POINT: Valentine’s Day can Suck it


WEB-valentines-mark burnham

Nothing can good can come of this plastic holiday and it should be avoided at all costs

By Ljudmila Petrovic
Photos by Mark Burnham

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There’s always a day in early January when I walk into London Drugs and lose my shit. That’s right, I’m still digesting gingerbread men, and there is already an aisle filled with heart-shaped items.

I’ll say it right off the bat: I hate Valentine’s Day. If I didn’t despise the holiday with such a burning passion, I would ignore it completely.

Before you peg me as a miserable singleton that drinks wine out of the bottle surrounded by cats, let me clear a few things up: 1) I don’t even own a cat, let alone many cats; 2) I am not miserable. In fact, I love everything about my life; and 3) I prefer my wine out of a box, thank you very much. I also do not hate love or the idea of relationships, or even the institution of marriage. In fact, deep down inside, I’m a hopeless romantic. I simply do not equate them with the fluffy, pink, tacky holiday that charades as a celebration of these things.

Assuming you follow the traditionally accepted process of courtship, come Valentine’s Day, you will probably find yourself in one of three positions: 1) in a devoted monogamous relationship; 2) single and arguably ready to mingle; or 3) somewhere in the middle (in Facebook lingo, “it’s complicated”.)

If you fall into the first group, that’s great. I’m happy for you. But why do you need a designated day to show your significant other how much they mean to you? Why aren’t you telling them every day instead of buying an overpriced, mass-produced Hallmark card on one day of the year?

If you fall in the third category, you’re better off just jetting off somewhere for the weekend, because if you don’t know where things stand, you’re going to get screwed on Valentine’s Day, and probably not in a good way. If you’re single, then this is the one time of year that even the most empowered and content individuals are bombarded with so many messages from Hershey’s that it’s difficult to not get bitter, and I don’t mean the chocolate.

Things get a little more complicated if this isn’t the way you do things. Poly? Get ready to cash in your life savings for presents. Fido the one who’s stolen your heart? Hallmark doesn’t make shit for your type, and I doubt Pinterest can help, either.

As a single woman on Valentine’s Day, I am told I only have two approaches to this day. I can sit at home in a bathrobe, eat chocolate I bought for myself (I even wrote a card. “Dear Me: You’re beautiful just the way you are. Love, Me”), while I cry and watch He’s Just Not That Into You and The Notebook back-to-back. This further pushes me into a masochistic spiral, until I have finished my box of wine and my box of chocolates, and am forced to walk-of-shame it to the Chevron on the corner, avoiding eye contact as I get a tub of Ben and Jerry’s (it’s Valentine’s Day, so I’m treating myself to the good stuff ). I don’t know about you, but waking up in a pool of melted Cookies and Cream (salted with tears of self-deprecation) doesn’t really appeal to me as an overall scenario.

The second approach I can take is the “empowered” approach, where I dress up with my girlfriends, blast some Beyonce, and head out for a night out on the town with my single ladies. Except it’s not just any night. It’s Valentine’s Day, which means that I’m just stepping into a tank full of piranhas that feed off of inferiority complexes and daddy issues.

No, thank you. This Valentine’s Day, I’m challenging this stereotype and going to bed early. After all, I have to wake up at dawn for my favorite holiday of the year: Feb. 15 — Chocolate Boxing Day.