Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I still hate Valentine's Day

Another Valentine's Day is upon us. I still think it is a silly and contrived Hallmark holiday. I wish people would stop celebrating it, or at the very least quit making such a big deal out of it. CNN commentator Dean Obeidallah explains why he hates Valentine's Day, and I can't argue with his logic:
What may have started out as a holiday intended to bring couples together has been transformed into a commercial spectacle peddled to us by florists, greeting card companies, jewelry stores and makers of stuffed animals.
My issue is not with being romantic or expressing your feelings to the person you love. My issue is being required to do so on February 14. This date has zero connection to us. Each year on February 14 we are in essence commanded to be "romantic."
Shouldn't romance be organic -- sort of like a "Cialis moment"? That's the "moment" in the TV commercials for Cialis, the drug designed to combat erectile dysfunction -- where the couple is lifting a table together, their eyes meet, and bingo: It's a "Cialis moment." It may be drug-enhanced, but at least they chose the moment.
I understand that Valentine's Day earnestly purports to bring couples closer together. Great idea, but let's be honest, how many of you have had fights on Valentine's Day because of Valentine's Day?
I certainly have had my share, usually when one of us in the relationship (namely me) didn't buy a nice enough gift or put in enough time planning a special "VDay" activity -- thus, transforming Valentine's Day from a romantic evening for two into a scene from the film "The War of the Roses."
Yep. Been there and done that. Many times. Including today. You see, my son has a doctor's appointment early tomorrow morning, which means that I can't drive all the way out to the suburbs to spend the night with my girlfriend. And so she says she is "a little irritated" with me, which is to say she's absolutely furious at me. There's no way to make it up to her, either. I can't do Valentine's Day on the 15th or the 16th. The nature of Valentine's Day is such that you have to do something, it has to be good enough for your significant other to accept, and it has to be on the 14th. Nothing less will do.

Perhaps I'm just an unromantic sourpuss. But what, exactly, is romantic about compulsion? What should I find joyful about a holiday that oftentimes inspires within me little more than dread, frustration, and shame?

If we as a society absolutely must celebrate Valentine's Day, fine. But let's not take it so seriously. Let's respect the opinions of those who don't care for it. Let's realize that love is just as worthy of celebration on the other 364 days of the year as it is on February 14th. And let's not let a day that purports to bring us together become one that drives resentful wedges between us instead.

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