The Valentine Grinch

And so, it has come to pass that I am safely and securely in the confines of my bed on Valentines night. My hubby has left for work, another night of answering phones. I am not amidst the annoying throngs of masses trying to score a pathetic seat in an overpriced restaurant, my husband is not paying seven hundred pesos for six pathetic stems of roses drowning in baby’s breath and various fillers, I am not stuck in traffic, trying to get to that precious reservation before the maitre d’ gives it to another harassed couple trying to make something memorable for another Valentines Day.

No, my hubby didn’t forget it was Valentines (how could he when tacky heart cut-outs litter malls and suddenly there is a proliferation of red cutesy things EVERYWHERE). No, I am not a heartless bitch suffering in an unhappy marriage (though, I am indeed a bitch). And no, I am not miserable and envious of the love struck couples walking on a sea of pink mist , seemingly followed by a trail of violin-playing mini-Cupids.

It’s just — I have one question. WHAT IS VALENTINES DAY FOR, REALLY? Aside from ensuring that flower suppliers get a good profit once a year, that dentists will remain in business due to cavities induced by too much candy, chocolates and sweet consumed in one or two days, aside from ensuring that some pathetic guy will use it to finally get laid (motels in the Philippines report a surge in revenue each time Valentines roll by — and also on the 13th and 15th) and for being a possible suspect for missed period and pregnancy scares one month later (March!).

Please don’t give me the crap about it’s a day to celebrate love. WE HAVE TO CELEBRATE LOVE AND HONOR LOVE EVERY SINGLE DAY OF OUR MISERABLE LIVES. In this chaotic world, it is love that keeps our hope afloat, and it is love that buoys us in every cold miserable journey. My take is–let’s not cheapen love by trying to confine and define it with some tacky holiday.

Early in our relationship, I told my hubby (my then-generous boyfriend who puts meaning into little moments and celebrates every little milestone) that I don’t believe and I seriously detest Valentines. Meaning, there will be no romantic dates (while competing with 30 other couples), big bouquet of roses which cost thrice its original price and there will be no expectations of grand declarations of love every 14th day of the second month of the year.

Yes, I lost the opportunity to experience all these (he did try to celebrate V-Day once, much to my chagrin) and we ended up waiting 30 minutes for pathetic looking table set near the kitchen door–NEVER AGAIN. But what I got was more than all these V-Days now and in my lifetime combined. I have someone who treats me to fancy dinners on some of the most random days, and random moments. Someone who brings me flowers–purchased or picked on the roadside–and buys me candies when I want to. I have someone who married me and loved me unconditionally in spite and despite who I really am. Going beyond the sappy and pre-written missives on a Valentines Card, I have someone who writes me poetry and short stories and kilig-inducing love letters be it 14th of February or 1st of November.

In short, I give and receive love every single day, not only on one single day. Not only with the hubby, but also with my amazing family and friends who supported me and never failed to give me love and courage even on the darkest days.

I am not saying you forsake Valentines, or be another Valentine grinch like me. I am just saying that instead of focusing on one single day which reeks Commercialism, with a capital C, focus on the fact that you have 365 days to receive–and GIVE—love. I think that is what’s more important, beyond the cutesy cut-out hearts, over-priced flowers and meals for two.

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