So here's the day of the Love, St. Valentine's Day, another day stores across the globe have been waiting to sell their thematic gifts, this time everything in red and heart shaped, with plenty of white feathers and little Cupid wings. Mugs and teddy bears and sweaters you'll have to hide somewhere deep in your closet tomorrow and for the rest of the year, or stash it in a box/chest/hamper under the pretext of safekeeping, while the truth is you really don't want to be caught any other day of the year with some corny shit like that. Not like stores or commerce in general care, they only want to receive their share of monetary love the business is all about.
However, the thing is that St. Valentine's day, as silly as it sounds, is a day that has managed to leak into people's lives to represent something. For some, like Smurf, it's an opportunity to state their dislike towards the overly consumist way society has to celebrate and express things. Indeed, it's like gifts and money spending are the one accepted way to show love. For the single is a day to celebrate friendship, love in general and their unique capability to fuck, enjoy and keep their freedom - love unattached. For some singles it's the day they are entitled to be depressed because they have no one to celebrate it with. Then there's the case of couples.
For the freshies and the corny, it's the day to celebrate their love with some sort of program they save for all year long, exchange presents that go from the Bible themed tchotchkes for the Tea Party supporters to sleezy sexy underwear and furry handcuffs for the sex-centered. Maybe a trip to some place, like a mini-honeymoon or something of the sort.
For the more seasoned it's a special dinner or some flowers, a new shirt, some chocolates, an iPod... you name it. However, St. Valentine's a bit more than celebration, it's a marker in relationships. It can be used by one of the partners to test the other about remembering "special dates", or as an excuse to get something out of the other: money, gifts, trips, attention... and by being the "day of Love" it's rather hard to put an excuse on that, unless you are my friend Smurf, who has sent ahead the excuse. This marker works also for many to measure the state of the relationship, or well as a date that marks the decisive point to break up. Strange but true, just take a look around.
Though Christmas and birthdays are big days before which people break up, so that they can save - at least - the investment on the gift, St. Valentine also has it's loaded meaning. It's not only breaking up before and saving yourself the trouble and expense of finding and buying the freaking present, but when to break up. Right before or even right after are considered by the believers-in-love-and-relationships as a sign of being cold hearted. Before means you condemn the other to spend a lonely St. Valentine's Day. After means you were planning it ahead and the celebration was a charade. And still, on a day dedicated to Love and the celebration of it, many people find themselves thinking about it, and where their relationship is going. People hardly sit down and think on Halloween about their relationship, but St. Valentine's have that thing about pushing the thought of love forward and making you make a stop and think - really think - whether things are really okay and whether it is what you are looking for.
Are you happy taking the bullshit? Can you really keep up with that attitude? Is it a relationship when your partner is always ditching your, pulling out of all your common plans in order to spend all their time with their friends? Is it a relationship when you hardly hear from them, and when you do is from third parties telling you how they've seen them party hard with others, or because you found a recent picture of them being all goofy, close and personal with their "friends"? Is it a relationship you want to be in when their friends get more smiles, more time, more love than you do? Does it worth it when you are the one pulling the cart alone and when you dare to mention it, you are the one chastized and recriminated for "not commiting into the relationship"? Does it worth it when you get mixed signals? Does it worth it when you invest your soul into it and the other side simply plays and it turns out they've been fooling around with others, maybe even dating, maybe they are going to get married and after you two shared the bed, warm kisses and lovely words they rub your head and say "come on, you know you are my best friend!"? (For the record, through my solid 10 years of hardcore singleness, I've always stated before hand I wasn't going past the fuck and the friendship, so no emotional damage can be written off on me tab.)
So yes, St. Valentine's is a strongly commercialized celebration, like any celebration in the planet, and that includes the SuperBowl, thank you very much, but for you it's commercial if you take it that way. If you are not too icky with handmade stuff, you can make your own cards, or make your own presents, or bake some brownies! Not all presents need to be bought and some, like spending some time together, doesn't even mean you have to turn to arts & crafts. Add to it, think about it, if you strip the commercial or gifty side of the day, it is really a moment to evaluate where are you in your life - love life wise - and take some decisions.