Valentine’s Day Is Not That Big Of A Deal

Well, tomorrow is the 14th. Happy Valentine’s Day!

hearts gif.

This informal holiday, much like Christmas, has become really commercialized. Chocolates marked up in every store, pink and red hearts all over, cutesy cards, and an expectation that you and your significant other will celebrate, because why else would you be in love than if not to buy into this day?

I sound bitter. I’m not bitter. I think it’s great that couples can enjoy the day. I think it’s great that all that chocolate will be discounted on the 15th, and that’s when my father will swoop in and bring home the goodies while my mother shakes her head disapprovingly. I think it’s great that Valentine’s Day was such a fun event in elementary school because we just passed out funny cartoon cards and candy to each other. (Throwback to third grade when some kid gave everyone little bags of cinnamon hearts, and I was one of the few people who liked them, so I ended up with a giant bag and the next day, my teacher had to tell me that I really shouldn’t be snacking on them at 9am). Anyway, back to the topic on hand: if you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day tomorrow, good for you! I seriously hope you have a wonderful day!

happy valentines day gif.

What I don’t like, though, is this idea that Valentine’s Day should be for single people just as much. Because it’s really not. I don’t need to pamper myself or treat myself any differently on the 14th because I’m single. I don’t care. It’s just weird to see articles online like “8 Ways To Celebrate Valentine’s Day When You’re Single” because it’s like saying “8 Ways To Celebrate Hanukkah When You’re Not Jewish.” You just don’t. This day is mostly not for you, and you shouldn’t feel weird about that. Just live your life normally like you would on any other day and let those in relationships do what they want to do.

If you want to treat yourself on the 14th, I’m not stopping you. I just hope you’re not doing it because you feel pressured into doing it. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone. You’re not more or less worthy of love or a relationship because you buy yourself flowers or something. Even if you are in a relationship, you don’t have to celebrate either. While there is a bit of history behind Valentine’s Day like Christmas, it’s not like a big thing you must acknowledge the way Christians acknowledge Jesus’ birth on December 25th. If you want to not celebrate this highly commercialized day, that’s fine. After all, you have anniversaries to use as a Special Love Day.

it doesn't matter gif.

And if you want to instead (or additionally) spend the day celebrating familial or platonic love, that’s also fine! We are of course allowed to do this (Galentine’s Day, anyone?), but it’s just more of the idea that it’s largely framed in society to be done only as a consolation act because we don’t have a romantic relationship to celebrate that kind of annoys me.

I’ve gathered one more round of silly Tumblr Valentines to send tomorrow to friends, and I’m not sending them because I’m sad that I’m single or I want to insert myself in this holiday, I’m sending them because they’re very funny and I want to laugh at them with my friends and it’d be weird to send them on any other day.

it's not that deep gif.

I’ve edited this post so much so I don’t I sound like some salty old spinster just instantly vomiting at the sight of some white teddy bear holding a plush heart. I need you to know that I am not bitter. I’ve been single on every Valentine’s Day in my 23.5 years of life, and I literally have never been bothered. Would be really cool to be in a happy relationship where I could celebrate Valentine’s Day? Sure. But I’m not going to force myself into one or feel especially bad if I’m not. It’s just easier to, like,…not waste thoughts on it. Because Valentine’s Day is just really not that big of a deal. And that’s my point. You do you, and don’t let society’s importance on this one day dictate how you feel or what you do.

What are your thoughts on Valentine’s Day?

 

 

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Shoutout To Libraries, The Real MVPs

As someone who avoids spending money whenever possible because she’s the daughter of someone who also avoids spending money whenever possible, I was introduced to the public library at a very young age. My small town has three branches and always had the latest books and whatnot. I was an avid reader when I was young, and even now that I’ve slowed down my reading a little, I still go to the library one a week when I’m at home. One of the first things I did when I moved away for school was get a local library card, and ya girl now can check books out of not one, not two, not three, but four different library systems.

'Arthur' characters singing "having fun isn't hard when you've got a library card."
You knew this gif was coming.

In the last few years, though, I haven’t checked as many books out as I do movies. My local library is great about ordering the newest and coolest DVDs right away, and though the waitlist for those hits one hundred in hours, my library also does this thing called Rapid Views in which really popular movies are able to be checked out for only two days (as opposed to a week) so more people can access them quicker, and these copies cannot be put on hold. My parents and I are always checking out movies from the Rapid View shelf.

Does your library do anything similar? I’m always baffled when people say they don’t take advantage of their local libraries. They’re free, folks. Free. You can check out the latest movies, books, CDs, or even video games for zero dollars and zero cents. Why buy movies/shows on iTunes or pay for Netflix subscriptions when you can borrow all that media for free?

And aside from the no-cost aspect, libraries are great for so many more reasons. A lot of libraries are also community centers where there are often events or courses or sessions, usually also free. Some libraries also have study rooms or presentation rooms that can be booked so work can be done there. Libraries also have many computers that you can also use if your wifi is down or you ran out of data. Libraries also never try to extort money from you. They don’t have free trials or anything like that to lure you in, they just have everything for free. It’s glorious.

Three people dancing in a library
Me and my parents hitting up the local library. Not pictured: my brother who has $8 in fines.

In such a consumerism-driven society, it’s so great to have libraries serve as these little pure sanctuaries of knowledge and peace.

I can’t remember if it was a Tumblr post or a Tweet that I read, but it basically said that if a library was a new concept pitched today, it’d never see the light of day because there’s no way the government or anybody would allow so much to happen without a profit being made. And that’s very true. We’re lucky that they already exist.

Anyway, this was just my little ode to libraries. They’re a gift to mankind, and I hope they live on for a good long while because they’ve brought me alone so much happiness. If you don’t actively go to the library, I highly suggest you get a card and go, because they’ve got a lot to offer. For free. They the real MVP.

P.S. I love Leslie Knope more than anything, okay, but her hate for libraries was way out of line.

 

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