Look, hearts and stars and cupcakes! Also a horse with a horn on it's head.
There are many many many many many many many reasons not to like Valentine's Day:
1. If you're in a relationship, you feel pressure to do something special.
2. If you're not in a relationship, you feel pressure to be in a relationship.
3. Some people feel the need to show off things they received from their significant other, which is super-bothersome, because the people who show off the most are usually the ones who are in the worst relationships. When I hear someone say, "LOOK AT THE DIAMOND HEADBAND HE GOT ME!!!" it's usually a pretty good sign that what they're really saying is "SEE? HE LOVES ME! YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE ME BECAUSE LOOK!!!" (or, alternately, "I'M TACKY!")
4. If anyone gets you anything and you didn't get them anything, you feel like a jerk.
5. If you get someone something and they didn't get you anything, you also feel like a jerk, and then you've made them feel like a jerk.
6. Greeting Card industry blah blah blah blooooooorp.
So I'm not the biggest fan of Valentine's Day. Romance, to me, is specific to every person. For the past five years my husband has not cooked anything with mustard in it because I hate the taste of it. In the mornings when I'm the first person to come downstairs, I make coffee, even though I don't drink it*. This is our sort of romance; he forgoes mustard, I learn how to work a coffee machine. He brings me flowers from Trader Joe's sometimes, and sometimes I walk in the rain to get him the lemonade ice tea that he likes from the Wawa. We do what we can to make each other happy on a daily basis, and it's not necessary to stress out over roses and chocolate and dinner reservations and jewelry to prove our undying love on this one day in February.
They're not Shakespeare, but they are delightfully crunchy.
What I do like about Valentine's Day:
1. Message hearts, although in truth I'd be perfectly happy with a roll of Necco wafers (they're the same thing, only flatter and less hearty and with more flavors, including black liquorice, which I happen to like).
2. Hanging out with my friend Anand**.
Years and years ago, Anand, our friend Mo, and I were all single when we made a pact to spend every Valentine's Day with each other. Mo dropped out after a few years but Anand and I have kept up the tradition, even now when we're both married (and not to each other). This, to me, is also romantic: when Anand met his wife, he didn't trash our pact. When I met my husband, I made it very clear that Valentine's Day was for hanging out with Anand. Spending time with each other on Valentine's Day is first and foremost fun, but it's also our little way of remembering who we were before we met Bea and Mark. While I'm incredibly grateful for the myriad of ways that my life has changed and improved since meeting Mark, I'm also grateful for the years before that taught me how to appreciate a partner who only ever gets to eat mustard at the ballpark.
However, if you every need a bit of traditional romance...
If you don't know what movie this scene is from, OH MY GOD WE'RE NOT TALKING UNTIL YOU SEE IT.
*It's not that I don't like coffee, it's just that coffee turns me into a jittery ragemonster so I usually avoid it.
**Fun Fact! The character of Principal Rao is named after Anand. Another Fun Fact is that Anand was once interrogated by the FBI on suspicion of being a terrorist. Fortunately, he was not a terrorist. True story.