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Valentine's Day is a commercial holiday designed to put outrageous pressure on couples and make single people feel depressed and alone, right? Well, before you conduct the obligatory eye roll at the question, "Got any plans for Valentine's Day?" you should know something: It's not Valentine's Day that has the problem—it's us.
The holiday allegedly began with an early Christian Saint named Valentine who was imprisoned for performing secret weddings for soldiers that were forbidden to marry. While awaiting execution he wrote a letter to a woman and signed it "From your Valentine." By the 15th century, couples were exchanging mushy cards, candy, and flowers on February 14, which is believed to be the anniversary of St. Valentine's death. Probably not what Saint Valentine had envisioned while he was counting the days to his grisly execution. So the next time you want to blame Valentine's Day for all that's wrong with the world, know this:
It's not the holiday's fault that on February 14 it's impossible to get a reservation anywhere decent. And if you do manage to score a table, its always by the front door that blasts cold air from people shuffling in and out. Nor is it the holiday's fault that pre-fix gimmick meals are the only menu options created by chefs who are pissed about the inevitable request to stuff an engagement ring inside a soufflé on the least-tipped day of the year. Check, please!
And lay off the holiday because men, in tizzy about what to buy their partners (Lingerie? Chocolate? Does she expect a ring?) often fail miserably at the task, give up and run to Tiffany.
We definitely can't blame Valentine's Day for single women using the holiday as an excuse to congregate in bars like drunken bachelorette parties and wail things like, "Men suck!" (while simultaneously trying to meet one). The holiday also isn't responsible for the fact that you sit next to your coworkers cooing over their flower deliveries while you secretly curse your guy for forgetting and then act passive aggressive at home.
The holiday didn't create Facebook, home to the romantic humblebrag that seems to rear its head every February. Examples: "Happy Valentine's Day to Carl who puts up with me and rubs my feet every night!" or "My man just came home to a massage and a case of beer. Lucky guy!" These couples may be in love but their happiness means nothing if people on their feed don't hear about it on the 14th.
And please, do not scold Valentine's Day for Hollywood studios churning out atrociously predictable and poorly-written rom-coms. Plus, Katherine Heigl has to earn a living too.
Valentine's Day doesn't come cheap and not every kiss begins with Kay. But in a world where "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" is nominated for a GLADD Media Award and "The Bachelor" is in its 17th season, we should at least be grateful for one day of romance. That and the chocolate.