Happy Forced Affection Day!

February 14, 2011

I love ‘love’.  As in, I love the act of love; I love the feeling of love.

I really do.  I’m a loving person who loves to love, and who loves to be loved.  My definition of love, however, doesn’t include getting all worked up with materialistic expectations and participating in choreographed displays of affection one day a year, just because the greeting card industry tells me to.

It’s funny – until I was about twelve, it didn’t even register that Valentine’s Day was largely meant for couples.  My parents used to give me cutesy cards, chocolates in pink, heart-shaped boxes, and other gifts that little girls go berserk over, like plush toys and the like.  I assumed it was about all types of love, not just romantic love.  At the age of twelve, I had my first real crush, and my friends and I delighted in distributing our Valentines to boys in our class, and gossiped incessantly about who we thought liked who (what a simple, gleeful time that was, compared to what we would experience not ten years later, when boys became “complicated”).

The first time Valentine’s Day came around while I was actually in a relationship (because how many times have some of us broken up with someone right before the blasted holiday) was – well, it probably wasn’t bad by most people’s standards – but then I’m not most people.  I think I realized, right then, that I had little to no respect for the “holiday”, even resented it for placing so much pressure on people to feel like they need to participate in it. Read the rest of this entry »