Friday, February 18, 2011

choose another valentine

I have disliked Valentine's Day since I was old enough to recognize that 'store-bought' cards were somehow more valuable than 'home-made' cards. I have rarely celebrated it since that time, decrying it as a useless holiday. I don't want my partner to have to show appreciation for our relationship on a specific day by buying jewelry, chocolate, or flowers. I dislike the social pressure that says "if you don't spend a lot of money on your woman on Feb 14th, you're a bad partner and she has to get mad at you." Ridiculous. While gifts can be a wonderful way of showing a person you appreciate them, or even that you were thinking of them, they should not be mandatory; it defeats the purpose altogether! The significance of a gift is diminished if your partner has to give you a new one every year. Each couple has their own romantic holiday over which they have complete control anyway: the Anniversary, whether they choose to celebrate it or not.

I'm not completely free of convention. I try celebrate my relationships throughout the year instead. If I could change Valentine's Day I would make it about love in general, not just for romantic love, and I'd veto the gift requirement. It would be about spending time with the people who mean the most to you: family and friends. I admit that I'm cynical, and not very romantic, but that's really just in the traditional sense. I melt at the unexpected, whether it's an unplanned visit or a spontaneous text/email/call, those are the things that tell me I am special to someone.

Unfortunately, I'm not very good at letting people know they are special to me. I let life keep me busy and some of the people I care about the most fall in the cracks. Although I hope that will be easier to change when I'm no longer in school, I really do need to get my priorities straight. I have grandiose plans and expectations of myself, and I guess we'll just have to wait and see if I can live up to my own expectations.

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