Valentine's Day: what's all the fuss about?

Already February ! Or is it rather just February ? For me, it’s already February because I simply didn’t see January go by.

For many, February is a fun month because it’s shorter than the others and it's often associated with the kids’ famous spring break. But before we even get to that sacred week, February brings us an event that takes on different meanings. Some anticipate it, others fear it. This event, as you’ve probably guessed, is Valentine's Day. Enemy number one of many singles (and most men), it’s however much appreciated by most... women.

In my humble opinion, February 14th should be renamed International Day of Useless Pressure. Useless pressure to be more attentive, more romantic, more seductive, more in love. Those with a special someone have the pressure to find THE perfect gift. And not only does this gift have to be perfect, but it must also be unique, original and meaningful. Not always an easy task!

For the singles who dream of being coupled up, it’s the useless pressure of finding a date at all costs. In their eyes, it would be unacceptable to spend Valentine’s Day with friends, or worse… ignore its existence all together ! To these optimists, it’s the time or never to find the person who will sweep them off their feet.

Finally, there’s the people who really couldn’t care less about it ! For singles, it’s not too bad. No one will bother them and they’ll spend the day like the other 364 of the year. But for couples who don’t care about V Day, it’s another story. Other couples judge them, intimidate them, even accuse them of being cheap. These days, it’s simply not OK for two people who love eachother to ignore Valentine’s Day. They’re forced to pretend. Pretend that they’re more in love than the day before, pretend that all their problems have disappeared, pretend that they have money to waste on insignificant gifts and flowers that cost twice as much as they usually do. Pretend to love Valentine’s Day, basically!

Some complain that Valentine's Day is a purely commercial invention with one and only goal: make us spend more. Maybe, but so what? Aren’t all holidays like that? Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day and all these "important dates" all have the same result: they make us spend more. That’s life, and I doubt it will ever change! So let’s just stop complaining and act as we please. May those who want to buy chocolate buy some, and may the others not. Simple, isn’t it?

I personally find this « celebration of love » okay in itself, but I don’t get why people put so much pressure on themselves to make it a memorable day. Wouldn’t it be a thousand times more surprising (and appreciated) for our loved one to receive flowers on January 22nd, just because we felt like it ? Because we love him/her and we wanted to tell him/her at that specific moment ? Wouldn’t it be more romantic to be invited to a good restaurant on March 11th? The problem with February 14th is that everyone expects to be spoiled. Everyone expects to be surprised, which, by definition, is a bit paradoxical. The purpose of a surprise is precisely that: to surprise! Not to meet an expectation.

Whether we like it or not, talk about it or not, Valentine's Day is here to stay. So on these great words of wisdom, I just want to wish all little romantics out there a Happy Valentine’s Day. And to everyone else, I simply wish that February is not as cold as January!

By Stéphanie Auclair