Why I don't celebrate Valentines' Day

By Geezel Torres-Basmayor

When I was a kid, Valentine’s Day celebration was quite a big deal. A few days before February 14th, I remember myself preparing cards made out of heart-shaped cut outs or hand-painted white papers. I would give these cards to friends, classmates, and even teachers. The teachers would also ask us to write letters for our parents. We would even have simple programs in school. For me, Valentine’s Day was like Christmas or New Year. It was a day full of excitement, not just because I get to showcase my inner creative self but also, because I get to express my love for the people dearest to me.

But as I grew older, Valentine’s Day became more and more like a normal day. In fact, my boyfriend of eleven years (now, my husband) and I never celebrated Valentine’s Day. We just find celebrating it too commercialized and at some point pretentious. Plus, we hate the traffic in the metro and the fully-booked cafes and restaurants during this day. Call me cynical or what, but I just never understood the need to dedicate a day to telling someone you love him/her when you can do that each and every day you are with that special person.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against celebrating Valentine’s Day nor the people celebrating it. I know some friends who would go out of their way to plan the grandest candlelight dinner for the love of their lives. I find that sweet actually.

What I am saying here, though, is that I don’t think there’s a need for an official holiday to show affection to the one you love and adore. I definitely dig an intimate dinner in a fancy restaurant once in a while, but I don’t think I would appreciate that dinner if I’m seated in a crowded restaurant next to some other couples. I would also love to get some beautiful flowers but not on a day when all other girls would get one,too. I love spontaneity. I love surprises, too. These, I think, I wouldn’t get during Valentine’s Day. Girls are often expectant of surprises from their partners during this day just because the celebration of Valentine’s Day dictates so. Most boys, on the other hand, would feel the pressure of coming up with a brilliant plan to surprise their girls just because they are expected to do so. Don’t you think you will love the surprise even more when it comes on the most unexpected day?

I know that Valentine’s Day is all about love, but I don’t think overpriced bouquet of flowers, chocolates, cards, and dinner dates are the best ways to show that affection. Last night before I went to bed, I told my husband that I wasn’t feeling so well. Just this morning, I woke up with the smell of a brewed coffee and a kiss on my forehead. The husband whispered, “I hope you’re feeling better”. This, for me, is what love is about. As cliche as it would get, we should try our best to make each day a Valentine’s Day.