I cannot construe to all of you how much I hate this freaking "holiday." Before I begin to stomp all over your murmurs of "damn, she must be single," let it be known that I do have a boyfriend. And I still hate this wretched holiday. The overwhelming societal and retail-driven pressures to participate in this ridiculous "display" of affection nauseate me to no end. We all know why this is. It's a goddam couples holiday. If you're not in a relationship (cats, dogs and hamsters not included), then you're nudged into the "possible loser" drawer of the societal dresser. Cupid forgot about your video game-playing/scrapbooking ass. And you get to enjoy watching all your involved coworkers get roses and bullshit stuffed animal deliveries at work.
All the single folks get to hate February 14 unless they're dating a special someone who may/may not participate in the day's expectations. Those who are fresh out of a relationship feel the need to make this day into the epitome of all Lexapro-laden hazes and those in a brand new relationship don't know if it's appropriate to participate at the risk of sending mixed signals. If you've been on two dates with a love interest/booty call - you're not sure if two dates necessitates red roses and a box of measly Russel Stovers from Rite Aid. What kind of message would that send? Maybe commitment? Maybe stalking?
Remember those days in elementary school when you made your parents buy you that box of Wonder Woman/Transformers perforated V-Day cards you could sign and plop into the hand-made valentine slot at the front of your classmates' desks? Those were the days. No strings. No worries. No commitment. No "respecting somebody in the morning." No mixed signals. If only giving someone a Valentine Day's card these days didn't spell "Yes, I would like some trim, please" or "Hopefully spending $5.99 on this greeting card that sings "Wild Thing" will get me a 9 oz. porterhouse and the joy of second base."
Of course, married couples are absolutely obligated to buy/make/plant/cook something/anything for their spouse. You know those Kay Jewelers commercials? You know to which commercials I'm referring. The ones with the cookie cutter Cosby family eating dinner in their two-story bungalow when their 3-year-old waddles up clutching a 2-carat Infinity-cut Hearts Ablazened Forever Ring for the mom? Come on. Seriously. In this economy, who's buying 2-carat rings? I did a bit of anthropological observing at a local Rite-Aid earlier in the evening. Men and women were both scouting the shelves for the chinsiest teddy bears holding little furry hearts, cotton boxers with hearts on them and pre-packaged baskets containing a flurry of 'love gifts'. Not one of those people wanted to spend more than $9.99 on a V-Day gift. Interesting. Of course I didn't go to a local Kay Jewelers to do any observing of foot traffic, but really, I didn't need to.
Earlier I went to Elephant Bar restaurant with my boyfriend and we noticed a guy walking in with a handful of balloons, a gift bag with a stuffed teddy bear hanging out and a single yellow rose. As he was walking toward his table, every man and woman in the place (and it was packed) was maddogging that guy - hardcore. Every man was quietly cursing the guy for bearing such elaborate V-day gifts and making every other bare-handed man in the place look like clueless dorkwads, and every woman in the place was cursing that guy because their boyfriend/lover/husband didn't bring them squat but a $1.99 Shoebox Greeting.
The pressure to complete the V-day gesture is enormous. Even if a couple doesn't believe in this stupid retail-driven pseudo holiday, they'll still buy each other small tokens in case the gods of Saint Valentine are watching from afar, ready to cap their asses for not conforming.
My boyfriend and I don't believe in this stupid holiday, but there we were, both "needing to run a few errands." We both returned with something for the other. Such sheep.
If I ever see cupid, I'm shanking that little bastard in the neck.
Eff this stupid holiday.
ps. The e-card previewed above comes from www.someecards.com. They have the most awesome smart-ass e-greetings for those who don't like the conventional e-cards. They're crass, but hilarious.