Effing Valentine’s Day, Y’Know?

Love it or hate it?

I kind of hate Valentine’s Day. Even in elementary school I found it complicated: all the cards and crafts and picking friends. I couldn’t eat chocolate when I was a kid, so even the candy was sort of lost on me (and those message hearts are cute, but they taste awful. Fight me). Once I started working in restaurants, it was all over. People mostly seem to find Valentine’s Day stressful, and people who are stressed out don’t tend to be great to service people. In college, I worked at a totally wild, theatrical, themed bar called Cuchi Cuchi (I know) and it was a major Valentine’s destination. As the host, I was expected not only to pull together a completely over-the-top outfit (that part was fun, obviously) but also function as the gatekeeper to the whole experience. Most nights, it was the best job in the world. But on Valentine’s? Bribes were attempted. Fights were had. People were terrible. The expectations everyone was under were altogether too much, and whatever interest I had in Valentine’s Day quickly faded under the weight of… well, whatever it is when grown men beg a 20-year-old woman for a romantic table for two (that they haven’t reserved) and a bouquet of roses (they haven’t planned ahead for) in ten minutes or they’ll throw a tantrum.

So now, I do nothing. My husband often works Valentine’s Day, so date night is out. For several years we’ve had a tradition with some friends where we do a group Korean barbecue BYO dinner, for couples, families, single folx, whoever. This year, that didn’t work out so I’ll be at home, snuggling my dog, folding laundry, and catching up on trashy television. But I don’t want to be one of those people who loves to hate Valentine’s Day, either, because for some folx it’s a day to remember the importance of love in their lives, and that matters. I have friends who love it: the romance, the table for two, the cute date night out. And they really do find it fun, and a little sexy, to celebrate—they’re stoked to get dressed up and have a glitzy night on the town, and that’s delightful.

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And of course, Leslie Knope gave us Galentine’s Day, a newer tradition for womxn to celebrate platonic friendships, which is a sweet reminder that not all love is romantic love, and expressing love for friends is just as important as expressing love for a partner. And for parents with kids in school, it can be a fun holiday full of crafts and cards—or perhaps a stressful nightmare of glue and glitter.

By which I mean to say… how’s all that going? Do you have V-day plans? Do those plans involve PJ’s or a sexy outfit? Does it cause fights or romance in your house?

Do you love Valentine’s Day? Hate it? Love to hate it? Hate to love it? Have a plan to celebrate, or a plan to avoid?

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