No, not venereal disease. Anyone who's smart, safe, lucky and responsible can avoid that. Valentine's Day is a little harder to dodge with out a deprivation chamber or living in a cave or spending a month with your eyes shut tight, your fingers in your ears and going "lalalala I can't hear you". Valentine's Day is the ultimate marketing success, anyone can exploit this day for a sale or a deal, it's guaranteed income for a day for those in the restaurant and flower and possibly even horse-drawn carriage businesses.
It's a day that preys on those who still cling to the Hollywood ideals of romance and their pocket books. All over North America husbands and boyfriends are going to find themselves in big trouble for either forgetting it (not sure how that's possible with how prevalent it is everywhere you go) or for not doing enough to mark the day.
It's a day that once had some meaning loosely tied to St. Valentine. This may be why so few people call it St. Valentine's Day, equal parts laziness, typography, and having little do to with St. Valentine himself. Now it's just an excuse to buy your sweetie flowers and chocolate and expensive dinner. Some might even use it as an excuse to propose marriage, thereby getting in the black of their significant other's good books in the romance department for a good amount of time.
I think it will surprise no one to find that I hate Valentine's Day. Okay, fine. Hate is a strong word. I have hated it in the past, vehemently hated it. In school I never got many paper valentines, I never had a boyfriend in school (all of it up to after college) so Valentine's Day always seemed to me to be a way for the world to collectively point out how lonely I am. Thanks world, everyone else is happily paired in varying degrees of love from "puppy" to "deeply in" and I am woefully not.
I've been in relationships when Valentine's Day comes around and I've told my partners they were off the hook when it came to Valentine's Day I don't care for the "holiday" and expect nothing. I made it clear that this wasn't some strange reverse psychology trick either. I really don't care about the day and will happily treat it like any other day. If they wanted to do something special and/or romantic my birthday is just 10 days later and I'll be much more appreciative of romantic gestures then. I haven't met many partners that cared about Valentine's Day either so I've never been too concerned that I was ruining it for them. If I was they didn't tell me so.
This year, I am not in a Capital R Relationship for Valentine's Day. This will be the first time in almost four years. Now simply because I don't like celebrating it financially and with chocolate and flowers, this does not mean I am not keenly aware of the imposing sentiment or blind to the romantic things my friends and their significant others or other couples are engaged in. And it will always bother and annoy me, but never as much as it does when I am single.
A thought occurred to me earlier today when I realized that this dreadful day is looming. I have an online dating profile and it's been intentionally dormant for a few months, for reasons I don't think I have to explain here. I thought maybe I should resuscitate it, but doing so this close to Valentine's Day... I feel like it would leave me vulnerable to too many people desperately seeking someone for Valentine's Day. And I wish them the best of luck in their endeavours, but I'd be wary that it was only a move of desperation (ie. a hook-up) and not really what I want. Why put myself in that line of fire? There's also the very real danger that I become what I wish to avoid in a late-night, sleep-deprived saving throw at my loneliness.
No. I do not want to stoop to that level. I almost feel bad for saying that, assuming that people who just want to get a little action for Valentine's Day (or even VD if they're not careful) are lonely, desperate people. People who've probably had profiles for a long time and not just in a mad dash to find someone to share the Hallmark Holiday with. No, I don't want to have to say no (if I need to) to people who are so hopeful already at a time of year that makes people feel extra emotionally vulnerable, myself included.
If I could spend that day with my head under a blanket, I probably would. It would be nice to have someone else under there with me and even better still if they wanted to make a for reals blanket fort, but that's not where I am right now and that's okay too. I will spend that day at work, doing my job. I will come home and probably avoid any unnecessary 'internetting' and go to bed. I will take a day to love and be nice to myself because I am awesome and totally worth it.
If you're alone that day, for whatever reason, it's a day for love so they say, don't forget to love yourself. On February 14 and every other day too.