Monday, February 13, 2006

Valentine's Day blows

The last time I can remember Valentine's Day being cool is probably when I was in the third grade, in 1988. When you're a kid, you spend the day cutting out red construction paper hearts and gluing them to doilies, or finding innocuous Peanuts mini-cards and practicing your crayon cursive skills. Each student has a box on his or her desk where other classmates can put crude works of elementary-school art.

When I think about it, actually, it sucked then, too. I was never a popular kid, and in the third grade, I wasn't particularly interested in girls. So the only great thing about the day was that it didn't require any multiplication tables or social studies. I usually wound up with about three cards on Valentine's Day. Those little candy hearts that have "I LUV U" written on them are disgusting, by the way.

Growing up Catholic, I learned early on that Valentine's Day was actually the feast day for Saint Valentine, who was one of those early-era Roman saints who may or may not have existed. The point is moot these days anyway, since what Valentine's Day really is is a chance for half of all couples in the world to royally blow it. And by half of all couples, I mean all guys.

Roses. Chocolates. Cards. Jewelry. Lingerie. Expensive restaurants. It's pretty disgusting, really. And it's another chance for Hallmark and Friends to rake in some of the most evil dollars they can get their filthy hands on every year.

When I was in high school, I bought my then-girlfriend a dozen roses for Valentine's Day at a local flower shop. Other times during the year, one can get his hands on a dozen roses for about $30, or $2.50 per flower. Once Valentine's Day rolls around, though, expect the same dozen to retail for $100 or higher. It's sort of like gas stations in Florida charging $5 per gallon for gasoline after a hurricane. When I left the shop, I felt like a gigantic chump, and I was right.

Part of this is because I'd just blown what for me was a week's pay on something that would be dead inside of a week. But it's not as if anything purchased on Valentine's Day serves any purpose in and of itself, right? Chocolates? I've heard they're an aphrodesiac, but good luck, fellas. For it to work, she'd have to eat close to her own body weight in them -- or at least that's what Al Pacino said in Devil's Advocate. Jewelry? Hmmm. About as useful as shiny rims on that new Explorer. Sparkly, but that's about it.

But guys have to go out and buy this useless shit on Valentine's Day, because if they don't -- well, they'll be getting the cold shoulder from whoever they're hooked up with.

Someone please explain to me why this is different than prostitution. Buy shiny things or suffer through her withholding affection? Yep, I'd say that qualifies. Seems like most people outside of Nevada could be arrested for participation in Valentine's Day. It's a massive outpouring of capital in the hopes of getting action from partners across the world. I'd like to change the name from Valentine's Day to International Whore-Out Day. It's like they say at Kay Jewelers: "Every kiss begins with Kay." At least they're straightforward.

Hallmark -- and all the other Valentine's Day junk-producers -- would have you believe that Valentine's Day is a chance to say "I love you" to "that special someone." Well, if you're willing to shell out a couple hundred bucks on a corny jewelry trinket, why the hell do you need a special day to say "I love you?" Is it "No, I really love you" because it's February 14?

Funny that this is what's become of a day originally designated as a feast day for a saint, even if he was imaginary.

For the last few years, my Valentine's Day date has been a bottle of Dewar's Scotch. No expectations from either one of us on the other, just the tacit understanding that the Scotch will get drunk, and so will I.

Valentine's Day can go to hell.