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My Annual Valentine's Day Screed

By request. I think I wrote this first in 2002.

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 conspiracytmv.jpgcalled 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.

[image from my creepy valentine]


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference My Annual Valentine's Day Screed:

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I was getting ready to write a post some time soon about what I thought of Valentine's Day. But Michele has got it covered so thoroughly that the only thing I can add is feh.... [Read More]

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You know michele, I totally agree with this, and I'm the most romantic guy I know. Ritualized expressions of love can never replace the spontaneous ones.

Which brings me to a small nitpick: I'm sure your ex was a total jerk, but acts of service (especially from a man) are indeed expressions of love. Taking out the trash may seem like a trivial thing, but it's one of the ways we men say "I care about you". Again, I'm sure your ex was a jerk.

I really think that might have been a throw-away line anyway, because it contradicts the whole point of the rest of the post.

Taking out the trash once in a while in lieu of another romantic geststure is not an expression of love. It's an expression of cluelessnes, especially if every other Monday and Thursday night, you watch your pregant wife struggle to get the heavy cans down the icy driveway, through the snow and out to the curb. Just saying.

Last year, my darling wife turned to me on Valentine's Day and said, "I love you. You're loved, you know that? Now, do you know where Zales is?"

I was thinking to myself, "No, but I'd better find out." Ended up going to another jewelry store instead of Zales, but I did it with a smile.

I doubt if she'll be getting much for V Day this year. I just bought her a new car last weekend. That'll have to do for a while.

I admit I'm not the most romantic guy, but I do tell my wife that I love her every day. More to the point, she knows that when she gets home from a hard day at work, dinner will be waiting for her (unless it's one of those rare days when she gets home first). Saying the words is easy, but living them is what counts.

21 years and counting...

Spot on Michele!
Anyone who depends on Hallmark to remind them to show their spouse how they feel doesn't feel much of anything to begin with.

I refer to the 14th of February as "Amateurs' Day" for many of the reasons you mention. Got the idea from my brother who called New Years Eve, "Amateur Night" in honor of all the people who drink once a year and completely embarass themselves. Same principle.

Valentine's Day = Cheap Candy Day Eve.

Spot on post!

I hate artifical holidays like Valentines, Mother's Day, Father's Day. and Kwanza. I also can't stand the way many holidays have been bastardized, I mean come on, Easter is about the resurection of Christ, not a rabbit leaving behind chocolate and stale Peeps.

I try to show my love to my wife daily, by telling her I love her, by being gentlemanly, and by being considerate. All of these things matter far more to her than a bunch of shiny pebbles. (diamonds)And can we finally destroy all of those disgusting heart candies with words written on them? They taste like chalk.

Can we throw New Year's Eve in the same bin as Valentine's Day? On account of the whole unrealistic-expectations thing, I mean. Sure, some of us might ring in the New Year in a grand, elegant, romantic way, but most of us count ourselves lucky if we just have one that's even slightly better than the one you reposted about this year.

Amen, Ilyka. You know, I could do without forced celebrations of any and all holidays. I'd be happy just sticking with Halloween and t hrowing the rest out.

Never underestimate the special magic of crotchless panties.

damn straight.

I'm currently unattached, but what makes my skin really crawl about the day is the advertising - the implication that, unless you spend a certain amount of money on that "special someone," you're a jerk and a loser, even if you are a prince (and I say "prince" because the advertising seems mainly aimed at men) the other 364 days of the year.

(And I fail to see what's so romantic about giving a cell phone, there were lots of ads about that last year).

And, by extension, if you're a jerk and a loser the other 364, you can make it up buy buying some piece of jewelry, while you and your significant other struggle to make mortgage payments every month...

I saw an ad this morning from a local car dealership that was implying a car would be a good Valentine's day gift to your honey. I just screamed at the tv. (I also cannot stand the ads at Christmas - and LExus is the worst for this - promoting cars as a Christmas present. Whatever happened to TOKENS of a person's affection?)

Like I said, I'm currently unattached, but if I had someone, I'd be happy with a funny or nice card, and maybe dinner out. (Wouldn't even have to be at an expensive place). Flowers make me sneeze and I really don't need to eat more chocolate.

Well, yes whoever wrote all of these things about Valentine's day is dead-on painfully right. Those that have a significant other oftentimes are totally unhappy with that person. I think that is so sad. If you hate or can't stand the person to that point, then why be around them? Why be unhappy your whole life through? Maybe this sounds naive, but it's true. I'd rather be a celebate person than be stuck with a loser, that slobbers, and farts, and looks at other women. And believe me, I've had my life's share of 'em. Ever since my one and only soul mate died, I could never ever find another that would match up to him. He was so beautiful both inside and out, and nothing compares to him. And he was one of the richest guys in the world. He would give me anything I ever wanted. He didn't think about my faults and base his gift on that. Nor did he have another or other women on his mind, either. I'm the only lady that he loved while he was with me. Indeed, (when you find the right one) that's how you know. So, in my heart he will always be my Valentine. Sorry, guys,but,I'm taken.

Gah!...Must...resist...buying...sparkling...carbon chunks! Implanted artificial romance chip...BURNING! ARRRGH! (Runs outside and got hit by a car)