Dear Valentine’s Day,
I’ve figured you out. I know what you’re about now. You’ve become a menace, and I’m here to stop you in spite of the sheer futility staring back at me.
At one point in time you were a Christian holiday started by some pope in honor of some saint. You could have had it all. You could have been second only to Christmas, and people of the free world would cherish your arrival and anguish your departure. No. That wasn’t good enough for you. You became a power-hungry fiend. You’ve been corrupted by greed. Most of all, you tried to commercialize something as pure as love. Have you no honor?
What is your true purpose? Is it to celebrate the bond shared between lovers once a year? No, that’s called an anniversary. Is it to allow lovers to shower each other in gifts once a year? No, that’s called a birthday. Cards on any other day look just as nice; chocolate on any other day tastes just as sweet. Don’t even try the “romantic date” argument. Any fool will tell you that the “romantic date” works just as well, if not better, on a spontaneous Tuesday than on a day when everybody else in the world is doing the same thing.
Your purpose is, in essence, quite silly. On the 14th day of February, a guy can spend $200 on dinner and a dozen red roses that would normally be thrown away by the florist. On the 14th day of any other month, a guy can spend $200 on dinner, a dozen beautiful first-rate red roses, a bottle of pinot noir aged seven years, a delicious black sesame ice cream dessert, and a horse-drawn carriage ride* through Central Park – and he’d still have $40 left to donate to a charity of his choice. Ask a girl** which scenario she’d prefer. I’ll wager $40 that she prefers the latter.
Lastly, and this may not be entirely your fault, you can’t even imagine the repercussions of your actions. Have you ever thought about the single, unattached individuals? Sure, guys use you as an excuse to have the courage to tell someone he likes them. What about those whose romantic lyrics fall on deaf ears? And what about the single girl who is let down on this day? Shame on you, Valentine’s Day. Look at what you’ve created.
The true purpose of Valentine’s Day is as simple as appreciating the person you love. And if that’s the case, then I defy you to come up with one reason why something like that should need to be on a calendar. You shouldn’t have to look at your Blackberry to see that today is the day to show the person you love that you love him/her. And if you must look at your Blackberry, then see the picture of the two of you on the screensaver and be reminded every single time you check your phone. It’s as simple as bringing them a glass of water when you think they might be thirsty, or making the room temperature more comfortable for them than it is for you.
Valentine’s Day embodies (underneath the commercial nonsense) a beautiful sentiment, but that sentiment is nothing if it’s not practiced every day of the year.
I’m onto you.
* For the record, I am very much against the employment of horses in the aforementioned regard. Please don’t pay to ride horse-drawn carriages. If you really like someone, give them a piggyback ride. You can find out how to adopt retired carriage horses here.
** This post is dedicated to my Valentine.