I thought I’d wait until the day after Valentine’s Day to be a buzzkill, just in case you get off on it. But I despise Valentine’s Day more and more every year that passes.
So here’s my Valentine to Valentine’s Day
Dear Valentine’s Day,
When I was in kindergarten, you were fun. Little cards appearing in the shoebox I decorated with hearts and cut a hole in made me feel special, and watching Rusty Robbin’s face when he saw the packet of candy hearts I gave just to him made me squeal with delight.
But in third grade, Kevin asked someone else to be his Valentine, when I wanted to be the chosen one. I cried all day. You broke my heart, Valentine’s Day.
In eighth grade, when someone prettier than me was selected as the Valentine Queen, I couldn’t help looking down at my flat chest and knobby knees and wishing I could hold the bouquet of red roses instead of her. And I wished someone would kiss me the way the Valentine King kissed her. But it didn’t happen. And there were more tears. The box of chocolate mom bought me, while kind, didn’t sweeten the sting. You’re a cruel one, V-day.
When I finally had a boyfriend at 16, I thought my time had come. But by then, my expectations were so ridiculously high that the Hallmark card he only signed, rather than penning his own love letter, left me feeling unloved, even when I knew I was adored.
By the time I was married at 24, I lifted you on such a pedestal that my husband couldn’t possibly have pleased me. Why did you make me desire so much stuff, Valentine’s Day? Why did you make me long for the grand gestures — the giant bouquets of flowers bestowed upon me in a hot air balloon, the treasure hunt with the dinner-for-two at the end of it, the diamond earrings, the limo driver who picks me up at home, hands me a ball gown, and takes me to where my honey is waiting with a string quartet in the park? Why? Why set me — and him — up for disappointment?
When we got divorced, I hated you even more. All those memories of unfulfilled expectations, all those pretty cards with messages of love, all those trinkets I saved so I would be valued — they all had to be burned right along with the naked photos we took of each other on that heart-shaped bed. That bonfire seared my heart, Valentine’s Day. How could you do that to me?
Do you realize that when you’re a single woman, you make us question our worth like nobody’s business?
We stare in the mirror and wonder why we’re so unlovable that nobody takes us out to an overpriced, gaudy dinner somewhere. We tear up when all we see are bills in the mailbox. We buy ourselves flowers to feel better, only to realize they make us feel worse, because we really wish someone else had bought them. Yes, Valentine’s Day — it’s true. You do that to us. And why? So Hallmark can rake in the dough.
And now, my hubby — bless his heart — bought me a dozen roses to celebrate you. And today — only one day later — they are all drooped over, their little crimson heads staring at the ground. And I’m crying, once again, because he used to be so romantic — and the Valentine’s Day gestures have faded with the years. I know he loves me, but because of you, I question it for one day out of the year because there’s no masseuse who shows up unexpectedly and sweeps me into luxurious touch for an hour, no pearls adorning my neck, no picnic in the park by the lake, no breakfast in bed, no night at the opera, no chocolate body paint.
I hate you Valentine’s Day, for all the hearts you broke yesterday, all the women you hurt, all the men you caused us to judge, all the mayhem you create all over the country. And for what? For a holiday Wikipedia says is completely fictionalized?
I spit on you, V-day. You suck. Damn you. Go, devil, go.