As an employee of Lauren Donald, owner of Bond Street and founder of The LSD Movement, and an against the grain type by nature, Valentine’s Day has always left an awkward taste in my mouth. For one, this remarkably capitalistic holiday’s history is far from romantic. Valentine’s Day originates from the Roman festival of Lupercalia: an ornate celebration of the coming of spring, fertility and ultimately, “the pairing off of women with men by lottery” (Brittanica, 2019). Fast forward to the future and sprinkle with capitalism, the modern version of this February holiday is not much more inclusive.
Each year after finally beginning to recuperate both mentally and financially from the Christmas season, Valentine’s Day ensures you don’t forget about the pressures that come with living in a consumer’s society. Wondering if your significant other will remember this sacred day of love, feeling awkwardly single, trying to find a gift that somehow interprets your feelings for another in a tangible way and dreading spending it alone after a major breakup are all real Valentine’s Day scenarios. I, in turn, would like to suggest several alternatives for those who feel some type of way in regards to V-day.
Galentine’s Day was an innovative alternative introduced by fan favorite character Leslie Knoppe herself in the second season of NBC’s Parks and Recreation. Leslie throws an annual Valentine’s Day party for her female friends which challenges the modern conception of love and the inclusivity of this particular holiday. Whether male or female, the love of friends is arguably more important than fluctuating modern romances. Instead of focusing on teddy bears and getting a reservation in time to stare at someone you may or may not have anything to say to, why not just celebrate love in general? Go get blowouts (Bond Street offers champagne on Fridays, just saying!) and pedicures, have a sleepover, shred pictures of the past lovers that have made way for what’s next.
What’s next in general is a fresh and progressive focus for mid-February. Valentine’s Day is one minute Hallmark holiday while your future is vast. If capitalism and unrealistic expectations have your energy gone haywire, try something spiritual and grounding. Cleanse your workspace with sage, meditate, spend some time in nature. Evaluate what’s really important to you, what your goals are and write them down so you have a tangible list from which you can manifest them. Instead of focusing on what you haven’t accomplished, focus on what you have and what you can: what you will.
Celebrate yourself this February. I dare you!
Laura Powers, 2020. Author retains ownership, reuse or reprint by permission only.