Valentine’s Day Massacre

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So, next week is Valentine’s Day. Inevitably, thousands of blogs and columns will be filled with pieces either celebrating a romantic holiday or decrying a materialistic, arbitrary, hypocritical day. It’s becoming harder and harder to write on topics like Valentine’s Day or even the topic of this blog, sex. Sex is, to no one’s surprise, probably one of the most universal experiences in humanity. Coupled to the fact that it is infinitely interesting to read about, the two most talked about subjects in modern discourse must indeed be sex and death.

So, with all this historical pressure on me, what I am to write about Valentine’s Day? Should I be popularly counterculture and decide that Valentine’s Day is a rosy day created by capitalism to fuel our desire to prove our intangible worth through materialistic means, ie. candies, chocolates, bears, lingerie, etc? Or should I take a traditional route and try to convince everyone to embrace this holiday for what it is, namely, an excuse to spend time with one’s partner in a day historically created just for loved ones? Either way is infinitely unsatisfying and vacuous. Espousing either point of view just seems to be a pointless exercise in the literary equivalent of masturbation. Yet, how to stand on both sides? Or, better yet, neither side?

I still have no idea what I’m going to do for Valentine’s Day. My girlfriend seems to just want to keep it simple and go to a movie and then have a fancy dinner. That’s a little boring. I just want to hang out, essentially ignoring the holiday. That’s a lot clichéd. Perhaps I’ll take her out to dinner for the hell of it, given that we haven’t really been on a date in forever. That would be nice. But then there’s the question of the gift…what to get her? Candy? No, I’ll eat it before I get to her house. A bear? Why? I’d sooner get her a puma…but where am I going to find a stuffed puma? Flowers? No way, they’ll die in the cold on my way over, or they’ll die within a week at her place. A card? Nope, I’m not going to allow other people to tell someone how I feel about them. I think this is where the crux of the holiday lies – either people aren’t creative enough to tell their boyfriend/girlfriend how they feel, so they use this holiday as a thinly-veiled excuse to let someone else profess their love, or people are too indignant that other people can so aptly describe their “most personal feelings,” and, moreover, that these feelings are perfectly transposable to any other person in the world.

This is where the genius for Valentine’s Day really lies – in the assumption that humans are empty vessels originally, clean slates, yet they’ve all been impressed with the same stamp by culture. Thus, your unique feeling is not really unique at all, but a carefully calculated response to whatever text is available, already encoded into the message, already taken care of. Hallmark doesn’t care that you found “the love of your life”; instead, they know that their unabashedly cute card will still fit the bill, whether it’s your soulmate or someone you’ll dump in a week, just to not seem like too much of a bastard for doing it during Valentine’s Day.

Seemingly, there is no solution to Valentine’s Day – every nuance has been taken care of, every angle has been covered. Even the most zealous of rebels or the most zealous of pundits, take your pick, there’s no difference, will still feel different on Valentine’s Day. No one will wake up the 22nd of March and say “You know what, I totally missed Valentine’s Day this year – totally flew right over my head.” Valentine’s Day is not just another day, in this year’s case, not just another Wednesday – we’ve deemed it long ago that this day halfway through February would be different. So, next week, be different.

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6 Responses to “Valentine’s Day Massacre”

  1. lenny Says:

    one alternative way to celebrating February 14th would be V-Day (http://www.vday.org/contents/vday/aboutvday)

    and then there’s always the Steak and Blowjob Day on March 14th which is currently gaining popularity….
    (http://www.steakandbjday.com/)

  2. d. chedwick bryant Says:

    get her perfume, and save the receipt in case she wants to exchange it for another scent.
    get her a cute red piece of clothing– like a tank top from the gap that says ado(red) or nice lingerie.
    but do something for old Saint valentine who died on Feb 14th …

  3. Seb Says:

    Oh, I already have a pretty inventive gift for Valentine’s Day, it’s definitely different. As for Gap’s product Red…don’t get me started on that scam! 😉

  4. Kate Says:

    Seb, you had better tell us after the day!

  5. Seb Says:

    Oh, I can already tell…I gave it to her last night; I couldn’t resist. I ended up getting her a shisha bong and a couple of flavours of shisha. She’s been wanting one forever and totally did not expect it at all! It was a success.

  6. the girlfriend Says:

    I was looking forward to the puma, but the hookah was good too. 😉

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