If only Valentine’s Day were as simple as our middle school years: go to CVS, purchase a box of cheesy too-punny-to-be-romantic valentines, and try to prove your popularity by giving them out to as many classmates as possible. Nowadays we rack our brains and burn our bank accounts into the ground just to make sure our perfect woman has the perfect day. After researching the internet tireless weeks in advance to find the best vegetarian dinner options in D.C., I realize that my romantic reservations might in fact, be laid to waste due to the third snowpocalypse of this winter season. I couldn’t be more annoyed.
But then I realize that the dinner and grandiose gestures isn’t really what it’s all about. After all, is our safety worth braving the ice, cold, and bitter winter storm just to submit to the overly commercialized, hyper-romanticized media frenzy? And that’s not to suggest that receiving chocolates, flowers, and even jewelry shouldn’t make a girl feel special. Or should it?
It’s ironic to me that flowers and chocolate are the most preferred ways we choose to make our partners feel one in a million when an estimated one billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year. Over 220 million roses are mass produced, and over 35 million boxes of chocolates are sold. Perhaps it’s really not the gifts themselves that should make us femmes feel special, but the person who gives them.
An estimated six million happy couples are expected to pop the question on this special day, which only makes sense considering Valentine’s Day is a Christianized collective response to the pagan festival, Lupercalia, which honors the god of fertility. Well, I’ve got news for you. No matter who’s calling it what, babies are still happening. Americans are still spending an estimated six billion dollars on the holiday named after a man who was sentenced to death for performing secret marriages after Claudius II banned marriage. Claudius thought that single men made better soldiers.
With all this in mind, I think almost any day could be Valentine’s Day, and it certainly wouldn’t matter what the weather looked like outside. Besides, last time I checked there’s a pretty big universe out there, with life known on only one of nine planets. And with seven billion people populating over 204 countries, it’s a wonder how any of us even stumble upon our star-crossed lovers. For those of us who do, that simple revelation should be more than enough to keep us satisfied on this snowy Valentine’s Day evening. For those of us femmes who haven’t yet, don’t worry: the world is still your oyster and pearl earrings still go with everything.
Being snowed in might actually be the best thing to happen to any of us this Valentine’s Day. We are busy women living in a bustling world. Quality time is a rarity that money can’t buy. So in lieu of the high-priced dinner for two, I find myself taking a preemptive strike against mother nature by venturing to my local Whole Foods to stock up my fridge, grab some Redboxes, and prepare to snuggle up next to my loved one. But even if you are single, there’s still a reason to celebrate: Throughout history, Saint Valentine has been associated with feasts, youth, health, happiness, and fertility, and last time I checked, you didn’t have to be wifed up with someone just to be happy.