The Valentine Alternative

Oh Valentine's Day, you weird, polarizing holiday. We love to hate you because you make us feel so many things.  If you love Valentine's Day, you're corny. If you hate it, you're bitter. If you have no feelings about it well then what the fuck is wrong with you. You just can't win. If, like me, you've been seeing those red and pink decorations at Target since December, you are just over it.

As a single girl who has always been single on Valentine's Day, my feelings towards the holiday have ranged from bitter and jaded ("Get those candy hearts out of my face before I choke you with them") to apathy ("Meh, wine's on sale, so I guess don't have to feel so bad about drinking it alone) to moderate not-hate ("Let's go do the single ladies dance at this holiday-themed party!). Real talk: if you're single, Valentine's Day kind of sucks. It's just not built for single people, and when we have created our own traditions, they're kind of lame. Like calling it Singles Awareness Day. Did no one realize that the acronym was SAD? Well. Ok.

parks and rec

Personally, singleness aside, the day feels commercial and cheap and is a really generic way to tell the people in your life "Hey, I like you. Didn't have to say it yesterday, but since it's today, here's some candy and a card that someone else wrote that I also wrote in."

I'd like to think that I make the people in my life feel special and loved all year, but I guess if I didn't, tomorrow's a day to seek penance. All is forgotten with a Vosges chocolate bar after all. At least for me.

Life's too short to hate a holiday that is promoted without shame or sense for a solid three months.  So this year, instead of going off on all of the reasons I don't enjoy Valentine's Day,  I'm going to share some alternatives to celebrate yourself, your partner/spouse, family and friends. Because as holidays tend to be, they're not about you. They're about celebrating yourself and the people in your life and when you take the focus off of your negative feelings, Valentine's Day is way less annoying (but it still is annoying).

Hope you enjoy these Valentine's day alternatives and spend sometime telling yourself and the people in your life that you love them more than Vosges chocolate bars. Or whatever you love as much as I love Vosges.

Galentine's Day Google+ Hangout- TODAY 2PM EST

I still don't understand Google+ and its purpose but I have participated in a hangout in which Thomas Keller cooked a roast chicken (his recipe by the way is THE roast chicken recipe, if you're into that) and it was superfun. It was like he was cooking the chicken in my house and answering my questions right to my face! Nevermind that they were questions that other people had asked, Tom was talking to me.

Anyway, Amy Poehler's online collaborative, Smart Girls, is hosting a Galentine's Day Hangout (aka live video/chat) to answer questions, talk about Valentine's Day experiences and what Galentine's Day means for us.

 

Galentine's Day

What? You don't know what Galentine's Day is? OK Leslie Knope would be honored to explain it to you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GzNX3gI38M

The Valentine's Day experience seems to be harder on women for so many reasons, but mostly because there is is still this outdated, disturbing expectation: on this day, February 14, if you're a woman, a man is supposed to do nice things for you. If you don't have a man, regardless of how successful, happy and stable you are, not having one on Valentine's Day somehow devalues you as a woman and makes you...not special. That's so not true, but I think  a lot of women can relate to feeling like that when they find themselves single on Valentine's Day. No woman should feel like that ever and that's why Galentine's Day is so great. It's not about saying "hey men, you suck!" It's more like "hey ladies, you're awesome, let's celebrate that!"

 Smart Girls Operation Nice February

If you can't tell, I'm am Amy Poehler's biggest fan girl right now. She is a beautiful, intelligent peacock of a lady and she does a bang up job of spreading positive vibes and empowering women and young girls to be kind, fearless, powerhouse leaders, simply by being yourselfOperation Nice is one of the Smart Girls web series that's been turned into a campaign this February as an effort to "Spread the Love" and use the internet for good. If you have kids, it's a great platform to demonstrate philanthropy. Check it out and then try to tell me that you DON'T love Amy too.

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