I admit it. Many people get testy around Valentine’s Day, and they go off to express that on the Internet. And I’m about to be one of those people.
But not for the usual reasons. In fact, it’s one of those usual reasons that ticks me off.
It’s not the lament of the single person who feels excluded from a holiday like this. I can sympathize, I’ve been single on February 14th before. It’s not a great feeling.
It’s the lament of the person who mounts up on their particularly high horse and talks about how celebrating Valentine’s Day is for suckers. For people who want to take the “easy way out.” For people who fall for the marketing slogans, for people who have to be reminded to do nice things for their significant others.
And I’m sick of that.
Point one: It’s not about marketing. I write my wife stories as presents. I’m a writer, this is my skill, and she enjoys them. There is not a single vendor who makes a penny off these things, except maybe the electric company because my computer is on.
Point two: It’s not about failing to realize that you cultivate romance every day and any day instead of just one day of the year. We get that. I also get that I could do something nice for my wife any day of the year and don’t need to celebrate her birthday, and I do that. I also celebrate her birthday. I could say “Gosh, 14 years of marriage!” on any day, not just our anniversary, and I do that anyway too. I also celebrate our anniversary. This is not an either-or proposition. If, as one friend put it, you want to celebrate romance 24/7/365, then shunning Valentine’s Day is failing to do that. It is committing yourself to 24/7/364. Maybe you want to do that because you and your spouse hate the day, that’s great for you. But just because you hate the day doesn’t mean everyone else has to.
Point three: Sometimes it’s nice to have structure. I’m a writer, like I said. And writers need structure. Some of us react better with deadlines. I have a deadline to complete the story I’m writing her? Fantastic.
Point four: Oglaf said it pretty well, but I think I’d better not link that here. Not everyone is ready for a criticism of this “it becomes more about obligation than love” attitude if it involves an image post-coital naked men. (Even if artfully drawn.) If you are curious, search-engine away.
All told, I think I prefer Valentine’s Day to Lupercalia. Lupercalia is all about fertility, and I can’t think of a worse mood-killer for romance, at least under this particular roof. Oh, wait, I think I can: the priests of Jupiter would sacrifice a dog on that day, see. Yeah, no disrespect to those dead Romans, but nuts to that. I’d sooner buy a heart-shaped box of crappy milk chocolates.