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The Actual Worst Thing That Could Happen to a Woman on Valentine’s Day

By Katie Hoffman @katienotholmes

When it comes to February 14th, a lot of us women are overlooking our one true enemy.

The Internet and fine jewelry commercials have taught us all that there are only two factions to belong to on Valentine’s Day: you’re either the single gal with cats, wine, and a Netflix queue like nobody’s business or you’re the in-a-relationship gal counting on a fancy dinner reservation, a bouquet of roses, and some glitzy new bling. In reality, these groups are more nuanced that stereotypes give them credit for–like the single girl who actually doesn’t give a shit about her relationship status any day of the year or the married woman who’d rather go to bed early rather than sweep up the rose petals all over the floor while she has one of the champagne headaches–but generally the Valentine’s Day universe is one that feels very siloed for us ladies. Yet, beyond the pangs of long-term relationship failure and the chalky aftertaste of those conversation hearts we’re all only pretending to actually enjoy, there’s an enemy that brings us together and burdens us with a fate from which not even your relationship status (Facebook official or not) could spare you: having your period on Valentine’s Day.



So, to answer the age old questions of, “What could be worse than having a significant other who shops for last-minute Valentine’s Day gifts at Walgreens?” and “What could be worse than being alone on v-day!?” That “thing” that is worse is realizing on perhaps the most sensationalized, emotionally-charged, romantical holiday that your womb is empty, regular pants don’t fit you right now, your ovaries are having a rave and may have taken some tainted molly, and you’re experiencing every emotion you’ve ever felt in your life every 25 minutes. Yeah.

I feel personally betrayed by my uterus when I have my period on Veteran’s Day, the weekend, or any day when the sun is shining, so imagine my reaction to cramps and bloating on a holiday about love, adoration, and SeXy TiMeS. Of all the holidays to be marred by your menstrual cycle, being on your period during Valentine’s Day is the absolute worst. I know it’s just some stupid holiday, and you can totally eat chocolate and go out for an overpriced dinner at any time of the year, and it’s all just a grand Hallmarkian scheme to make money from selling greeting cards and valentines and candy that’s $5 more expensive because it comes in a heart-shaped box and oh yeah the heart-shaped pizzas! But that’s really not the point, because it’s just not fair that now without feeling a bit uncomfortable at best and like a whale with lipstick on at worst, I cannot enjoy any of the traditional Valentine’s Day activities (except eating chocolate) in the way that I (and the world) had intended, and don’t tell me I’m overreacting. I’m trying to explain to you how I feel. Are you trying to tell me how to feel about having my period on Valentine’s Day? I’m sorry, I know I probably sound a little crazy right now, but I’m just upset over the fact that even though I had no intention of wearing fancy lingerie, the best I can hope for now is not ruining a mediocre pair of underwear that are on the cusp of attaining period panty status, but haven’t been officially demoted yet.

Whether you’re in a relationship or not, no good will come of having your period on Valentine’s Day (unless you’re having a pregnancy scare leading into Valentine’s Day, which might actually be the thing that’s even worse than getting your period).

If you’re single, you’ll be enduring this day with the usual amount of misery as any other month, until someone posts that damn “If you’re a bird, I’m a bird” GIF from The Notebook, and you’ll take yourself and your oversized sweatpants to the nearest 7-11, where you’ll elbow through the crowd of forgetful men and pimply teenage employees restocking the Reese’s Pieces peanut butter hearts while you stock your little basket with three packages of Dove chocolates, some Swedish fish, and a bottle of cheap Smirnoff that you know is going to taste like all $15 vodka does.

If you’re in a relationship, you should go into quarantine before you do irreparable damage to your relationship on this holiest of relationship holidays. You might think you’re up for celebrating. You don’t feel that moody! Your cramps are over! The current has slowed! Do not be fooled by these encouraging signs; disaster is lurking behind every well-intended gesture. If your significant other gets you a gift, one of two things will happen: you’ll be so overcome with emotion at how thoughtful your significant other is that you may refer to he or she as “bae” or your hollow womb will be convince you that the sweet, considerate gift you received is actually thoughtless, dumb, and somehow insulting and disrespectful.

If you’re on your period this Valentine’s Day, take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Sure you might not have a baby, be engaged, have any relationship prospects, feel beautiful, be reasonably confident you can control your appetite, or sustain one mood for longer than two hours, but even if you’re single for v-day this year, you’re truly not alone. The confounding existence of the Valentine’s Day period should remind all of us women that at the end of the day, whether we’ve been struck by cupid’s arrow or not, the one thing we share in common is that monthly hormonal free-for-all that has no respect for holidays, love, happiness, joy, or cute lingerie. I’m sure cupid keeps a few tampons in his First Aid kit, anyway.

Note: To all those who have significant others that are on their period this Valentine’s Day: your best bet is chocolate—but not too much chocolate. If you had planned on getting some gift to explore your KiNkS, now is not the time. Also, if you’ve been dating for more than two years, for the love of all that is rational, do not buy a promise ring. You do not want to explain a promise ring to a woman on her period on Valentine’s Day. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya.

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