This post is for the February Carnival of Aces hosted by MaDwAtCh-mAdWaTcH on the topic of Valentines Day.
My first thought when seeing this topic is that it is very similar to last month’s topic of the Overemphais placed on Romantic/Sexual Relationships as Valentine’s Day’s main emphasis is on these types of relationships. So I’m going to more focus on the fact that I tend to turn a blind eye to Valentine’s Day, and only touch on last months topic when relevant (which will still probably be a good amount).
The main reason I try to ignore Valentine’s Day is that it is a day that puts romantic/sexual relationships in the spotlight and it was this emphasis before working out that I was asexual and aromantic that made me feel broken, which was what I wrote about last month. Valentine’s Day celebrates these relationships, surrounds itself with events designed to set singles up and find partners.It’s not surprising then that it can make those who aren’t able to find this relationship unhappy* and those who aren’t interested feel excluded.
The ability to escape Valentine’s Day though is effectively impossible, unless you can live as a hermit with no contact with society for around a month. Advertising starts almost a month before and ramps up as the day gets closer, from flowers to PE medication**. Radios start running competitions and basing their segments around something to do with relationships. Gender roles are often emphasised in the advertising to. Of course once we get closer it starts to get more personal, social media sites begin to see more Valentines related material. And then of course on the day people will do something to remind you of the day, even if it is just free chocolate “because nobody should be without chocolate on Valentine’s Day” as somebody in the office at work did.
The day can also make people more inquisitive than normal about your relationship status. I didn’t work that night as I wanted to go hit people with foam swords like I normally do on a Friday night and a special scenario (completely unrelated to the day) was being run. I went into work last night and one of the first questions was if I had had a date. I keep a low profile at work and have spent a long time getting it to the point where they very rarely ask anything in that direction and this is the most direct it has ever been. If it hadn’t been Valentine’s Day the day before it wouldn’t have even been mentioned that I wasn’t in the night before.
It is simply impossible to escape the reality it is Valentine’s Day and if you generally try to play down, avoid bringing up or ignoring your relationship status, it’s likely that you’ll be reminded of it and even if you don’t care there’s an increased probability of somebody else questioning it.
Of course you can also celebrate friendships and family relationships, however these are usually presented as a secondary option to the romantic/sexual relationships. I also don’t hold much with celebrating these as I feel it is often out of character to go out of your way and do something you wouldn’t normally do just because it’s a particular day of the year***. This is also due to in my first year of high school we were expected to make a Valentine for someone, with family recommended (as it was unlikely many would have been dating at that stage), which makes me feel that a lot of these gestures can be very cheap, as they’re no genuine but enforced by society.
If this post has come across as a bit of a rant, that would be because it is. Valentine’s Day is one of those days that I feel more defensive as it impossible to avoid and emphasises many things that made me feel broken before I worked out my identity.
*or one of many other adjectives from depressed to broken
**In disappointing news I now know that Australia has a second company selling PE medication (because we can’t actually say premature ejaculation in the ad of course) due to the frequency of the ads.
***Though my mum did sneak a Mars bar into my lunch with a note on it saying Happy Valentines Day, it was nice as it’s not out of character for her to do those sort of things.