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Great Expectations: The Valentine's Day Letdown Syndrome

I've received quite a bit of email about my vagina post yesterday. Apparently, many of you are under the assumption that I am pissed specifically because the vagina warriors are trying to take Valentine's Day away. You seem to be under the impression that I love Valentine's Day. Hah. You assume way too much. So it is with delight that I present, for the third year running, my Valentine's Day screed. And once again, I await your refutation of my bitterness and angst.
Not that you need a reminder, what with all the storefronts decorated with sickening pink and red hearts and little cherubs with pointy weapons, but V Day approaches. I hate this holiday. People who do not have significant others do not corner the market on hating Valentine's Day. It comes down to this: the greeting card and chocolate and floral industries have gotten together and formed this great conspiracy called Valentine's Day. Sure, this day existed a long time ago, set aside to honor a saint. Not a day to buy your wife a black teddy and a garter belt. And certainly not a day to make people who are not in a relationship feel shitty about themselves. And most certainly not a day to make all the people who don't think of being romantic or spontaneous or thoughtful all year long think there is one specific day where they can do these things and then be off the hook for the rest of the year. Valentine's Day is not a day of amnesty. It is not a day where a guy or girl can say "Well, I've been shitty to my partner all year long, but if I buy them a huge boquet of flowers on February 14th, I'm off the hook!" It doesn't work that way. Me, I'm lucky to have someone who is a romantic fool all year round. But it wasn't always that way. I was once married to a guy who thought that if he took out the garbage instead of making me do it, it was a romantic gesture. Valentine's Day would come around and I would get a box of chocolate ($3.99 at CVS) and it would have at least two pieces with the dreaded coconut, which means I got a cheap box of chocolate of which I could only really enjoy about 4 pieces. Chocolate is not a good gift. Chocolate says "I would like you to gain a few pounds so then I can say to you in a week or so that you look like you could lose a few pounds." Flowers are not good. Flowers say "Here are some beautiful works of nature that will wilt or dry out and lose their beauty in a relatively short time. Like you. Which is when I will leave you for a younger woman." Sexy lingerie is not good, because that just says "I really hate the way you look naked. Do you think you could dress like a stripper when we have sex so I can pretend that you are Shana from The Raven's Nest?" Valentine's Day is a crock of falsehoods. It does more harm than good. Have you ever been that kid in class who got three valentines while everyone else got 20? Have you ever sat home crying in your beer and eating a pint of chocoalte chip mint ice cream while burning pictures of your ex? Then you know. You know how Valentine's Day only causes pain. Even for the guys who have a girlfriend because they feel they can't live up to the expectations that the media has set for them as far as presents go. Diamonds are a man's best friend apparently, especially if he wants sex, some free time or the right to do anything you please any way you please because women are shallow like that. For the girls who have a special someone, it sucks if they have been watching some woman-centered morning television show where some guy pops out of the audience in a tuxedo on Valentine's Day and gets down on his knee and begs his girlfriend, who is a grip or stagehand or something, to marry him. And then Katie Couric sends them on a trip around Manhattan in a horse drawn carraige and the snow falls gently on their heads as he puts a diamond ring on her finger and....well that's not reality for everyone, folks. So don't think it's yours. Valentine's Day only serves to get your hopes up and then have them crashed down on top of you by the end of the night when all you got was a kiss and an offer to let you watch while he plays Grand Theft Auto. Any other day of the year that would have been good enough for you. I've digressed again. I'm just saying. To hell with Valentine's Day. No flowers, no candy, no crotchless panties. If you love someone, tell them. That's all. And really, that should be every day. ______________________ This year, I add: I don't profess to speak for all women on this issue. I am speaking for me, and that is not something that men who are looking to find out women's feelings about Valentine's Day should take to the bank, so to speak. My idea of a perfect date is drinking beer and playing video games and watching Space Ghost and Aqua Teen DVDs. Which is what I will be doing on the evening of February 14th with my husband, who is damn lucky to have me.


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Valentine's Day is in two and a half weeks. Fuck. Fuck. Fuckity fuck fuck fuck. And no, that doesn't mean I'm gonna get it six... [Read More]

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...until "You'd better do something romantic for your wife/girlfriend/significant other or else no sex for you for the rest of the month" Day. Michele of A Small Victory, following yesterday's riff on the bogarting of Valentine's Day (a day celebrating... [Read More]


I can clearly recall getting only a few valentines in grade school, while others got many, but it doesn't affect me now, except for that part about breaking out in tears on Valentine's Day. But I digress. These days my kids take Valentines to school, but if you don't give them to everyone, you can't give them to anyone! The self-esteem of the unchosen would be gravely wounded if you did.

But you'd look so cute in pink hearts. If you'd just give it a chance.....

Since "V-day" falls on a Saturday this year (meaning every restaurant/hotel/event will be more crowded than usual), my wife and I have decided to stay in and watch movies in front of a roaring fire all weekend. Pizza and steak may be included, although probably not on the same night...

My wife an I are going to a college baseball game on V-day and then maybe an early dinner. Then the kids are going to grandma's house and we are going try out the new mattress.

Man I love Valentines day. Correction: the day after Valentines. 90% off chocolate.

How can you not like a holiday that is named after me? I usually get alot more than chocolate on Valentine's Day. And I'm not tlaking flowers either.

Boris and I will be enjoying a nice evening of movies, kibble, and hamburgers.

We never do anything for valentine's day. I think I did something once for a boyfriend, in college, but that's all I can recall.

Hi Michele,

Not related to this post... just wanted to say that "A Small Victory" by Faith No More is playing on my computer. Everytime I hear it, I think of you.

Todd and toodles,

"Have you ever been that kid in class who got three valentines while everyone else got 20?"

Or Zero. They called me Charlie Brown, too.

I've never been a fan of Valentine's Day either, significant other or not. I may send a few cards out - to my boyfriend, to my sister and my niece and nephew and my parents and grandmother, but that's the extent of my celebration.

All of the hyped attention placed on chocolate, flowers, lingerie, diamonds, marriage proposals... Oh, please! Get your heads of the Harlequins already!

3rd year running, huh? Maybe you don't speak for all women, but you can certainly speak for me on this one!

Talking about valentine's day now is like talking about Christmas before Thanksgiving.

Talking about valentine's day now is like talking about Christmas before Thanksgiving.

In other vagina news, in San Francisco there was a 10-hour police standoff with a woman who had crack hidden in her vagina.

Cops, drug suspect, deeply hidden evidence at S.F. General

My beloved hates it. The last time I did anything special for her on that day was in 1990. I bought her a scifi novel she wanted. Other than that, I'm under strict orders to always avoid VD.

Wait. Ummm...I mean...yeah, that's what I meant.

I am going to have the best Valentine's Day I've had in a looooong time. I'm giving my single self a trip to the islands.

Maybe I can find some belated Valentine's lovin' there....

what she said.

Commercialism is revolting. Hallmark reminders remind us that we suck at relationships.

Tell the person you love that you love them. Every day. Your other, your spouse, your mom, your kid. Show them too.

And remember that criticism is deadly. It kills any relationship.

Here endeth the sermon. Go and sin no more.


I used to hate Valentine's Day too, but I spent $500 to learn pick-up lines from some guy named Mystery, and now I can't keep the chicks away!

Well, maybe not.

My husband refuses to acknowledge Valentine's Day, but then again he gets me flowers every few weeks for no reason and does lots of nice little stuff "just because," so he is TOTALLY off the hook. I don't even acknowledge the day any more. And my ideal date is not far from yours, Michele, except I'd have to add some meat. Preferably a nice prime rib with au jus and horseradish sauce...mmm...everything's better with meat!

again, what Michele said.

Valentine's Day should be renamed "The Day of Unrealistic Expectations." 'Cause really, who is happy, come the end of the day (other than the florists and chocolate-sellers)?

oh, and the "classic" gifts?

chocolate = make your lover fat so no one else desires them and can take them away from you. Alternative explanation: some birds and insects, when they are trying to get a female to mate with them, bring her fruit or dead bugs or some other "food item". (It is called a "food gift" by the behaviorist types). Chocolate is a food gift. "Oh, you gave me chocolate, I suppose you expect me to copulate with you now?"

flowers = the sex organs of plants. Make that, the sex organs of plants that have been cruelly and horrifically torn from those plants, without giving them a chance to actually use those sex organs to procreate. ouch.

teddy bears, etc. = an infantalizing gesture. "I don't take you seriously as an adult"

diamonds or jewelry = "This is a transaction; I have now paid you in something with tangible value, now what are you gonna give me in return?"

sexy lingerie = "I can't get turned on unless I make believe you are someone you are not, and are uncomfortably dressed to boot."

I miss The Raven's Nest...

Goddamn, Cynical Me. Can I add a few?

A hug: "My steel-like arms encircle you so as to prevent your inevitable escape."

A kiss: "I will now suck vital nutrients off of your face, because that's all you're good for."

A smile: "See these teeth? They're for eating meat. Bring me a steak now. Right now."

Anything in the universe: "Lemme oppress you."

Two can play the cynical game! Whee.

And after my last comment on the previous V-day post, I completely agree with you on this. Valentine's day is the shoddiest holiday ever.

When I was in high school, we razzed a teacher one V-day about what he was getting his newlywed wife. He said, "Hallmark will not dictate when I am romantic with my wife," a statement that struck me as quite profound at the time.

I only hope that meant he was romantic often, and not the opposite.