February 13th, 2005

planet

mid-february strikes again

80% of advicenators questions this week have been from people with no idea what to get their significant other for a certain holiday. Many of these questioners are kids in meaningless social "relationships" that exist for the soul purpose of being able to say, "Yes, I have a boyfriend! He luuuuvs me!". I've detested this trite bullshit since I was 13 (I have! I have early essays to prove it!) so I don't really sympathize but it brings up an interesting concept: Why do we fall into these painful hallmark holidays that make us feel so awkward and insecure? It seems like most everyone I know is buying valentine's day crap because they feel obligated to, not because they're inspired. Who's inspired by pink hearts or stuffed bears anyway? There's nothing creative or original about valentine's day. Nothing practical or remotely interesting. It's the same tired, rehashed holiday every year.

Birthdays are cool, because you're celebrating a year of life. Anniversaries are okay, because you're celebrating a year of being together and the fact that time makes the relationship more important and real. Christmas and Easter are religious; Thanksgiving and July 4th are patriotic. Valentine's day is nothing. It's a celebration of the fact that we let advertising campaigns tell us that if you can't use your mastercard to prove your love, it's not real.

Love is supposed to be cute and spontaneous. Love means you're out, just doing your thing, and suddenly get an idea for a new way to tell someone special how much they mean to you. It's the constant effort to find new expressions. Love doesn't need a special holiday, we don't need a calendar to remind us of it. Love should just remind us of itself, when we see someone we love doing an everyday task in just the right light.

Love isn't like an oil change that you get every 3,000 miles (or once a year on February 15th). Love is a tank of gas that you get when you need it.

I'm single, so you might think that that's why I hate valentine's day, but trust me, I've hated it long before all the breakups, and it took being single (I think) to finally figure out why. Valentine's day is a shitty obligation whose purpose it to get everyone to examine their relationship to make sure it measures up to this pink-hearted society vision of what a relationship should be. It's anti-love!

fight the evil, kids.