February 14th is coming up. At this point, you might be looking at friends around you and their plans for the big day. And you might be scrambling, thinking last-minute about what you can do to impress her last-minute.
Here’s what I need you to do. Take a deep breath, relax, and don’t worry about celebrating this stupid holiday.
Valentine’s Day is basically an exercise in exploiting the uncertainty that come with relationships, and particularly new ones. You’re so scared of screwing up on the vague chance that your girlfriend really, really, really wants you to celebrate Valentine’s Day you’re willing to splash out any amount of cash, whatever’s handy, giving it to whomever is willing to take advantage of the lack of uncertainty in your relationship to make a quick buck.
Don’t believe me? Last year somebody did a survey about this, and discovered that in New York City, restaurants increase the cost of a meal for two by up to $275 on Valentine’s Day. So ask, yourself the question now: Come February 14, do you really want to be among the suckers paying it, sitting in a room full of people trying too hard?
To illustrate how absurd this day has become, it’s estimated that the US spends just under $20 billion every year on Valentine’s Day. (For comparison, that’s about four times more than the government spends fighting cancer annually.) Valentine’s Day is far less about true love than it is about being a retail orgy between the three long months between Christmas and the orgy of Shamrock and Guinness-buying that is St. Patrick’s Day. We need something in between, hence the rose-colored abomination that we cobbled out of a probably made-up origin story about a celibate priest getting decapitated during Roman times.
So as not to sound like Comrade Marx here, none of this would actually be a problem if what you’re getting in return was good. But when you think about it, virtually every Valentine’s Day cliche is pure awful schmaltz. Your $80 bouquet? Your $200, five-mediocre-course dinner in a room full of Marvin Gaye and people trying too hard? Your ski chalet weekend that costs an extra $250 because of a bottle of cheap fizzy wine and rose petals scattered over the bed? Even having sex in a bed full of flower petals is vastly overrated — you’ll find yourself plucking them out of every crevice in your bodies afterwards.
The most offensive thing about the whole Valentine’s Day is the idea that you, you reading this, somehow need to do this. That your girlfriend/wife is expecting this of you, ready to toss your ass to the curb if you fail in this, your most crucial task. Pro tip: If she’s with you right now, it’s probably because she likes you. You’re not going to have irredeemably sabotaged your relationship by not having purchased crap like this:
This is the Interactive Stuffed Hug-Lovin' Hippo, from Hallmark, for just $32.95, if you’re so inclined.
One of the tricks to a good relationship is not trying too hard, and letting yourself be yourself. It also generally doesn’t involve forcing her into a situation where she’s going to feel like she needs to act like she’s blown away by this predictable dreck and put out because you shelled out. You’re more likely to do harm than good to your relationship; both of you will be faking it and both of you will know it, too.
By now you probably get where I’m going. Valentine’s Day is an awful holiday. We need to kill it. Kill it with fire. But you may be saying to yourself, “But surely, I can’t possibly afford to miss Valentine’s Day?”
Well, I’ve got good news for you: You’re already missing plenty of things as it stands. There’s an even more nefarious trend, consisting of Valentine’s Week. Mostly concentrated in India, but slowly spreading worldwide as the spearhead of a jackbooted Hallmark army, it consists of Rose Day, Propose Day, Chocolate Day, Teddy Day, Promise Day, Hug Day, Kiss Day (hey, at least the last two are free) and Valentine’s Day. So when you think about it, you’re already ignoring the rest of Valentine’s Week, just take that extra step and ignore the last day.
If you keep buying those flowers, this could be in your future. Source: valentineweeklist.in/
You don’t need this crap. Relationships are full of rules you’re supposed to buy into: Sex on the third date, Netflix and Chill, bouquets full of roses, etc. The truth is, you’re far better off coming up with an idea that’s all your own, that you think will suit her as well, and investing the time and effort into that instead. Making her feel truly special — shockingly enough — doesn’t mean buying into the same crap that everybody around you is doing. There’s a reason that the best Valentine’s Day ideas are ones that involve nothing traditionally “Valentine.”
me on Valentine's Day pic.twitter.com/DBJWa6pKT7
— Sincerely Tumblr (@SincerelyTumblr) February 4, 2016
So. Be like those smart single people who ignore Valentine’s Day completely. If we all work together, we can kill this thing. Future generations will thank you for it.