Friday, February 3, 2012

Occupy THIS.

It is February, and everywhere, in every window, tree, nook, cranny, commercial, movie trailer, whathaveyou are HEARTS. Omigod, you must buy this bouquet/necklace/cell phone/teddy bear/dinner/expensive useless bit of crap for your Valentine. If you don't, YOU ARE A LOSER, AND WILL PROBABLY DIE ALONE.

I take exception to a holiday that specifically requires a set of variables in order to celebrate it. I wouldn't dislike February 14th if it was simply about celebrating love, in all its many and varied forms. Love deserves the holiday, it deserves to be celebrated every day, and I would plaster my house with pink hearts if that's what Valentine's Day was actually about.

But, instead, the day has become a crass commercial excuse to try to guilt attached people into buying their SO's something they don't really need, and a way to make those of us who are unattached feel angry and excluded. When I see ads for Valentine's specials, I see red of a very different sort. Example: the year before I left Chicago, I looked into treating myself to a night at a nice hotel with a special package for Valentine's Day: a massage and meal was included. I didn't do it because the whole thing was priced FOR TWO. Like it was unbelievable that I would want to do something nice for just myself on Valentine's Day, and someone like me didn't deserve a special package. And, that's typical: everywhere are restaurants with special meal deals FOR TWO, travel agents with travel packages FOR TWO. All stamped with hearts and declaring that "Your Valentine needs what we're selling!"

I've written before about the disenfranchisement of single people, especially those over 30, but my anger at Valentine's Day is not limited to that; I think it's stupid for couples too. We need to retake this holiday and use it to celebrate love: beautiful love in all its forms, not just between people in relationships.

Occupy Valentine's Day.

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