(Here’s a spoiler, it’s not much of a victory day at all.)
I don’t function well on V-day. In fact, I intentionally avoid calling the holiday by its full appellation whenever I can. It’s unfortunate, in a way, but I always seem to be more bitter and angry about the whole affair than I really feel (most of the time). Normally I lock myself away on V-day since I know how ungodly it is to sit around, being grumpy to other people and sulk all day. I live in an area, or at least know people, who put a lot of stock in their relationships and in being in love, having a partner and all those things that I dream about myself. It’s always disappointing when the day rolls along every year and I demonstrate just how petty and unChristlike I really am in this area.
The days following V-day aren’t really much better either. It’s as if people are still basking in the afterglow of the holiday. (That is, my imagination is always picking up on implications and such that may or may not be there.)
I don’t know if all this fight and fire is worth it either. The push against the flow of relationship dynamics in this culture, sometimes feels like I’m kicking against the goads of God’s own and very good intentions for His creation. For all my posturing that Friendship has a place, Friendship never seems able to find a place when romance and “love” steal the show.
Every year one of my understanding friends plans to spend some time with me, knowing that it would help take the edge off. (I seem to be the only one who gets so thrown for a loop every February 14th). And every year without fail those plans fall through, either through the (sometimes innocent) machinations of romantic partners or the sweeping guidance of God’s Providence.
Shifting lanes a bit, I suppose the most annoying thing about today are the people who seem completely oblivious to the words they allow to come out of their mouths. V-day falling on Friday, I was spending a few hours volunteering at my church again. When asked how things were by another person working that day, I responded about it being V-day and how I strongly disliked the day.
“I don’t really understand V-day, either. Why take a day out to say ‘I love you’ to your loved ones, when you should be doing it everyday?”
Honestly, that’s easy to say when one already has loved ones – loved ones that they aren’t fully appreciating apparently. But what about the people all around who don’t have the blessing of loving friends and family everyday?
Also, our church is really big on what we call “monuments” – taking special time or making a special place to remember God’s faithfulness and love. It’s something like a modern application of the impetus behind the Church Calendar. So it was really odd to consider thus church worker saying something like that. My friends who dislike me celebrating Lent and Advent give similar reasoning: “We should be thanking God and being faithful to Him all year round. We don’t need any special days set apart.” Of course, there’s the implication that if I keep doing so, I’ll turn legalistic (or horror of horrors, turn Roman Catholic).
I usually reply, “Are you being particularly thankful to God all year?” (Oftentimes the answer is “No, not really.”)
It’s the same way with human relationships. While ideally we do show love and affection for our beloveds at some constant level throughout the year, there has to be special times when we go above and beyond to make that love remarkable and differently expressed.
But Valentine’s Day still sucks for me.