Valentine’s Day: The End of an Affair?

17 Feb

A year ago, I wrote a feminist’s defense of Valentine’s day, basically arguing that Valentine’s Day is my time to celebrate myself and my loved ones instead of an outdated practice of devoting one day to buying women through the purchase of fancy gifts and flowers.

Sometimes I wonder if living in the city and working a traditional job in marketing has made me take up residence under a rock (if you could even find one of those in New York City), because this year I’ve seen only TWO angry Valentine’s Day posts and hardly any advertisements. I distinctly remember way more of both last year.

To be honest, I remember a little more Valentine’s Day love on my end last year, too. I can’t say that I really got excited for Valentine’s Day, which is unusual. Last year I bought myself flowers, my students candy, and ingredients for cupcakes. I even decorated our apartment. This year I…. did nothing!

About a week ago, I texted my boyfriend to let him know I forgot to make reservations for Valentine’s Day. Apparently he had already booked a restaurant AND tickets to the NYC Ballet.

No phones were allowed in the theater so I sniped this picture form the NY Times :)

No phones were allowed in the theater so I sniped this picture form the NY Times 🙂

Okay, that’s pretty exciting! My mother was a dancer in New York before I was born, so somehow watching the artists prance across the stage made me feel transported, like I was audience to the black and white newspaper prints in her scrapbooks.

My Mother is on the left!

My Mother is on the left!

Even though the ballet was wonderful and the food was fantastic (as was the company), a little part of me missed the joy of spending Valentine’s Day with my girlfriends. There’s nothing quite like the bond created between friends on a loveless Valentine’s Day. It was this realization, I think, that has led me to reevaluate my feelings for the holiday.

Perhaps I only thought it was feminist because I was celebrating it in a feminist way.

photo (2)

My Valentine’s Day dinner even had duck, my favorite food!

I’ve spent very few Valentine’s Days with significant others. If I am dating someone, they’re living far away. Valentine’s Days, for me, have been full of sleeping bags and movie fests, first dates and friend dates. This year, back on the east coast, I finally got to celebrate the traditional way– and I’m not sure what I think of it.

I know that next year, I’ll be celebrating Galentine’s Day in addition to Valentine’s Day. Hopefully that will make my life feel like the pieces are back in the right places!

6 Responses to “Valentine’s Day: The End of an Affair?”

  1. esquaredg February 17, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    I LOVE that picture of your mom! I want to see more! I miss having our own apartment for holidays…decorating was definitely half the fun. I can feel the absence of your enthusiasm for celebration and friends here in Kansas. 🙂

    • Caitlin Garzi February 17, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

      I know! I just read your blog post, and I’m pretty sure my mom’s first job is the job I wish I was cool enough for. Unfortunately there aren’t a ton of pictures from that time– it was in the days before Instagram.

      I do think that having a *home* is a big part of it. Right now, my Brooklyn apartment still feels very temporary.

  2. Hepburn3 February 17, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

    I agree about Galentine’s Day.
    And what your Boyfriend planned was lovely.
    That was a really nifty photo of your Mom dancing.
    thanks for sharing!

    • Caitlin Garzi February 17, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

      It was pretty exciting! I really, really enjoyed the show. Next up is going to be The Book of Mormon.

      But yes– next year there will be more time with women. I’m starting to discover that I go crazy without spending a significant portion of my day with women.


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