Thursday, February 14, 2008

So bored with Valentine's Day ...

That special time of year again: Valentine's Day. Brought to you by the American Greeting Cards Association (and its European equivalents), working in tandem with the highest ideals of corporate bullshit.
Because you do realize that we're all being taken for suckers on this day, don't you?
Did you know that Chaucer invented the connection between the Valentines saints and romance? As with Christmas on December 25th, as with Easter in the spring, "Saint" Valentine's Day can trace its origins back to an erotic pagan festival, the Roman Lupercalia, which celebrated fertility and was held on February 15.
In his 1381 work The Parliament of Fowls, Chaucer wrote: "For this was on St. Valentine's Day, When every fowl cometh there to choose his mate." Prior to this time, no connection between romantic or courtly love and the Christian observance of the Valentines' February feast day existed. There were actual St. Valentines—three of them if history is to be believed—but their only real claim to fame as regards this day is that they all apparently died on February 14.
As with St. George's Day, the legend has grown way out of proportion to the actual history.
The Catholic Church obviously agreed with the rather arbitrary nature of Valentine's Day, axing it from its liturgical calendar in 1969.
Although Valentine's Day cards were exchanged from as early as 1840, it didn't take long for contemporary consumerist ideals to completely take over. Cards, chocolates, roses, lovers' specials this and lovers' specials that—it's a retailer's wet dream. I'm still waiting for the chocolatiers, the florists, the greeting card companies to send me an "I Love You" card. But, alas, it's probably a good thing considering I'd wipe my butt with it and mark it "Return to Sender."
I don't know about you, but I'm pretty tired of society's excuses to indulge in a consumerist frenzy. Any excuse to buy beyond one's financial limits and throw away what's beyond the Earth's limits to absorb, but never mind. This is a love thing!
If there is any saving grace to this putrid "holiday," it's the amusement it gives me to notice how some people act. You know, I'll be waiting at the train station and I'll observe how some people just have this look about them, this aura, which appears to suggest that they think that, just because it's Valentines' Day, someone, anyone, should bestow some sort of romantic affection on them. I mean, we've all seen the sort of sad-sack who'll stroll slowly past you and have this hopeful, expectant look on their face as if they're looking forward to you suddenly hugging them and asking if they'd like to have lunch with you. I call them the "Will You Be My Friend?" types (and, goddamn, there sure do appear to be a hell of a lot of them—here in London anyway). Well, on V-day, these people are nearly intolerable with their pleading eyes. Seriously, if I wasn't so concerned about appearing rude, I'd laugh in their faces. As it is, I just snigger behind my Sudoku puzzle.
Maybe next year, I'll slip these sorts of people my own handmade cards: "Happy V-Day. Your ass smells, go use a bidet!" Then I'll film them on my mobile phone when they start blubbering.
And that is about as much entertainment as I'm likely to feel on this day.

4 comments:

kristen said...

Oh man....what a pessimist! A funny one, though ;-)

Well, I don't see Valentine's Day as for lovers only. It should be used to express 'love' to anyone in your life: children, spouse, coworkers, friend, etc. Nothing wrong with spreading a little joy and letting those you love know that you care. Not that we should go to extremes or anything....

Happy Valentine's Day Dragon!!

Nightdragon said...

Well, don't worry, my wife and I observe V-Day. It's just that, as with Christmas, the whole stupid commercialization of Valentine's Day gets on my nerves. I just wish days like these could be more low-key.

Yes, I totally agree with you about going to extremes ... and remember, DON'T hug the dragon, LOL. Only the wife and other immediate family members have that privilege. ;)

Mouse1972 said...

Valentine's Day is only nice if you have someone to spend it with and since I don't have money right now, people don't want to spend time with me >.<

Nightdragon said...

I understand your cynicism, Pero, but honestly, it's not about money, it's about looks—which you've got—and a friendly, extroverted attitude, which you have also got. The latter certainly wouldn't apply to me—I'm a piss-pot, lol.
Seriously, though, I know V-Day is tough for single people. I sympathize, as I went through that myself for many years.
Nice to hear from you, as always.