I like Valentine’s Day. As a young, single woman, I feel a slight obligation to cry under a desk, stifling my tears with chocolate that I sent to myself, and snapping at anyone cheerful or in pink. Other than that, I usually enjoy myself.
Now that we no longer attend kindergarten, some of my friends seem to think it’s acceptable to not give out valentines. But who doesn’t want some candy and a reminder that not everyone hates them? For this reason I tend to demand valentines from anyone who wants to call herself my friend. And from a couple people who don’t want to call themselves my friends.
I love giving valentines. Mine tend to go one of three ways: extremely creepy, lame jokes, or overwhelmingly sincere.
For the first category, I once got my friend a plastic vase that grew into a flower when you pressed a button and finally bloomed to display the message “I love your body.” It may be the best gift I’ve ever gotten anyone, other than the customized pillow of my face.
As for the lame jokes, every year I write at least five cards filled with personal jokes signed by ‘a secret admirer.’ I’ve been using that one since seventh grade and I still think it’s hilarious. My friends don’t.
Then, there are the genuine valentines. I’ve never quite understood that a Valentine’s Day card is really not the place to pour your heart out to someone. For one, your typical valentine is small, because most people content themselves with a Happy V-Day (which, to me, sounds too much like D-Day). My handwriting sucks generally, but when I’m trying to squeeze a long-winded account of the true meaning of friendship onto a doily, it gets even worse. Also, Hallmark does not make cards that go well with the sharing of large, important secrets.
Despite my obvious issues with boundaries, I like reminding people I care about them. And I love getting those reminders in turn, even though I tend to evaluate my self worth for the day based on how many I get.
Still, Valentine’s Day has its flaws and disappointments. Romantic comedies have gotten to my brain and, every year, I expect people to line up to confess their love. I have yet to receive anonymous roses, nor has anyone ever tried to give me an enormous teddy bear, a la Taylors Swift & Lautner in the rip-off of a RomCom Valentines Day. These are the disappointments I deal with every February 15th. And this is just when I’m single. Don’t even get me started on my expectations during relationships.
Overall though, I love the holiday. I like seeing people with bouquets on the metro. I like people who wear those obnoxious headbands with hearts attached to springs. I like hearing stories from my friends in disgustingly beautiful relationships. And I like the idea of having a day dedicated to loving the people around you. Which sounds gross but, as anyone who has ever read one of my valentines (a lot can be found at fail.com) knows, under my extremely cool and poised exterior, I am a gushy mess of emotion.