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Valentine's Day Can Bite Me

There's no doubt about it. Valentine's Day sucks. What a bunch of trite trash it is. Everyone runs around frothing, proclaiming their love and pledging their eternal allegiance to one another. It makes me sick. If someone truly cared about you, I think you'd hear it more often than once a year, presented with a heart shaped cardboard box picked up from CVS filled with cheap chocolates made with oils and lard and a card picked up for $2.95. This will supposedly cover all wrongs and faults in the relationship with one fell swoop, leaving the giver allieved of all sins committed within the past year. Don't get me wrong. I'm not a single young woman bent on giving grief to everyone else who is dating. I'm a stark realist. I want someone to tell me if I'm loved of their own volition, not because some fabricated greeting card holiday sponsored by Hallmark compels them.

When was the last time you wanted someone to feel they are forcibly handing you a gift? Was it just before or after you put on your "Will Dance For Love" sign? I kid you not, this past week at work, the latest memo down the pike was "Nothing says 'Love' like an attractive cash/wrap!" What garbage is this? Someone made this up, and they were being serious about it.

I was wandering through the mall the other day, taking notice of all the sad attempts to attract more business from a day that should never be considered a holiday by the farthest stretches of imagination in outer space. Brookstone, which sells overpriced shoe horns, has dangling hearts in their windows. I was especially pleased by the Valentines decor in the cigar store selling Slim Jims.

Another thing about this horrid day is that people start anticipating it soon after New Year's. Once SuperBowl Sunday has passed, you know that for the next month or so, all you're going to hear about is this day in which Cupid, the fat, miniature angel wearing nothing but a loincloth, has pierced someone's heart with his little Arrow O' Luv. Spare me. I think I'd rather see the darling cherub with a shotgun wound to the head.

Even in years past when I had a boyfriend on Valentine's Day, I thought it was overrated and far over-hyped. My high school had a "service" you could participate in by paying a dollar and filling out a little form. The results would come in on Valentine's Day and you could see who it was that you were supposedly most compatible with. My high school sweetheart and I were not even on each other's list. Well, we broke up eventually, so I suppose it was correct in a way.

Everyone around school carted around white, red, and pink carnations on this fabulous day of ultra-conservatism. All the girls would flock together like a bunch of starving Ethiopians around a bowl of rice to see who had gotten a flower from whom, what color it was, what they wrote in the message, and to count how many they had in their possession. At the ripe old age of 16, I had accumulated quite a few flowers from my friends and the guy I dated throughout most of my high school career. Wasn't I the lucky one? Yes, I had a boyfriend who would annually give me a gift.

Getting a gift from your significant other on Valentine's Day almost seems dumb. If it weren't a holy day of obligation for anyone within a 50-mile radius of a fuzzy stuffed heart to run out and purchase it for their beloved, I might view it differently. I mean, everyone loves getting gifts. But it's getting a gift that really, really means something that touches the heart. More often than not, the gift that you get on this day of sick public displays of affection are nothing more than a little something to say you've upheld your end of the bargain and have fulfilled your duties.

Now, on Valentine's Day 31 years ago, my mother and father gave each other their vows and the wedding rings which they still wear. Give me a gift of love that will last my lifetime.

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