A recent link in twitter pointed out a Science Valentine comic. It got me to thinking about the strange rituals and spectacle of Valentine's Day. It has always seemed like a hokey, greeting-card holiday, more overtly commercial than all the others. Of course most holidays have become increasingly commercialized. But despite all that, I still love the magic of Christmas, the mystery of Halloween, and the inevitable laughter and tears that accompany most dysfunctional family "get-togethers" at Thanksgiving. But to me, Valentine's Day only evokes a sense of curiosity and humor at the artificially induced drama of it all.
As a young children we usually find the whole concept "icky" and want nothing to do with it. As we get a little older we must endure the angst of deciding whether or not to give a Valentine's Day card to someone we "like". (But.. if I do that then they'll _know_ I like them!) The pins and needles of waiting to see if that person you like gives you a card. The elation when they do. The crushing disappointment when they do not. Not to mention the awkwardness of receiving a card from someone you do not like. (Mom, is there a nice way to say "Ewwww. Gross. No way."?) Oh the high drama of primary school.
Even as adults, the day still evokes strong emotions in many of us. Those that are in relationships tend to "coo" and "gush" to a revolting degree. Those that are not, either piteously wallow in sorrow while tossing back copious amounts of beer or scarfing down chocolates, or they turn morose and bitter making scathing quips about the doomed nature of all relationships.
Despite the ups and downs of many Valentine's Days past, I choose to view the day with a bit of my usual weird humor. It is best summed up by the following song requests I heard one year:
- Love Stinks (J. Geils Band)
- Used To Love Her (Guns N' Roses)
- She Hates Me (Puddle of Mud)
Thinking of it still makes me laugh. If you have ever listened to the songs, and have a sense of humor about the day, you will know exactly why ;)