Every year when the mall Christmas trees and candy canes magically make way for heart-shaped candy boxes and teddy bears, I feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand up a little. When the “seasonal” aisle at the grocery store suddenly has red and pink streamers hanging above it, I throw up a little in my mouth. When my morning-commute radio talk turns to how the male DJs have screwed up Valentine’s Day in the past and what their plans are to avoid getting into trouble with their wives this year…I get angry.
BAH, HUMBUG. Valentine’s Day SUCKS.
I don’t feel this way because I’m single and bitter – I’m actually very happily married to someone who would probably jump through hoops to do something romantic if I wanted him to. I just think this so-called “holiday” is a commercially contrived scam that accomplishes what?
As far as I can tell, the only major results that come out of the annual shakedown we call Valentine’s Day are the following:
1. It makes flower, candy and card companies richer.
Just ask FTD, Russell Stover and Hallmark. They’ll tell you. With big smiles on their faces.
If half as much time and money was spent on Earth Day as it is on Valentine’s Day, we could put an end to global warming.
2. It sets otherwise happy couples up to be disappointed in one another.
Anytime one-half of a couple has an occasion to set expectations for romance on the part of the other half, they are really just setting themselves up for failure. Men and women look at things like romance differently – and Valentine’s Day is a virtual minefield of mistakes and unrealized romantic potential.
Besides, my husband and I don’t need Valentine’s Day to remember that we love each other. We have an anniversary for that. We celebrate it every year. If you need a special day other than your anniversary to remember to say “I love you” to your significant other, you’re doing it wrong.
3. It feeds into the image of the nagging, overly emotional wife or girlfriend.
When a woman sets too-high expectations for her Valentine and then cries and whines when she’s disappointed with the results, she’s doing a disservice to women everywhere. I see viral emails about this crap all the time – you know, the jokes and cartoons with Andy Capp’s wife hitting him over the head with a broomstick, or the top-ten-things-that-make-my-wife-a-shrew joke - ha ha ha. There’s a reason why men find this crap funny - they can RELATE. Let’s pick our battles, ladies! Who cares about flowers and candy on Valentine’s Day – did he put the toilet seat down? Has he taken the garbage out?
4. It makes single people feel sad, lonely and inferior.
The very existence of Valentine’s Day suggests that being single is somehow a less fortunate condition than being attached. It supports the notion that people in relationships are in some way superior to those who are not. THEY get a special day to celebrate. THEY are special. On Valentine’s Day people think, “No matter how broken or dysfunctional my relationship is, at least I’m IN one – otherwise, I’d be alone tonight!”
The whole thing just pisses me off. We’re all such suckers!
Being married doesn’t make me better than anyone else. What makes one person superior to another is their morality, their wit, their strength. And yet, millions of good, strong, intelligent, lovable people sit at home alone on Valentine’s Day, feeling somehow like they’ve missed the boat.
Let’s get with it, folks! Let’s focus on the real problems of the world! According to a tradition from the Middle Ages, the real St. Valentine restored the sight and hearing of his jailer’s daughter, before being put to death. Let’s take a lesson from that and turn Valentine’s Day into a day of healing and forgiveness, instead of romance.
Let’s try to help people who really need it. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but there is a terrible genocide going on in Darfur. There are millions of people in Africa right now suffering from starvation, AIDS and malaria. Right here in our own backyard there are people who are homeless, mentally challenged, poverty stricken. Let’s look outside of our own relationships and show some love instead to people who have no love.
Then we can REALLY feel superior.Stumble it!