On one hand, I get that Valentine's Day has kind of a crappy social message. It tends to be about traditional, heterosexual relationships and a very chivalrous view of romance. I don't really dig that. Plus, I feel pretty strongly that every day with your partner you should strive to be thoughtful and loving.
On the other hand, I feel like hating Valentine's day is a waste of emotions. There is little in this world that is more important that love, if you ask me. So fundamentally, anything that is all about love is by default a good thing. I feel pretty strongly that the solution to a better Valentine's Day experience is to not make it all about squishy, heterosexist, romance, but rather ALL love.
Here are some people leading the way. Check it!
- Occupy Valentine's Day: Started by Samhita Mukhopadhyay of Feministing, the Occupy Valentine's Day movement stands for a number of things including "Blog about how traditional ideas of romance perpetuate gender inequalities and hurt people of all genders," "Not be that douche-y couple on Valentine’s Day—maybe hang out with your best friends, single and otherwise," "Shout about the lack of queer visibility in sexual rights politics," and "Commit to never settling for anyone who is not good enough for you just because you are afraid to spend another Valentine’s Day alone." That's what's up.
- Starbucks' Everylove Campaign: Say what you will about the coffee mega-giant, they at least have this right. Their Everylove Campaign says: "Here's to all the relationships in your life worth celebrating." The stories at the site are just heart warming, and I can't help but feel like the wording "everylove" alludes to their recent support of gay marriage.
- Leslie Knope's Galentine's Day: If you didn't know about this yesterday, you missed out. But next February 13th join all cool ladies everywhere and celebrate Galentine's Day by showing appreciation for the female friendships in your life. (Maybe by making them a pillow with the headline from the day they were born on it...) All too often friendships are devalued as somehow lesser than romantic or sexual relationships, but listen, they're incredible and we CAN'T overlook their importance. Galentine's Day, FTW.
All of these things are stuff that I just absolutely LOVE. (Punny, see?) But my main point is this: Don't waste emotion feeling like shit on Valentine's Day. I know people will think it's "easy" for me to feel this way as I have a partner, but really...tell me what you gain from steeping in negativity?
Let's take Valentine's Day and focus on the LOVE...not what kind...not the roses, not the hearts or teddy bears. Just the love.