Sunday, February 13, 2005

Why I Hate Valentine's Day

Here's an oldie, but a goodie. Wrote this last year. My opinion hasn't changed.


The extremely popular comedian Lewis Black has summed it up excellently in one of his more familiar routines. In this routine the angry comic goes on to explain how winter is a horribly gray period of life, and how each day gets grayer and grayer still until it’s the grayest day you’ve ever seen…and then it gets even grayer. And then, finally, everything is so gray you slit your wrists just to see color...and this day happens to be Valentine’s Day. Quite frankly, this is an excellent summation of how things seem to work.

What is Valentine’s Day supposed to be about? Well, it seems it was named after a St. Valentine, who was a nice guy and priest who was put to death on February 14th for marrying people secretly or some such. He left a note to someone saying “from your Valentine,” and this, combined with a Juno-worshipping Roman ceremony from times past involving something about couples, gave us our concept of Valentine’s Day. I’m too lazy to do a whole lot of research about it, but it seems more than a bit morbid to me.

This is sure to bring me to my point eventually. The point is, of course, that my cynical self cannot seem to appreciate or find value in Valentine’s Day, which is, after all, the most depressing day of the year, usually. Why, you ask? Well, let’s pose a question to all of you gentle readers who like the old Valentine’s Day. Why do you enjoy it? I implore you to send fan/hate mail through some means or other and let us at this fine newspapering establishment know.

Perhaps, though, I can beat you to it. Let’s think; there’s this “love” thing going around these days, like some kind of epidemic. Methinks that’s why people enjoy Feb. 14th. After all, the entire world can’t be celebrating your favorite Spanish teacher’s birthday; there’s got to be some other reason! All the happy couples seem to like it, what with all this “love” stuff going around, and the flowers and candy and cute small fuzzy animals and whatnot. While this may seem perfectly natural to some of you out there, you people are obviously forgetting about a large group of others who aren’t having the time of their lives; the lonely people.

Therefore, I suggest some kind of day for the lonely people, too. Perhaps on Feb. 15th, just to spite the happy people. I’d name it after a depressed and lonesome Saint, but I don’t know any offhand, unless you count the football team. However, I do know my Beatles. Henceforth, I declare Feb. 15th to be Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Day, from here on out. I doubt I’ll be throwing candy and furry animals around or wearing a party hat, but I think maybe I can take a few moments out of my daily moping/brooding/sulking ritual to somberly acknowledge good ol’ Sgt. Pepper, who for so long sought the tender embrace of companionship, that from which he was forever forsaken. Or possibly forsook.

So you could call me a pessimist. Frankly, I think I’m sometimes too much of an optimist, which scares me. I’ve become a sad, lonely old man a few decades early. Just because I listen to depressing music, talk with depressed people, watch depressing TV, write a few depressing stories, and hide from society all the time doesn’t mean I’m some kind of crazy depressing hermit. Maybe one day, but not now! No, but I’m not a shiny happy ball of sunshine like some of you, either. I’ve seen my share of enjoyable moments, but I’ve seen a lot more depressing breakdowns. Believe you me, I understand the depressed and lonely. And it’s from experience.

Now, this article had its fair share of levity, but it also might’ve shown you that not everyone has a fun Valentine’s Day, or enjoys it too much. God knows I’ve tried, sometimes, but maybe it’s just a few traumatic memories that spoil it. Here’s my advice to you; find the nearest lonely fellow or downtrodden fellowette and give ‘em a good ol’ hug. Maybe you can help someone have a decent Valentine’s Day. Or maybe you’ll just get a restraining order. Either way, I’ll lift my glass in a toast on Sgt. Pepper’s Day. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for my six o’clock moping period, so I’m afraid I’ll have to draw this article to a close.

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