Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Year

Valentine’s Day is a silly holiday. And I know what you’re thinking—that I just feel this way because I’m single and while you’re out having a romantic evening with your significant other, I’m going to be home alone getting my keyboard pregnant. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the reason I think V-Day is so silly is that it’s only once a year. A holiday that encourages you to surprise your loved one with gifts, a romantic night on the town, and expressions of love and gratitude should be celebrated year round, not just once in the middle of February.

If St. Patrick's Day was every day,
both of these people would be dead.
So many holidays represent 24-hour windows on the calendar where we’re allowed to indulge in something we shouldn’t be doing. Christmas allows us to buy a bunch of gifts we can’t afford for our family and friends, Thanksgiving allows us to eat a kajillion calories we don’t need, and St. Patrick’s Day makes it okay to summon the tiny Irishman in all of us and drink ourselves under the table-- sometimes alongside an actual tiny Irishman. Could you imagine if we had these holidays year round? I mean 365 days of Halloween would lead to every kid under 15 having a million cavities and West Hollywood would probably be permanently buried under an avalanche of glitter and condoms. Okay, maybe just glitter.

Those are all indulgence holidays so one day a year is perfect. But Valentine’s Day is about making the ones we love happy and it shouldn’t just be a spot on the calendar where we all of the sudden pretend everything is fine in our relationships because the guys simply say “Well, I’ve been a work obsessed, uncaring jerk of a husband for the past year, but hey, I went to Jared!” and all the women can rationalize "I've been turning down sex for as long as I can remember but I'll throw on this lingerie, get it over with, and he'll fall asleep with a smile for once." These things should be surprises spread out all over the lifespan of a relationship, not reserved for one day a year where all of the prices for presents get jacked up and you can’t get a table at your favorite restaurant until 10 pm. 

"I can't wait for tomorrow when I can go back to hating you!"

I’m not saying that all couples only celebrate their love on Valentine’s Day. Obviously there are those of you out there who still have passion and excitement in your relationship and that’s an amazing thing. But the chances of that passion and excitement dwindling sometime in the future are great unless you work hard to keep it going on a daily basis. It’s not always easy to continuously create those moments where at the end of the experience you say to each other, “We should do this more often…” But it’s always worth it when you try.

And speaking of trying, I have another issue with Valentine’s Day, and that’s the simplicity of the gifts that have been deemed acceptable for this holiday. Now if I believed everything commercials told me I would think that the only gifts women ever want are flowers, chocolates, and jewelry, but I would also believe that Taco Bell actually has a “Drive Thru Diet.” So let's just say I'm skeptical.

If it seems to good to be true...
you should probably try it out at 3 am just to make sure.
While I’m sure women truly do enjoy receiving the gifts that the TV tells us they do, I still think that if we’re going to only give these presents one day out of the year, we can at least think of some better options. A bouquet of roses that arrives on V-Day might as well have a card that says, “Society told me to give these to you!” I mean is there a better way to say "I have no idea what you like!" than getting a woman a box full of 30 assorted chocolates? Sure it’s nice that your man made the effort to get you a gift, but it kind of reminds me of when my puppy goes poop near the back door. It’s nice that she tried to get outside to go and I’m happy to see that she made an effort, but in the end I’m still picking up crap. I won’t truly be satisfied until she learns exactly what I want and follows through on it. And I get that diamond jewelry is always a welcomed option, but it should say something that a husband gets the same gift for his wife on Valentine’s Day that he does when he’s looking for forgiveness after he cheats on her.

If this is your Valentine's Day gift,
either he really loves you or he did something really bad.
Maybe it’s asking too much from the powers that be that Valentine’s Day be thought of as an official year round experience that can be celebrated spontaneously rather than just every February 14th. I mean think of all the shit African-American people have been through and all they get is Black History Month. One month! I can just picture some group of old white guys who decided, “Well we basically kidnapped them and made them do a lot of work for free, and things still aren’t great for them, so let’s take one month a year and use that to have HBO show documentaries on Thurgood Marshall and ESPN can talk about Jackie Robinson. That should shut ‘em up!” Can you imagine that same group deciding to dedicate the entire 12-month calendar to a silly little emotion like love? Neither can I. But I guess the good thing is we don’t need their permission to celebrate it ourselves. So tonight, whether you are celebrating with flowers, chocolates, diamonds, and a dinner that ends at midnight, or with something more original, here's to hoping when all is said and done, you utter the words “We should do this more often…” 


  1. I 99% agree. I have even gone as far as to tell my husband to never send me flowers on valentine's day - have you seen the prices for flowers on valentine's day - it is absurd. And dinner out is at least double what it costs any other night. I am all about a cozy night in and cards. That is the one thing i am a sucker for greeting cards. Excellent points - it is way better to celebrate any other day of the year. The one thing i disagree with is i would never dissuade my husband from getting me chocolate or jewelry ;)

  2. taco bell has a drive-thru diet?!

  3. Next time you are going to post a picture of you know what, please be sure to warn me in advance. You know how fragile I am.

  4. um - diamonds after cheating? my ex didn't get that memo....