Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

If I have said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times. Valentine’s Day is for losers.


At this very moment I am making an “L” shape with my thumb and forefinger and putting it against my forehead. The only thing missing from this day for me right now is a DVD of Jerry Springer’s greatest moments or perhaps even tickets to “Jerry Springer: The Musical”. Before anyone says I am being bitter and a bit of a Valentine’s Day Scrooge, let me clarify that I am in no way, shape or form against open and grand displays of affection. It is the day itself and what it has come to represent that I am completely opposed to. Let us first keep in mind the origin of the day itself. According to legend, the first Valentine’s card/declaration of love and adoration was sent from Mr. Valentine himself. While he was in prison. I assume that means he can also be blamed for the trend of women who fall for and then subsequently marry men who are on death row for things like, oh, I don’t know, killing their parents. Eric Menendez, anyone? I am sure that deep down underneath that cold, calculating and murderous exterior, he’s really a nice and sweet guy. Very sensitive. Imagine the future they have together. Not even allowed conjugal visits. I know it is all very Carlos and Gabrielle Solis, Desperate Housewives Season 2, but she was at least putting out for the hot gardener while he was more likely than not some inmate’s bitch.

But I seem to be getting side-tracked.

Years ago I had an argument with Doug and to this day he does not see my side. I personally think it is rude to ask someone if you can try something on their plate. It is not the sharing of food I find rude, but the social obligation to say “yes” to the question whether you want the person forking around with your food or not. I find it rude to ask a question to which the responding party has but one acceptable answer. If you answer “no” then you are seen as a complete jerk with anti-social behavior bordering on psychopathic. I became a black-sheep of the wining and dining set. I stood my ground and wore my new-found anti-social status with pride making sure everything I ordered would create feelings of lust and envy from those around me. Someone would ultimately ask if they could try my dish and I would say “no”. They would assume I was joking, give a bit of a giggle and move their fork in my general direction. I would fend them off with my knife until they realized I was serious and then they would toss dirty looks my direction the rest of the evening. I got quite a lot of pleasure over the ability to ruin someone’s dining experience with such a small little word. And actually, all I wanted was someone to agree with me that asking was rude. If they would have, I would have opened up the gates to my plate and let them fork themselves into a frenzy. But they never did.

And that brings me back to Valentine’s Day. It is a day set aside where we are socially obligated to make grand and public displays of affection and love and adoration. And we are seen as anti-social being bordering on psychopathic if we don’t. Pity the woman in the office that doesn’t get any flowers. Pity the one that get’s carnations instead of long-stemmed red roses. I know plenty of women who send flowers to themselves complete with gushy card they can pass around the office for everyone to drool over. Do you really think there are that many secret admirers out there? And for the men it is even worse. God help the man that sends the carnations or only 6 roses when the rest of the women where the object of his affections works get 12. I find the whole obligatory part of Valentine’s to be repulsive. I think that anyone needing a day set aside and the constant advertising that reminds us to make some sort of gesture to that special person needs to seriously re-examine their relationship.

I think it says so much more when a card or post-it just shows up in some unexpected place on some ordinary day of the year. The surprise candle-lit bubble bath for no reason at all. Even being able to just sit next to each other reading our own books and enjoying the company of the person sitting next to us. That to me just says so much more.

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