Friday, February 14, 2014

Why I love that the French don't celebrate Valentine's Day

When you think of Paris, you think of the most romantic city in the world, so you would naturally assume that the French would be really into Valentine's Day.  Well, they're not.  And it's awesome.  Sure there are billboards in the metro advertising a nighttime Valentine's spa package (what?) and stores are trying to hype up the Americanized, fake holiday, but it doesn't seem like the trend is catching on.

You could make the argument that Parisians are romantic all the time, so a designated day to show your love seems bizarre, but I beg to differ.  Perhaps it's the tackiness that surrounds Valentine's Day that prevents the French from obsessing over it like Americans do or maybe they can't handle the pressure.  I don't know, but I like it. And here's why:

I don't have to buy any gifts
How did this get popular anyway? Why should anyone be obligated to give a gift to someone on a made up holiday that is supposed to sum up all the love they have for that person? As if buying a stuffed bear who's holding a heart that says "I love you," is sincere. It's really stupid. Living in Paris is expensive, and I definitely don't want to spend anymore money on pointless gifts.

I don't have to pretend to love the flowers I receive 
I know how inconsiderate and unappreciative that sounds, but it's true.  Last year the guy I was dating bought me four dozen roses. Four dozen! I know some girls would swoon over that type of gesture, but I just get uncomfortable.  When I receive a bouquet of flowers, I have to put a huge fake smile on my face and go on and on about how much I love them.  Then I am expected to put them in a vase and meticulously take care of them until they inevitably die.  The point I'm making is, when someone gives you flowers, that person already knows that their gift is going to die.  However, they still expect you to stress yourself out trying to keep that very gift, that everyone knows will end up in a landfill in the near future, alive for as long as possible.  Honestly, the flowers spend more time dead in that vase than they do alive because I am too lazy to throw them out. If you really love me, buy me a plant, preferably one that I can eat.

I won't get fat from the chocolates I get
I love chocolate, and there definitely will be no fake happiness in sight when I open that box.  That's the problem. Some people have the ability to eat one little piece of chocolate, savor it, and be done for the day, but not me. Most likely you'll find that empty box in my trash the next day, and you'll find me having an existential crisis about why I'm so disgusting. This year, no chocolates mean no self-loathing two days later.

I don't have to sit through an overpriced six course meal 
I love going out to eat just as much as the next person, but these special "Valentine's Menus" have gotten out of hand.  1. There are like seventy courses. I didn't know there could be that many parts to a meal.  2. You can only choose between two options for each course.  I'm an extremely picky eater.  Like no fish, no pork, no eggs, no onions, kind of picky.  Only have two options is pretty much my worst nightmare, and because I'm forced to eat that course, I usually order something knowingly fully well that I am definitely not eating that.

A day no longer defines my relationship
Since when has Valentine's Day become so important for a relationship? Now, if your boyfriend forgets Valentine's, it's grounds for a breakup and a night filled with Alanis Morissette singalongs.  Ladies, it's not your birthday, so you need to calm down a bit.  Also, the game you play where you subtly remind your significant other that Valentine's Day is coming up without actually telling him that he needs to plan a magical evening and buy you expensive jewelry, is really pathetic to watch. If you do celebrate V-Day, which by the way I'm not judging at all, why not just say "hey what do you want to do for Valentine's Day?" He is most likely going to answer with "uhh I don't know, what do you want to do" or "oh I haven't even thought about it." However, that does not mean that he has fallen out of love with you and has actually been planning how he can break up with you right before the big day, so he can get out of paying for your dinner. Please stop acting like there's a bigger meaning behind your significant other forgetting a made-up holiday.

After reading this, you might be thinking "oh this poor, sad single girl is feeling bitter and wants to let us know how much she hates love and happy couples," but I promise you that this is not the case. I am extremely happy in my relationship where I will not be celebrating Valentine's Day.

It is really nice living in a country where social pressures do not force couples to go through this bizarre ritual, and I am very much appreciative.

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