There is no doubt that Valentine’s Day is hyped up and advertised to encourage consumerism, but I do not care.
I am not the biggest fan of consumerism. I do not understand why people — Americans especially — love buying so many clothes and gadgets and decorations. Most of the traditions we celebrate are heavily tied to buying objects and gifts. There is almost always a capitalist or materialist side to US culture surrounding holidays or major life events such as birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, etc. This is why I do not enjoy participating in most of these occasions.
Valentine’s Day, however, is my semi-exception. I love love. And I know it is corny and gross. I get it. I still do not — and will not at any point — buy extravagant gifts or make any other necessary purchases that according to advertisements I am supposed to make.
I look at Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to celebrate kindness, love, union. And I look at it as an opportunity to talk about the myths surrounding love. Valentine’s Day can be kinky, can be polyamorous, can be queer, can be aromantic, can be asexual, can be platonic. Valentine’s Day can be a day to love love and to love acceptance.
As gross and corny as it may be, I am still going to use the day to think about my capacity and freedom to love. And I am going to think about all the wonderful people who receive my love in different ways and react to it or return it in individual uniqueness.