Why I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s day is usually something people look forward to, for whatever reasons– be it making the most out of it for obvious reasons or merely to poke fun at those who take the festival to heart. Being one who prefers to stay in the comfort zone, here are the reasons I actually choose to commemorate Haya Day.

Beginning with the general consensus behind Valentine’s day and how it functions here; the tradition originated as the Feast of Saint Valentine as he was beheaded because of his Christian faith and became the reason for the celebration of love and affection, Valentine’s Day. February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, containing vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition.

Coming to what people make out of it in Pakistan and how critics take a jibe at it– women are by large hopeless romantics while men are either persuaded by outer force or some inner opportunist demon. That calls for the things one can think of when it comes to dinner dates, inexpensive gifts, flowers and getting intimate.

Then there are most people who are generally done with it– not for their religious opinion but because they realize how crucial it is to avoid the spotlight on this specific occasion– especially when you’re one of the witty ones to harass people in your head while they’re on route wearing red and bolds. 

The occasion doesn’t really have a very Valentine-ish effect on many, perhaps The Running of the Bulls taking a course in our head.

Take two, totally fine with being seen with a guy at an ATM or having lunch with colleagues within office premises but a dinner date would be the last place to be.

The only few ways Valentine’s day has served me with perks is that I got to have an understanding of my colleague’s life (thanks to my boss who also poked fun at the talk of the town), and here I am writing about it.

While some have plans with their wives, I was asked why I am not celebrating Valentine’s day.

That’s when I remembered lying to a guy that my friend introduced me to, about having to pick my mother from the airport tonight just so I can exclude myself from the limelight.

Many are forced into being Valentine critics, could be an annual curfew at home or couldn’t find love.

We feel you.

However, as much depressing it may sound, there’s Pakistan Super League for many of us to look forward to (even after the heartbreaking reports about Pitbull not performing at the PSL 4 in the opening ceremony today).

But going back to the general consensus behind Valentine’s Day, the functionality of the occasion is to express love and I actually had a Valentine moment to hold on to when my boss introduced me to my favourite journalist I was always fangirling about.

A very platonic Valentine’s Day!

This could be me but I am celebrating a very platonic Valentine’s Day.

To my perception, and what my 17-year-old sister goes by, the beauty of not dating is that you open your eyes to other meaningful perspectives in life (although one gets to meet new people and explore your chances with true love) but how do you meet these new people when you’re living in Pakistan, when you don’t really get much invites to private parties and don’t want to associate yourself with dating sites?

Speaking regardless of Rishta aunties, you can only be lucky if your friends are as generous as Meghan Markle’s friend and introduce you to a… not exactly a real-life prince but someone worthy of you. You’ve still got to keep your brains on alert, make sure you don’t entirely give in and at least never give a wrong impression to the person.

You may disagree, but ‘not giving in’ also includes reaching the venue of your date night at your own convenience if you’re meeting the person for the first time. As cool they may sound, trust me it’s best to not disclose your residence before you’ve met them in person. Go prepared, keep your phones charged, keep cash ready, keep some change. Because in case that prince turns out to be a frog you can fetch a cab on your way back too– because regardless of the way a person may look, there are many other qualities one must be cautious of.

In case, you run out of phone battery or don’t want to embarrass him into feeling that you’re not secure around him, here’s what you do next.

Let him drop you. But not to your home. Any apartments in the vicinity or near your home can do, perhaps an old residence of yours if it’s convenient. Once he leaves, take a taxi or auto. Trust me, you don’t wanna risk showing where you live since things with the person can shape into any nightmare. If things work out, you can always say you shifted.

Whether it’s a friend of a friend, the person may turn out to be anything- fake, creepy, clingy, sexually frustrated, you never know, unless you don’t rush into meeting and rather get to know the person first. At any case, you don’t want to go home in debt.

The person may be expecting some intimate exchanges that you owe him in his head, right from the first date. Always show some gesture of independence. Men take honour in paying for everything on their dates, but always put in a gesture– or at least buy the popcorn if the person gets the movie tickets. Apologies for derailing from the main concern of why I don’t celebrate Valentine’s day.

Just recall, how exactly did you commemorate Kashmir Day?