I hate Valentine’s day

Sue was smarting about the start of February and how almost everyone around her is looking forward to Valentine’s Day with high hopes that they would have a great day. She didn’t have the same kind of hope and it was biting really hard

‘Why do you hate that day?’ I asked. ‘You have to ask?’ she replied.

‘Of course I do because I don’t understand your perspective.’ I said. ‘Do you like it?’ she asked. ‘No but it doesn’t bother me as much as it does you. It is as if there is something really personal about this day to you.’ I responded. ‘Personal? Oh yes! It is personal. Do you know how it feels to be dumped on the eve of Valentines or be ignored on a day when everyone around is getting something big that day? Do you know what it means to have no one to spend the day with and everyone around you is out? There is nothing like being in the house all alone and everyone in your block is out or in having a great evening and you are just stuck there doing nothing of importance?’ she replied. ‘I do.’ I replied.

‘Then how can you be so calm about the upcoming event?’ she asks. ‘I have dealt with the pain that it used to cause me.’ I say. ‘Really? You have dealt with it? Like it is something to get over?’ she asked. This conversation got me thinking about things in a new way. Yes, Valentine’s doesn’t affect me like it used to but I had never really thought about how others are scarred and not able to deal with the day.

Why would someone hate valentines? Many of us look forward to February 14th every year but there are many others who would rather sleep on February 13th and wake up on February 15th…yes, sleep through Valentine’s day. It is said to be the day of love or at least a celebration of love but for many it is the worst day of their lives and no one pays attention. Think of how every shop, vendor, hotel etc. has this or that Valentine’s offer. In February it is impossible to avoid the red love hearts, teddy bears, hampers and deals unless you don’t go to any retail outlet. For those who are hurting, this is the most insensitive month and since many struggle to articulate the reasons why they feel the way they do, it is easy to misunderstand why it is the worst time of the year for them.

It is likely they have a bad experience on or close to that day like Sue or they are missing someone important. Personal experience is always the root of these feelings and they are valid to the individual even if others think they are not. Think about someone like Sue, dumped and ignored on Valentines; think of someone else who lost a loved one that day or close to that day or someone whose beloved has died and this was a pivotal day for them every hear. It is impossible to trivialise their feelings and we must learn to deal with the reality that not everyone around us is as happy as we are.

What can we do to be more sensitive to others during this season

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