Here’s the deal. Tomorrow, chocolate will be purchased. Flowers will be delivered. Candles will be lit so that couples can dine in their glow. Hands will be held. Lips will be puckered. Love will be celebrated. For tomorrow, it is Valentine’s Day.
And it must be stopped.
Look, I don’t need an excuse to buy chocolate. And I certainly don’t need some baby with wings trying to impale me with his love arrows. And nobody needs the stress, the envy, and the destruction of this saintly holiday.
According to multiple “reputable” websites, the first evidence of Valentine’s Day being associated with love goes all the way back to 1382, when Chaucer wrote, “For this was on seynt Volantynys day, when euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.” While he apparently didn’t have his spell check turned on that day, Chaucer’s words are evidence of a long history of chesing our make each and every February 14th.
But do we really need a special day to chese our make? Let’s take elementary school for example. Few things are as depressing as seeing the kids exchange cards and there, all alone, while others revel in their pile of heart-shaped sentiment, sits the one child who received nary a note. To combat this historic injustice, many schools now mandate that kids bring cards for each of their classmates. A nice thought, but it also renders the whole exercise pointless. “To My Very Special Friend…Who is Exactly Equal in Specialness to All of the Other Members of My Class, Even Jimmy Who Eats Crickets When He Thinks No One is Looking.”
That’s what this holiday does. It either makes you feel bad because everyone around you is getting signs of affection and you’re not, or it makes you feel less than special because you realize that your significant other is only giving you a gift because the calendar is telling them to.
Sure, this might sound like the jealous ranting of a man who hasn’t been on a date since the Carter administration, but I can assure you that (a) my feelings about Valentine’s Day are unrelated to my love life and (b) I went out with one girl when Reagan was president.
Come on, what good can come of this? Valentine’s Day is like a giant highlighter for lonely people. Look, everybody, over here! This guy’s spending his Valentine’s Day at the Taco Bell drive thru! And half the guys in relationships are nervously trying to walk the fine line between impressing their women and going bankrupt. A dozen roses cost how much?!? Don’t these things grow in the ground?
Doesn’t the very notion of the romance being expected make it that much less romantic?
“Happy Valentine’s Day, I got you twelve of these dying flowers, this bright red, heart-shaped box of chocolate covered walnuts and orange goo and I had this copywriter from Hallmark put together a couple of lines about the color of violets. This is how you can tell I love you.”
So, how am I going to do it? How will I convince the world that this holiday causes more friction than affection? I say all of us who are fed up with the whole production gather and let our voices be heard. We can hold hands and protest the fact that we’re being told to hold hands. We can have an anti-love love-in. And we can meet…at the Taco Bell drive thru.
Happy Volantynys Day.