Does Valentine's Day Matter?

photo by Jenny Bahn

“those that can’t do, wear.”

In the grand scheme of things that actually matter, it’s hard to qualify Valentine’s Day as one of them. We devote a little too much primp, prep, and paper (as in green) to a Hallmark holiday that the majority of people (women) claim not to care about. Men don’t actually care about it. They’ll just never say so.

While I don’t care about Valentine’s Day is the current anthem of single ladies (sorry Queen B), there likewise seems to be an ever-increasing sentiment from not-so-single ladies, that they don’t really care about V-Day either.

Not to mention, every other Valentine’s Day related pitch we received had to do with avoiding Valentine’s Day “fails,” romantic faux-pas, and our love of email espionage. David’s Bridal conducted a survey that reported: More than half of brides (57%) would change something about their engagement ring if they could, with the biggest gripe being wanting a bigger stone (19%). I mean, ladies this doesn’t really bode well for our side of the street.

There are two logical explanations for this:

1. Romance is dead, trailing on the heels of chivalry. Now, I hate to be the harbinger of hard times for romance, but Valentine’s Day seems to be a losing a bit of steam (not to be confused with steaminess, there will always be room for that). In 2011, The New York Times lovingly referenced the newest crop of potential lovers as, Xbox-playing, Maxim-collecting Gen Y males. Sound enticing? Men are self-professedly confused about the female species; maybe we’ve just given up on them all together.

2. We really have stopped caring. Women got busy in the 2000’s attempting to have-it-all, the 9-5 ceased to exist, and love constructs and the cliches that came with them, went toppling like Jenga, or your perpetually drunk friend Jenny. Valentine’s Day got lost in the fray, and it never quite recovered. As a good friend put it, “Taking one day to celebrate something ‘special’ on the exact same day everyone else does it is not special at all.” She’s right.

If you’re like me, you’ve spent some Valentine’s Days alone, and others occupied, that being the nature of the romance beast. Some (read: most) have been awful, for no reason other than the over-hype. Create the need for expectation, and you can expect to be let down.

There’s the year I watched Super Troopers and ordered pizza (haha, no not a year I spent alone). There’s the year I actually forgot all about it and did a last minute scramble to create a (most hideous) love collage on my then boyfriend’s bedroom wall. It included gluing candy hearts to said wall. They brought a trail of ants (along with a trail of tears). Oh the throes of young love. Then, there’s the year (last year) my sweetie swooped me off my feet and took me, well see, I can’t remember where we went. I’m sure it was romantic and lovely, dotted i and crossed t planned and thoughtful, but no matter how hard I rack my brain, I really, simply…can’t remember where we went. I mean, I know it wasn’t The Grand Canyon. We went camping on Halloween. Palm Springs? SF? Just call me Tootles. The only reason I don’t feel horrible about this (or about sharing it) is simple: he doesn’t remember either. We both sat at dinner the other night, voraciously trying to piece the puzzle together, but to no avail. The memory has vanished into the that diaphanous Valentine’s ether.

So I have to wonder, on this day of candied hearts and be mine buzz, how much does Valentine’s Day matter to you? Is it too cliche to profess that one day doesn’t count, but give me a good year and I’ll beee yours for sure. If you’re buzzing, we’re listening… –Arianna Schioldager

If your heart is set on celebrating, check out some DIY Valentine’s Day gifts.

photo by Jenny Bahn


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