Valentine's Day is upon us once again. A celebration of love and romance, it is also the only holiday I know of that makes everybody miserable. Everybody. I've yet to meet the person who looks forward to this day. V-Day is hardly the only holiday that imposes a sense of obligation upon people (hello, Christmas!), but it's unique in the way that nobody seems to get anything out of it, either. Either your expectations are met, which is boring, or they aren't, and everyone gets upset.
The best that could be said for this holiday is that it bothers everybody equally -- if for totally different reasons. Let's recap them:
Single people. Valentine's Day is a corporate-backed initiative specifically designed to make them miserable. Being single is hard enough during the other 364 days of the year; why do we need a holiday to rub it in?
People in a new relationship. You've been on a few dates and things seem like they're going all right. How far do you go, here? If you go with jewelry and flowers and the whole shebang, you might scare her off. Go with the card and the token gift, and she might think you're not serious. It's lose-lose.
People who've been dating for awhile. There comes a point in any relationship where it's put up or shut up time. While you may be content to keep your relationship unchanged for years and years, your partner might not feel the same way. If a night of potential romance turns into a tortured, tearful discussion about marriage, that's not good times. That's bad times.
Married couples. By this time, you've been through enough holidays and birthdays to know what your partner likes, and it's certainly easy to plan a night they'll enjoy. But how much love are you showing when you wait for a culturally mandated day to be affectionate? What are you really saying when you take your spouse out to dinner on the same night that every other married couple is doing the same thing? It's ridiculous. Make your own romantic memories, on your own schedule.
Everybody, no matter what their relationship status. What good is a holiday when you don't get the day off work, anyway?