she won’t be disappointed if it doesn’t go as planned. I’m here to say that I’m not one of those. I really don’t care – in fact, I’d prefer to get nothing at all (and that saves me from having to get something too).

All that being said, there is one fantastic thing about Valentine’s Day. February 15th – the day that all that chocolate and candy is 50% off. Now that’s what I call a holiday.