By. S. Lucy
Okay, so it’s, you know, that day. The one day of the year where we’re expected to buy into commercialized crap about various $5 methods of showing love, almost as if it gives you a pass for affection on the rest of the year. The day where you feel most marginalized or unvalidated by society for being single, or aromantic, or too busy for it by saving the world from evil space-cancer wielding micro-organisms (or on that strain, discovering potential new homeworlds for humanity), you know, just not into the whole “I love you, see? The Russel Stover proves it!” tripe.
Now, I’m not at all bitter because of a lack of love life. On the contrary, I’m in love with a wonderful Evil Genius who treats me better than most Catholics treat their Rosaries… err, should treat their Rosaries. But I can honestly say my favorite VDay ever was the year my little brother and I were snowed in at our very rural house, and spent the whole day building each other into snowmen, and racing the dogs down the hills. Oh so very Hallmark, in all the ways you can’t pay for. And you know how I’m spending this Valentine’s day? Margarita shooters with Rin and DF, with the foreseen goal of total shitfaced unconsciousness. Very lacy, red-ribboned romantic, no?
Not that I’m against romance either, really. I mean, I’m a bit of a grudgingly mushy sap myself sometimes, when properly provoked. And not that I think nobody should celebrate Valentine’s Day EVARRR, because it’s evil and conformist and kills small Papillons in its spare time. Hell, I even got a bouquet of roses (though to be fair, it’s also an anniversary, and roses are my favorite flower. And Evil Geniuses really do know how to woo a faerie). Rather, I’m going to outline some of my favorite problems with the holiday… well, holidays in general really, with a few VDay-specific examples.
Issue One: History FAIL (Finish him!). Okay, so you may or may not know this, but Valentine’s Day really has utter piddly to do with secret romances, little cards you can throw at people like shuriken when you’re in second grade and they eat all your holiday candy (not that I’d know anything about THAT), or little cherubic, questionable deities who infect you with that parasitic and potentially terminal Love Bug (vaccines are now available at most local gas stations. Get yours before they’re gone!). Don’t believe me? Read the latest post by my very dear friend Ian Ridley at http://www.alackcerebrophiliac.wordpress.com and your mind may start to itch. And if you’re not convinced yet to follow any advice posted on this page as if it were your own Holy Babble, here’s a little enticement: Catholic blunders, Athens, and Chaucer. Now, aren’t you intrigued?? Seriously, it’s about as silly as celebratin Christmas on an old …well, basically pagan orgy festival, or celebrating Easter on an old …well, basically pagan orgy festival. Or Mixing up the historical dates for Christmas and Easter and celebrating them each on, you know, basically pagan orgy festivals.
Issue Two: Gimmicks: how the fuck do THEY work?? I’m pretty sure Valentine’s Day now more or less fits into that category of gimick-less holidays now. I mean, sure, there’s Christmas, with it’s commericalism, but it has TREES, and SNOW, and FAMILY. And Halloween is the official “gimme” holiday of our society (when else would you let your impressionable, vulnerably younglings beg off of fucking STRANGERS?!), but it has CANDY and COSTUMES, and CREEPFACTOR. And of course there’s the annual celebration of gorging yourself in remembrance of the natives our beloved ancestors raped and infected for land and resources as an act of goodwill, but it has TURKEY, and FOOTBALL, and even a bit of that FAMILY thing. And then you have the bastardized holidays. You know which ones I’m talking about: the ones that try so hard to develop that level of emotional significance but they fall so far of the mark that they’ve become nothing more than a sale opportunity. Mother’s Day. Father’s Day. Flag Day. Valentine’s. Maybe it’s just my interpretation, but the subtitle to each of these holidays seems to be “spend money for today, and you can abuse and under appreciate these individuals for the other 364 days of the year!” And maybe I’m old-fashioned, in that organic, non-technologically surgically-integrated way, but I actually ENJOY showing the people in my life how much they mean to me on a regular basis. Go figure, huh?
Issue Three: DISCRIMINATION (Bum bum bah bah BUMMMM). Seriously, how cool is it that we can discriminate so completely on days when we’re supposed taking extra pains to showcase the more beautiful sides of human nature? Don’t get me wrong, if you want a fucking national holiday to celebrate the fact that found someone who treats you like their favorite chocolate-coated Cuddlybear, thumbs and toes up for you! But if we’re going to do that, I fully believe we should have a day to celebrate those who are single? And a day for the aromantics? And a day for those who are avoiding romance and spending their time pursuing advancements of the human race? Or a day celebrating the people who have made their way out of years’ long abusive relationships and are able to stand on their own two feet, financially and/or emotionally? Why don’t we buy them chocolates, or write them endearing or encouraging little notes, or give them a day to feel special and valued and appreciated and as actual members of our species’ community? I mean, in this country alone, we have Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa/Festivus/Yule/New Years’ all within the same general time frame, Halloween and All Saints’ Day (though admittedly one deviated from the traditional preparation of the other), and even a day to celebrate our fucking SECRETARIES. So WHY don’t we celebrate these people?
There are more issues I could enumerate here, but I’ve already given you more reading material than Tuck Everlasting, so I’ll leave you instead with a piece of friendly advice or three. If you aren’t a big fan of this holiday, maybe you might take comfort in some of Rin’s advice from her personal blog at http://www.soapboxfort.wordpress.com, where there are some excellent ideas for how to avoid angsting at this day. Also, don’t worry; when my new regime comes into power, I PROMISE to grant you a Patrick Stewart Day instead on February 14th, which is, in my opinion, a far better alternative (because who DOESN’T love that man?)
Good Luck, and Godspeed