Loving, Tolerating, or Surviving Valentine’s Day

Don’t end up feeling like a sitting duck on Valentine’s Day. Photo by Marilyn Roxie.

At Well & Wise, when we do not have anything to post from one of our fantastic contributing bloggers, we, who are behind the scenes, try to put together some interesting or useful tidbits.

We, as a rule, do not like to draw attention to the man behind the curtain, but today we will step out long enough to admit that at least one of us is a happily married-type person and another is a happily single-type person. Yet both are in complete agreement that Valentine’s Day is for chumps. Does this attitude make us unromatic? Perhaps. Unsentimental? Definitely. Unkind? Certainly not. In fact, we hope to provide a little comfort to those of you not completely lost in a hazy vision of long-stemmed roses and candy hearts.

Miss/Mr. Lonely Hearts vs. Wonder Woman and Superman

For as enlightened as we are supposed to be, it is shocking how attached our society is to attachment. But good old Thoreau never found a “companion that was so companionable as solitude.” Even our married representative and partner wouldn’t even have considered the idea of marriage if they had not agreed early on that they should remain friends and individuals in their union—a merger rather than a buyout or hostile takeover. And our single representative refuses to engage in this conversation other than to say, “Books not boys.” So what is wrong with the idea of being alone and not lonely. Nothing. So don’t believe the Valentine propaganda. Instead, check out:

Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After by Bella M. DePaulo

I Didn’t Work this Hard Just to Get Married: Successful Single Black Women Speak Out by Nika C. Beamon

Love for Sale-Don’t Fall for the Propaganda

Another problem we have with this pink, fluffy “holiday” is its vast commercialization. Really, cash for romance smacks of something illegal. Valentine’s Day wasn’t really a moneymaker until the early 1900s, but now it is a multibillion-dollar-a-year venture (as discussed in a fantastic NPR piece The Dark Origins of Valentine’s Day). Do not buy in to the hype.In fact, you may kill some hours during Valentine’s Day by reading up on how depressingly commercialized everything has become:

What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets by Michael J. Sandel

Consumer Culture by Heidi Watkins

 Why Does My Candy Heart Say “Tilt,” or the Food Factor

Have you ever noticed the food factor to this holiday? Flowers and candy. Fancy dinners. Aphrodisiacal cocktails. And, yes, candy hearts. It would seem most folks’ need to sublimate a desire for love or sex with food  is at the very core of Valentine’s Day. Don’t be a Valentine victim; fight the food fest with a true notion of love by caring for yourself or the ones you love with healthful choices:

The Food Lover’s Healthy Habits Cookbook by Janet Helm

Eating Mindfully:How to End Mindless Eating & Enjoy a Balanced Relationship with Food by Susan Albers, Psy.D.

True Romance, If You Insist

If you find yourself still a fool for love and romance, then at least skip the esteem-crushing, diet-busting, commercial aspects of this Hallmark holiday.  Try your luck with true emotion rather than emotional substitutes:

On Kindness  by Adam Phyllips and Barbara Taylor

This Emotional Life: Family, Friends & Lovers by NOVA

How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry by Edward Hirsch

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