I've had a roller-coaster relationship with Valentines Day. In elementary school, I loved the candy hearts with their cheeky phrases and the all-inclusive 'a card for one, a card for all!' policies that my teachers had. Going home and opening up each tiny envelope to find out which cartoon greeting my classmates had chosen for me was thrilling, especially after I discovered boys. But by junior high, that all-inclusive stuff was out the window and only the most popular girls got candy hearts, or balloons, or the pinnacle of status: a carnation delivered in class in front of everyone. I longed to get one of those blooms (in white, Pink or red to demonstrate level of feeling, of course) but I never did.
I think that's when I first soured on February 14th.
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According to Elle Swan, life coach and author of Elle-evate: Change Your Life in 60 Seconds or Less, Valentines Day is a volatile holiday because it's so incredibly personal. "Unlike other family-driven or community-driven holidays, this one is very 'person specific,'" she says. "Valentines Day is ALL about YOU… except when it isn't." People who don't get love on a holiday about love naturally feel excluded and resentful.
I can see that. But even when I had someone by my side, the holiday seemed overhyped. I thought I was supposed to experience something huge, but all I ever saw was the angsty anxiety of my single peers and the gloating smiles of the coupled-ups. I may have been projecting, but it was never very fun.
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