Monday, February 11, 2013
How to Survive Valentines Day, a.k.a "National Fake Love Day"
What follows is a piece I wrote for the Orlando Sentinel two years ago. (Sorry for being so lazy lately but I have been busy with other stuff.)
I hate Valentine's Day. All men do. We hated it back when we were in elementary school and were forced to give those goofy little cards to the girls and boys in our class. Talk about confusing kids before they have even reached puberty. I knew my dad married a woman but the teachers basically said I could not pick one or two cute girls and just give them a card. I had to let everyone in the class believe that I might be secretly in love with them.
Years later, I once took a beautiful young lady out to an expensive dinner on Valentine's Day, along with her mother (you do this when you are single and really trying to impress people), and then surprised my date with tickets to some really elaborate (translation - awful to any male) ice skating show, only to have her inform me that she had promised a friend that she would go to a dance with him later that night.
Somewhere around 10PM - and about $400 down the drain later - I watched her leave to go meet this male friend who did not have to buy sushi or watch ice skating that night.
Seven months later I married that same girl and we have had nearly 14 glorious years together, but she knows that on Valentine's Day there will be no sushi, no eating with my mother-in-law and no ice skating.
What she will get is some flowers I picked from a field next to our house, a homemade card where I draw a couple of squirrels with the caption, "I am nuts about you" and maybe some buy one, get one free candy corn left over from Halloween. This should cost me around $2.36.
To my fellow sufferers, let my behavior be a guide to you this year. It is time that all men - single, married, gay or straight - stand up against this national Fake Love Day that exists only because corporations know that we are scared. Very scared.
Notice what your local grocery store will look like at 5:30 on Valentine's Day. Standing bleary-eyed in front of the Valentine's cards you will see desperate men, arranged by height (5'6" and under in front, basketball players in back) staring at the 4 remaining damaged cards that have chimpanzees or George Bush on the front with messages like, "Grandma, you are still my favorite Valentine". How do you give your wife the grandma card? You don't.
Go home and tell your significant other that you are standing up against this oppression. Tell them that you would rather show your love spontaneously throughout the year with roses, expensive chocolates, new cars or offers to do the laundry without ruining it. Tell the one you love that true love means never being forced to express it. Tell them devotion cannot be covered in chocolate and that a dozen roses only means that you are saying, "I think you are dumb enough to believe that I really care about February 14th".
If you will join with me, we can make this horrible day just another meaningless 24 hours. Now excuse me while I start drawing my squirrels...