Why I Refuse to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

First, let me tell you what my reasons aren’t.

  1. I’m not cheap.  I’m generous, as generous as I can be.  I believe in buying things and spending money, especially on people I like, something my pastor said a lot about yesterday in church by the way.  I need to work on the whole being generous to people I don’t like.  That’s another post.
  2. I’m not inconsiderate.  In fact, one of my best qualities is that I consider people and things.  I think about people a lot.
  3. I’m not clueless.  I’m aware of holidays and how people expect them to be observed.  I’m aware that a lot of you folks are buying and opening cards, making dinner reservations, and opening up nice little gift boxes.
  4. I’m not mean.  Usually.  And I try not to be mean on holidays when everybody else happy.  Like during Christmas season when people speak to me even though the look I’m wearing says, “You don’t know me.”
  5. I’m not broken-hearted.  I have had my heart wrenched, but that was in first grade, and I’ve had time to mend since then.

Now, here are the reasons I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day.

  1. I love too many people.  The day is supposed to be about acknowledging love, and when you love a lot of people, one day just won’t finish the work.  It won’t do the job.  Celebrating love daily trains you to treat people like they’re special, like they deserve being acknowledged whenever you recall the affection you hold for them.  When you love mothers, sisters, cousins, spouses, relatives and friends, how can you restrict the expression of that to a day in the middle of February?
  2. I love people all the time.  I think you should love people every day.  That you, that I, should love daily.  Love like it’s your last day.  Have you heard that before?  It makes sense to love as much as you can, as well as you can, as often as you can.  I have this nagging but somehow natural sensitivity to endings, departures, deaths.  And I’d hate to wake up one day and think about someone who’s dead and have to admit to myself, to them, or to their memory that they died a month before the day I was planning to express my feelings.
  3. I celebrate birthdays.  Birthdays are better alternatives.  Even better than Christmas.  They are more personal, much less commercial.  Much less socially loaded.  Nobody creates pictures or decorations to honor my wife’s birthday.  When I get home on February 26, Dawn isn’t going to ask me if I’ve collected silver, red, and pink paper pieces strewn down 53rd Street.
  4. I’m campaigning.  I’m pushing for a similar holiday for people broken up by some significant other.  Ever since that girl with slight sideburns in my class at St. John De La Salle, my mind’s been working on a day for folks to acknowledge the breakups.  That holiday would bring balance.  Perhaps I’ll email Hallmark.

Anything to add?

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