Dear Cupid and his Valentine’s Day,
You and I? We aren’t friends. I really don’t like you and you only come around once a year so how did we get here?
On average, Americans spend $146 on their partners or significant others on Valentine’s Day, according to a CNBC article from 2020. That is money I could put towards a bill, gas in my car, or another option instead of spending it on a single day. I love chocolate as much as the next person and I love my husband but seriously? Come. On. It is just 24 hours.
Historically, February 14th was thought to have originated from the Pagan tradition of Lupercalia. Priests, who were members of the Lupercai-a subset of Roman priests, would offer a goat and a dog as a sacrifice, in hopes of becoming more fertile in the coming year. According to legend, bachelors in the city would then draw names, effectively choosing their mate for the year and often, these pairings ended in marriage. In the Middle Ages, the day was believed to be the start of mating season for area birds and historians note that Geoffrey Chaucer was the first to call February 14th a day of romantic notion, as cited in his 1375 poem. Cupid is thought to have been derived from the Greek god Eros, who was originally portrayed as an immortal who played with mens’ emotions and incited love and aversion. Later, he was changed to the more modern idea of Cupid.
Why is it we have reduced love and the notion of romance into a single day, filled with grand gestures and expensive gifts? Shouldn’t love be a daily thing? How did a tradition meant to increase fertility and mark the start of mating season turn into a commercialized 24-hour time frame? Valentine’s Day is nothing more than a marketing ploy in today’s time.
If I hate Valentine’s Day so much, how does my husband show his love for me? It is the little things. He does the dishes because I despise doing them. He lets me sleep in on the weekend when he is home from work. I find little notes in our home, reminding me that he loves me and that he’s proud of me. I find romance in watching our shows together on the couch after our son is in bed. He makes sure I don’t have onions in my food and always makes sure I get to try his food too because he knows I’ll steal it. Do we have a February 14th tradition? Yes-heart shaped pizza that we make at home. We eat pizza on the regular so it isn’t out of our normal. Does my husband get me a card? Sure, but we exchange cards at other times too. Again, not out of our normal.
I get shown love 365 days of the year. We don’t need a day to remind us of this. I don’t need society telling me that spending money on a certain day shows how much I love someone. It doesn’t. Maybe I’m simple and maybe you disagree, Cupid. I really don’t care.
So, Valentine’s Day, I hate you. Go find someone else to lure into your trap. I’m not your girl.