Valentine’s Day Is Awkward And Horrible, Let’s Stop Forcing Our Kids To Celebrate It
I’ve never been a fan of Valentine’s Day. It’s not because I don’t enjoy love or candy — it’s because it is so forced. And it’s been that way for as long as I can remember. Teaching our kids that there is one day out of the year where they have to express love is weird. Valentine’s Day is just a weird holiday.
When I was a kid, you didn’t have to give everyone in class a Valentine. You could literally just give them to all the kids you liked, and leave everyone else out. That was odd, and always made me feel bad. Not because I didn’t have friends, but because there was this game we used to play where we would count all the Valentine’s we got. There would always be someone who didn’t have very many. I hated that.
When I got to middle and high school, the paper Valentine ritual turned into a carnation ritual. You could buy a carnation for a dollar and send it to the classroom of someone you liked. That took the Valentine’s debacle to a whole new level of awkward and horrible. Some student-turned-delivery-person would arrive with a basket of carnations and dole them all out. Those who were left out were very publicly left out. Those who weren’t wore a wide grin for the rest of the day. My girlfriends and I used to send them to each other to kill the possibility of zero-flower humiliation. But I never had a boyfriend in high school so I was never on the receiving end of the grand, romantic gesture of the coveted carnation.
Maybe it is this history of awkwardness that followed me into adulthood, causing me to roll my eyes at all things heart-shaped. As a waitress, it was one of the worst days of the year to work — people dressing up and fawning over each other, awkward-looking it’s-too-early-in-the-relationship-to-be-doing-this-but-we-still-are meals. Even though I have not been single for most of my adult life and have always had someone to celebrate with, I’ve still always found it to be a holiday when I am not thrilled to receive something. It’s so forced. And it’s odd that are kids are basically forced to celebrate it, too.
Maybe everyone else loves it and I’m actually crazy. But I would applaud if schools stopped making our kids participate in this love farce.
(Photo: lecosta/ Shutterstock)