I get why not everyone celebrates Valentine’s Day, but I don’t understand why some have such a loathing for it. Even before I was married and I was simply an often single, sarcastic malcontent who spent too much time online — which is to say precisely the type of day who you expect to hate a day for couples — I never hated Valentine’s Day. In fact, it’s actually one of my favorite days of the year; I’m a big fan of any day where most people you deal with face to face are in a slightly better than average mood.
The downside of Valentine’s Day to me is not in the gross public displays of physical affection of the gross public displays of social media affection, even if I do believe some of you should chill; no, the downside of Valentine’s Day is the ridiculous number of press releases I get about it as someone who writes on the internet. Because I do some food writing, I accept the fact that part of this is a fate I’ve brought upon myself, and I’d be a monster to knock the hustle of local businesses, but you would not believe some of the more ridiculous press releases that come my way anytime a major holiday rolls around. My favorite angle right now are the rival data mining companies claiming different things about how romantic Houston is compared to the rest of the nation.
On one hand, you’ve got a group who claims Houston is in the top 20% of romantic cities. While we suffer from being a more expensive city to celebrate in, we make up for it in things to do and how easy it is to buy a gift for your loved one; they say the figure this out by figuring out how many florists and the like there are in a city, but I like to think they know about all the deals on Harwin. Weirdly they also ding us on our weather, which I think is really unfair, giving how you shouldn’t be able to to judge something that not even God himself can predict.
On the other hand, you’ve got the company that insists Houston is one of the least romantic cities in the country. How’d they figure that out? They looked at Houston’s search data compared to other cities over a variety of romantic options like “chocolate” and “roses.” Of course Houston isn’t going to end up with prime marks when that’s the criteria. Our city is too big and our people too diverse to fall in line with such a generic take on Valentine’s Day. All it tells me is that the city’s that rank high on that list are full of boring people who play it safe when it comes to going through the motions of proving their love. A real shame if you ask me.
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Listen, I have no idea if Houston is romantic or not. What I do know is that when February 14 rolls around, the people I interact with walk with a little extra pep in their step. If you don’t have plans yet, don’t fret. Go look at our list of Valentine’s Day happenings and check out something that strikes your fancy. Or just stay home with the one you love and binge watch something you both enjoy. Party with your other single friends or go to an anti-Valentine’s Day party. It’s a hug city and there’s something for everyone, be it board games with strangers or dropping $40 to eat as many tacos as you can stuff down. That’s the real beauty of Houston, Valentine’s Day and every other day of the year: this city is whatever you make it, romantic or otherwise.