I’ve always had a *wait for it* love affair with v-day. So let’s begin with the basics while I lay out my case:
#1: Do you even know the story behind Valentine’s Day? Now you do. (Spoilers: Y’all he was a marriage vigilante)
#2: Have you read some of the dope love poems written about love, often quoted on V-day? Try these (oops they’re my faves):
- love is more thicker than forget, e.e. cummings
- When I have fears that I may cease to be, John Keats
- This is my all time fave, if I had to pick an All Time Fave.
- How Do I Love Thee, Elizabeth Barrett Browning
- Love Sonnet XVII, Pablo Neruda
- To the Virgins, Make Much of Time, Robert Herrick
Now that we’ve covered that: For me, V-day is about love. All kinds of love. Love for your significant other, love for yourself, love for your friends and family and cousins and barista.
My parents treat V-day this way, too (I say as I snuggle my feet deeper into the heart slippers they sent me this week, in their V-day gift package). I think people get too hung up on the idea that V-day means “couples,” or something heavy. Yeah, there’s pressure to have a nice holiday when you’re in a relationship, and yeah, maybe there’s truth to the cynical rumor that greeting card companies (those denizens of capitalism) started it all to turn a profit.
But can you tell me what’s wrong with a designated day where you pick up flowers (how often do you do this?), eat chocolate, and turn to someone to tell them how much you love them?
Holidays can tend to remind us of what we don’t have if we approach them with the wrong mindset. (Extended family at Christmas and Thanksgiving, an S.O. on V-day, an Insta-perfect party on NYE, etc). I’m challenging you today to broaden what you think V-day (or G-day if you’re a Galentine’s celebrator) is about.
Maybe it’s love for your pet, love for the fantastic earth we inhabit, or love for another human being.
I linked to this poem earlier in the week, but Modern Declaration by Edna St. Vincent Millay really captures how I feel about this, too.
All I’m asking you to do is this: Give v-day a chance this year. It can be more than a holiday you slog through, miserably, bitterly, every year. It can be a day of rest. A day of movement.
Hell, it could even be a day of radical, boundless love.
Who says we couldn’t use more of that?