Valentine’s Day is usually a day that I enjoy. It breaks up the monotony of everyday life, it wholesomely celebrates love, and some of the best music ever invented gets played around this time. The more jaded side of me wants to pride myself on seeing Valentine’s Day for what it really is: a 19th century marketing gimmick, designed to make people feel inadequate about what they are already self-conscious about- their love life. First off, it makes zero sense. It is a holiday named after a Catholic saint that was beheaded, which doesn’t exactly conjure up romance. Everything is decorated with images of a naked baby that happens to be the Roman God of love. Its main intention is to make people eat boxes of chocolate and then have sex and yet the only significant thing that happened on this day was a massacre.
For a whole day, you have to hear people talk about what their love languages are while they say things like “love is blind” and “the course of true love never did run smooth.” The quote that I prefer from that play, that I think is the most applicable to Valentine’s Day, is “what fools these mortals be.” It’s not hard to think about that quote when people give each other cardboard Cupids and watch bad rom-coms that rival Hallmark Christmas movies for peak tackiness.
People who are in relationships just feel pressure to do something great to great expense, others face massive rejection since this is the day they make big, public romantic overtures to little success, and the rest just feel lonely. So who actually enjoys this holiday? For everyone, Valentine’s Day is either a heartbreaking day or a love making day.
My bitterness towards Valentine’s Day is exactly the same as everybody else’s. It’s a time of year that brings matters of the heart to the forefront, which no one asked for. Yet, every year, despite this, I’m determined to make the most of it, regardless of my relationship status.
For me, the real holiday around this time of year comes the day before Valentine’s Day. Galentine’s Day is the sacred celebration of womanhood and female friendship. I celebrated it by getting gifts for all of my closest gal pals and having brunch with Valentina in New York City.
We ate at “Good Enough to Eat,” an uptown breakfast place that more than lived up to its name. I would avoid this place if you don’t love coconut chocolate pancakes, goat cheese omlettes, and strawberry-flavored butter. Afterwards, we strolled through Central Park as it snowed and then spent the afternoon perusing the Met. In case you were wondering, it was, in fact, as divine as it sounds.
I wanted to locate the Met’s sculpture of Cupid and Psyche, a statue that I found years ago and thought would have couples lining up to take pictures in front of it given what the next day was. Unfortunately, however, I could not find it, but instead managed to find the Birth of Venus painting, in which Venus is splayed out in the middle of the ocean having just been formed by the sea foam.
My parents have had a print of that painting for years, since, according to my father, the Venus in the painting reminds him of my mother. (Smooth move, dad).
That evening I attended a Valentine’s Day music performance that was being put on by the same people who put it on last semester during the holidays. So many beautiful voices, so many well-played songs. It was a match made in heaven, which was appropriate seeing as to how I was wearing my golden angel wings while there.
I felt that I had a few options regarding how to spend Valentine’s Day while single. I could sacrifice myself at the altar of corporate-whatever-greed and cave to the self-care products that have been cleverly marketed to me to “fill the void,” but that really only means that I’d spend the evening in a bubble bath with a Korean face mask and “Ben & Jerry’s.”
My cat is back in Georgia, otherwise I would be curled up with her, alone in my dorm room, watching clips of the Graham Norton Show. It sounds pathetic, I know, but only if you don’t have any pride.
My final option was to prance around in my angel wings, telling people that I’m “sent from heaven,” and show all of those guys in relationships what they’re missing. It seemed a better option than being alone in my dorm room playing “A Woman Left Lonely ” by Janis Joplin, so that’s what I went with. I donned my sparkly, gold angel wings over my long purple dress and attended the Valentine’s Day performance.
You might ask: how can I be both a queen and an angel?
By Divine Right.
The front of the dress is incredibly short, but the back of it drapes over my shoulders and touches the ground. In other words, the dress is so short that it caused a wardrobe malfunction, but so long that it caused a tripping hazard. I wore the angel wings at the music event on Sunday night and then walked around with them for all of Valentine’s Day. It’s not easy being the “it girl” at your college, even for a day.
All of the girls I know are gorgeous on Valentine’s Day with red and pink outfits and glitter eyeshadow. Valentine’s Day as female empowerment. (Is that a thesis or what?) It makes me happy in some weird way to think about women being extra on Valentine’s Day and making it their own.
On Valentine’s Day I taped heart-shaped Dove chocolates to the doors of my residents. They all got to be my Valentines for the day. So it’s another Valentine’s Day come and gone with no change in my life, but I still managed to have a wonderful time with my friends. I hope that you all had a satisfying Valentine’s Day as well, regardless of your relationship status.
Happy Valentine’s Day,
P.S.: Venus was in retrograde, which should have added some spiciness to the festivities. I did not observe any such romantic turmoil.