14 February, 2009

On the eve of St. Valentine

Well, this is one of "those holidays". One of the ones where you need to find something special to do with someone. One of the ones where people will say to you, "What are you doing for Valentine's Day?" or "What did you do on Valentine's Day". Actually, it's the only holiday where people will say "What did you do for Valentine's Day". They don't usually say that just before Easter, I've noticed. But you know what I meant.

How many holidays are there like this, anyway? Not many. As far as I can tell, there's Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, 4th of July, Halloween, and Valentine's Day. That's it. The sextet of expectations. Interestingly, I do not add Thanksgiving to that list. For some reason, people always have something to do for Thanksgiving, and people are generous, not exclusive, around this holiday. There is no special "Thanksgiving Club" to which you must have membership in order to participate. Not so of the sextet. Nobody spends Thanksgiving alone. But lots of people spend those other days alone. I am not even sure if Halloween belongs on the list, because people don't usually sit home and mope on Halloween. At the very least, you can hand out candy, and scare small children. That's something.

But those other 5. They can really crush you if you're alone, excluded. And people won't necessarily let you in, either. It's members only. And it would be awkward to just start letting people in to the party.

So, what are you doing for Valentine's Day? Oh god. The pressure. Every one of those holidays has a certain expectation tied to it. But for some reason, VD (heh, that's appropriate, huh) is the highest of expectations. Love and romance. And passion. And promises. It's such a high bar to meet. Any other day of the year, happy couple is happy couple. The sex ain't bad. We like the same foods. Get the occasional backrub. Watch movies. See an occasional show. But not on Valentine's Day. You need to MAKE RESERVATIONS. And it needs to be SPECIAL. Every Valentine's Day is like an engagement ring. You need to plan it just right. And the more you do for it, the more approving the judgment is by your mate, and by your peers. If you take her to Kenny Rogers Roaster, that's like giving her the engagement ring from the Cracker Jack box. And up the scale it goes. Daniel's Broiler, I suppose, would be the 3 carat (or is it karat for diamonds, I really don't remember) princess cut of love. But much like diamonds, Daniel's Broiler is overrated, overpriced, and leaves you with a bit of a sickly feeling in your bowels for a period that follows.

Why do we need to have VD? (Jeez, that's almost worse than my "date" pun!)

Why can't every day just be a day in which great romance has the potential to occur? And everyone gets to have their own special day? I have never been a paint-by-numbers kind of person, and to me, it seems like there are plenty of more romantic days than February 14th. Why not January 12th? Or July 13th? Or September 11th (no... not that... blasphemy, they say)! But why not? The expression of love and passion, and generosity of heart is not something that maps to a calendar block. It is something that you feel when you feel it. And you should express it when you feel it. Making an arbitrary buy in to a 1700 year old tradition honoring priests and bishops of the Catholic Church seems like a bit of a silly practice, rooted first in religion, and (like everything else) eventually in consumerism.

1 comment:

  1. July 13th IS the most romantic day of the year. And the most important. In my humble opinion.