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  • Olive Persimmon

Hate Valentine's Day? This Is For You...

It’s February.

The magic of Christmas is over and the dreariness of January is lingering in our minds. The weather is nice this year so the seasonal depression and general agitation of the people of NYC seems abated. That’s good. Last year, irritation permeated every single train car of the NYC subway.

It’s February.

Which means pink hearts and gold glittery “I Love You’s” are hanging in every aisle of every Duane Reade everywhere. It’s Capitalism’s way of reminding us that love can be sold.

It’s February. Which means Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.

It’s a day dreaded by single people everywhere. A day my old male roommate christened, “Hit On Crying, Lonely Women at the Bar” day.

I walk into a small cafe near my house. It’s decked out in Valentine’s decorations. “Will you be mine” is written on a red heart in chalk. There’s red, red, red EVERYWHERE. I can’t escape it. Roses on every table and heart-shaped cookies.

I FEEL…

Happy. Really happy.

I have a reputation for being anti-romance.

But I’m a true romantic. I love LOVE. And that’s why Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays.

I like getting flowers. They’re beautiful and they make me feel special. I love cheesy glitter hearts. I think they’re cute…which is weird because I don’t really have a cutesy personality.

Public Displays of Affection make me feel hopeful. It’s beautiful and wonderful to see two people in love. In love for that moment. For that hour. For the entire day. Or month or year, or maybe just maybe forever. Two people who appreciate each other so much that on a carnal level, they want to rip each other’s clothes off so badly that they simply can’t wait.

I want that. I’m happy when other people have that. We were put on this planet to share ourselves. To Touch. To Feel. To Love.

People who hate Valentine’s usually have two arguments:

It’s a commercialized Hallmark Holiday designed by card companies to make money.It’s a day to remind single people how lonely they are.

People who make the first argument usually say, “You shouldn’t need a holiday to tell someone you love them.”

Yes. That is true.

You should openly, freely express your love often. You should let the vulnerability and deepness of your love for your partner, your family, your friends, shine through everything you do. You should end every, single phone conversation with not a tiny shred of doubt about your love.

That’s what we should do.

But we don’t. And that’s ok. It makes us humans. Humans who are scared of being THAT vulnerable or open or deep. So if we need a holiday to remind us to reaffirm our love. If we need someone else’s words on a card to express how we feel. If we can’t find or speak the words and instead thoughtfully burn a CD of Macklemore songs instead. Or if we need an excuse to attempt to learn how to bake salmon and clean our apartments and burn the damn rice in the process and order Chinese instead…You know what. I’m ok with that.

Because I can’t think of a single scenario where that’s a bad thing. Even if Hallmark makes a shit ton of money in the process.

As for the 2nd reason about shoving it in the face of single people that they are alone. AGAIN. FOR ONE MORE FREAKING YEAR.

What I would say to those people is:

Loneliness is a very valid emotion. I’ve spent the majority of my life sleeping alone. So, I FEEL YOU. I’ve felt crippling uncertainty if I’d ever be touched again. I’ve had days where I knew no one other than my mother cared how my day went. I’ve worried that I’d never have sex or even kiss anyone again. Or that I’d never have the opportunity to learn how make salmon and burn the damn rice in the process.

AND YET. AND YET.

Valentine’s Day is a day that reminds me how incredibly loved I am. It’s not a couple’s only day UNLESS YOU MAKE IT THAT. For years, My mom has sent me a Valentine in the mail. For years, my best friend, who is married now, calls me and asks me to be her Valentine. For years, I’ve baked pink, heart shaped cookies to take to work to share with my colleagues. I’ve hosted brunch to invite the people I love into my home. I’ve bought flowers for myself and my friends. I’ve left random notes of kindness for strangers.

And I always, always feel deeply loved.

So, if you’re feeling a little Anti-Valentines. I get it. Truly I do. But I’d love to ask you to change your perspective. Send a Valentine to your friend or mom or trainer at your gym. Instead of sitting around this year feeling bad for yourself and hating Hallmark, why not embrace the gooey, glittery happiness of the holidays.

And if you can’t think of a single person on the whole planet who will celebrate with you, I have one important question:

Will you be my Valentine?

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