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 conspiracycalled 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]