Today’s Valentine’s Day.

Going by tradition, I’ve come to make a post on this romantic and lovely day.

And by romantic and lovely day, I mean to spend it with your beloved other (mine happens to be a computer this year [every year]). Though your main reason of doing it is because you want to spend time with him/her/it and not because you feel you have to (social pressure that is V-day). I mean, it is a corporate holiday, where you don’t actually get a holiday, but it’s treated as one and you spend money to prepare for the day as if it was actually a holiday, so don’t get too upset or frustrated by it. If whoever you’re planning it for doesn’t like it, they’re maybe just not the person/thing for you. To not appreciate effort isn’t something most people desire in another.

I’ve spent too many years thinking, talking and reading about the negatives of the 14th of February. For the last few years, I’ve really thought of it as nothing but distasteful. Though part of it is that I never really have been in a situation where I could ‘celebrate it’ as society tells me to. Though the recent trend has been more for the one-person parties, it’s not something I particularly go out of my way to attend (or attend at all). Therefore, this year I’m going to try and just think happy thoughts. This isn’t a new year’s resolution or anything, since I don’t exactly have any. On that topic, I only have lofty, unclear ideals, not promises or goals.

Well.

Last year I did something different for Valentine’s day.

I tried to do something. Make a move. Say a line. Give a gift.

That kind of thing.

It was quite amusing, and refreshing.

I’m not exactly going to go into the details of it, as I don’t think they’re what is important, but that was something I had not done before that day.

It’s not that I’ve never done something like that before. Going out of my comfort zone is something I have been gradually trying to get better at doing. By gradually, I don’t mean the last year, or two years, but more like the last 10 years, so it’s been a while. But the special thing about last year was that I had done this activity on Valentine’s day. The day made it a bit more special. Something to remember when I think of the 14th, the person or the action. It’s that nice little bonus note at the end of a gift that says ‘Hey, here’s a little extra.’

I’m not saying that Valentine’s day is something that has to have a memory associated with it, or that people should try to make the day memorable. Truth is, it is going to be hard to make a Valentine’s day memorable just off the day itself, because if you make someone’s life a little bit special on this year’s 14th of February, how will they separate it from next year’s little bit special day? Not even considering future years, what about past years? Is a better memory than last year’s? Or the year before? A memory can be made to become special not because it is hosted on this day, but by the small things that you do to make that day special. Maybe it is one of those prestigious ‘first’ activities. First date. First time driving someone. First time at this type of restaurant. First time watching this movie. That day’s story is better described by those kinds of details than ‘Valentine’s day’. Since you could technically celebrate any day as a ‘Valentine’s Day’, does it matter what day it happens on? In fact, the special factor attached to the memory could be that it wasn’t Valentine’s Day! The day itself isn’t the motivator.

I’m not sure how that was a positive approach of Valentine’s day, but I digress.

Something about this day though allows me to try new things. Take risks I wouldn’t normally take if it wasn’t Valentine’s Day. Most couples sure wouldn’t be buying heart-shaped chocolate or doing things they normally wouldn’t do (like a guy going into Victoria’s Secret to buy his partner a gift). On that day (or around that day) it becomes more normal, and less strange. Social stigma is lessened, and it becomes more natural. Multiple males walking into Victoria’s Secret’s underwear section during May is a lot more strange than if it was the day before Valentine’s.

But it’s not just about shopping at different places.

Giving special (as in the design/wrapping/theme compared to the standard) chocolate is a normal occurrence that day. Ginger hearts, fluffy red chocolate wrappers and naked winged babies aren’t the typical kinds of things you experience on a normal day. Giving someone a chocolate with a winged baby in diapers (cupid) on the wrapper is a lot more strange in December than on the 14th.

Also saying things is a lot easier this day. It’s much easier to say ‘Hey are you free tomorrow for dinner’ on the day before V-day than it is to say it during September. It becomes a more ‘normal’ action for people to engage in, which removes a lot of the social and societal pressure that it brings.

I sure wouldn’t be sending cards that state ‘Be Mine.’ on it to people on a regular day, but on Valentine’s day it becomes an amusing task to see who received the most cards.

Although this isn’t a 100% positive effect (though none of the previous ones are either), someone people feel pressured to make strides in their romantic life around Valentine’s day, as opposed to feeling pressured to not make strides during other days. This could lead to new relationships and rekindled old relationships but can also ruin current and potential ones.

Valentine’s day isn’t that negative of a thing as I’ve seen at as the last couple of years. Surely a holiday where people try to make their partners and themselves happy can’t be that terrible of a situation, can it?

The girl who’s last few days at school/work had been tough appreciates the change of pace and special attention she’s now getting from her partner.

That guy who was too shy to ask his crush to dinner last month appreciates the societal normalization of that behaviour.

The couple going through some rough patches appreciates the time they spend away from fights and arguments.

On a day where the main goal is to embrace the romantic aspect of life, it can’t be all that bad.

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