By Kinga Irzyk
I spent a lot of time thinking it was really cool to hate Valentine’s Day.
For a long time, I was the kind of person who rolled my eyes at the mention of February 14th. Even in high school and college relationships, I only chalked it up to a day of impending disappointment while others flaunted and paraded false narratives of how “perfect” their coupledom was. Tom from (500) Days of Summer said it was a holiday made up by companies to sell holiday cards, after all.
There was no “ah-ha” moment, but I’ve since gotten over that particular superiority complex. It started small, with thinking about the colors pink and red, and how it’s kind of cool to see them a lot. And then, it kept growing. I enjoyed seeing my friends being treated well by partners that they loved without having to be petty, jealous, or condescending. I started to think, well, I love my friends — maybe I will make them Valentine’s Day cards?
Senior year of college, my partner and I skipped Valentine’s Day because we worked in food service and both had two-top tables to serve, and the proximity to their birthday was overwhelming for our empty wallets. I wasn’t mad we couldn’t celebrate, but I also wasn’t happy we had to skip it. What I was, it seemed, is over being bratty about Valentine’s Day.
Moving forward, I learned to say “I love you” more to my friends, and started to want to snap my fingers along to love songs. People close to me were starting to get married, and those songs didn’t exist for me to scoff at, anymore. Love songs exist because, well, people feel love. And that’s a good thing. And you don’t need a significant other to be happy for other people, or hopeful for yourself.
So, no snarky break-up song playlist or “love stinx!” anthems here today (but maybe later!) — just songs that, to me, when I hear them, feel like a little celebration of love.
Kinga Irzyk is a graduate student and serial hobbyist in Boston, MA. Usually found baking, rollerskating, watching garbage TV, or putting on too much eyeshadow. Follow @kersplatski on instagram for mostly just cat content.