Why so bitter?

CSflatThe day of love seems to be, ironically, the most hated day of the year. It seems un-cool to enjoy Valentine’s Day.

What is it about the holiday that makes people want to throw Valentine’s Day sucks parties, or drown their sorrows in ice cream? Is it really that depressing, or are we just succumbing to pressure to
hate it?

I’ve done the bitter thing. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a boyfriend on Valentine’s Day. For many years I’ve used it as a day I could defend being sad and angry.

That’s not to say I wasn’t bitter other days of the year, but there’s something about a day that’s dedicated to couples that makes you want to curl up in your snuggie and gorge on as much chocolate as possible. But there’s just no point. Chocolate is much cheaper on February 15. Besides, why would you want to make yourself upset? It’s just a day. It’s a dumb holiday, but it’s not worth your tears.

Laura Cole, fourth-year STU student, is one woman who won’t be attached to another person’s face February 14, but she’s not sad at all.

In fact, she’s pissed off at all the women complaining about the holiday.

“There are too many Bitter Betties on Valentine’s Day.”

Cole says it’s okay to hate the day for a good reason, but thinks a lot of women are just lying – whether they’re in a relationship, hating on the holiday because they want to be “the cool girlfriend,” or they’re single and being bitter for the sake of it.

As for the men, she can see where they’re coming from.

“If I were a dude, I’d be stressed.”

She says often many women have high expectations they keep secret. They might say they don’t want anything from their boyfriend, but when he doesn’t buy a dozen roses, shit’s going down.

However, she doesn’t approve of laziness.

“If you can’t do a little extra for someone, you probably shouldn’t be in a relationship.”

Cole has had five Valentine’s Days in relationships and she says the best one was low-key. They exchanged small gifts and enjoyed each other’s company.

“That doesn’t mean a $300 day. It’s a day to appreciate their significant other.”

Three hundred dollars might seem exaggerated, but Cole isn’t far off. CBS News expects consumers to spend more than $130 on V-day celebrations this year, up from last year.

In total, they expect $18.6 billion to be spend on gifts and cards, $815 million of it for pets. That’s right, millions of dollars are going into making sure cats and dogs feel loved on Valentine’s Day, because apparently feeding and cuddling them isn’t enough.

Once again, capitalism is reaping the benefits of a consumerist-created day. Unlike other expensive religious holidays such as Christmas and Easter, it has very weak origins.

According to The Huffington Post, there are three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus. The holiday also seems to pay tribute to the ancient celebration of Lubercalia – a fertility festival, according to The Telegraph.

The Telegraph dates the naming of the holiday to the end of the fifth century, by Pope Gelasius. It didn’t become the day of hearts until much later.

How that translates to a bunch of people exchanging feelings of love, I’m not sure, but written valentines began to appear after 1400 by the Duke of Orleans. It became popular in the 18th century, increasing even more in the 19th century when people no longer had to hand make them, according to The Telegraph.

Valentine’s Day’s exact meaning is a bit unclear, so that leaves you with opportunity. If you want to take a day to remember how great your romantic partner is, then that’s fine. If you want to be angry and alone, that’s up to you, too. But you can still enjoy yourself whether you’re single or plus one, without spending all your dollar bills.

I, for one, intend to spend it like I would spend any other Thursday – drinking at Dolan’s Pub.

***

Kyla Tanner, fourth year STU student, shares her awkward Vday story.

My boyfriend in grade eleven decided to take me out to see a movie. He didn’t have his license yet so I drove us to the theatre, after he awkwardly gave me a red and pink stuffed animal and a card with an attempt at a rhyme inside. For some reason, he chose to see the movie Step Up and I guess we assumed it wouldn’t be that busy, but sure enough, walking in during the previews there were no seats. We ended up crawling over people near the very front and looking straight up at the screen. Not very romantic to say the least.

Amanda Jess, fourth-year STU student, tells the story of her less than romantic Valentine’s Day.

I had been dating a really terrible guy, just the worst, and not just because of this. Anyway, I told him I didn’t care about Valentine’s Day, and he believed me. As if a 14-year-old girl means that when she says it. As if a 14-year-old of any gender means half of the things they say. When I saw him at school the next day, he hadn’t done anything. Didn’t even wish me a happy Valentine’s Day. So I did the passive-aggressive thing, and didn’t really talk to him in class, until my best friend told him off. He then proceeded to make me a card
in class while I was sitting beside him. It read, “I choo-choo-choose you,” with a picture of a train, just like Lisa gave to Ralph on The Simpsons. It could’ve been a sweet gesture, had it not been done only because I was annoyed at him, and while I was sitting beside him.

Fourth-year STU student, Jordan MacDonald, didn’t have a story to share, so she shares one from her sister, Tayla MacDonald – a Bachelor of Education student from UPEI.

I got a text saying, “When are you going to be home?” I got all excited, thinking he [my boyfriend] was going to do something for Vday for me. I got home, he told me it was over and he was leaving. I was a
crying mess on the floor. Cailyn [my friend] took me to the sex shop and bought me a vibrator.

The AQ’s Shane Fowler tells us about his not-so-happy Valentine’s Day.

At the end of a long-term relationship a few years ago it was suggested we “do Valentine’s Day.”
It was the kind of relationship that was ending with a whisper, not a bang. Slow; terrible. Lots of heartache, lumps in the throat, overhearing cry breaks in the bathroom. There was a lot of not saying anything. But we had to do something. It was Valentine’s Day.

We settled on baking pizzas together. Miserable, heart-shaped, pizzas. The whole process was
an exercise in futility. We said things to each other like “I want lots of meat on my pizza” instead of “I love you, why can’t this work.” Or, “Your heart-shaped pizza looks like butt,” instead of, “I’m terrified of living without you.” It was talking without saying anything.

We broke up two days later.

That Valentine’s Day still stains the rest of them for me.

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