Friday, February 11, 2005

Lamenting Valentine's Day

I am not a fan of Valentine's Day. Why? The reasons are many and multifarious. Well, perhaps not so much multi as farious. Or is it nefarious? Fariam? Ferous? You get the idea.

For this argument, I will not propound the "Hallmark Holiday" point. Not so much because I don't believe it (which I do) but rather because I believe it to be irrelevant. The genesis of the holiday bears little relation to my take thereon. (Though if you're curious, here's The History of Valentine's Day courtesy of The History Channel.)

Rather, I have yet to experience a "good" Valentine's Day. And by "good" I mean I have yet to spend this holiday with anyone of note (e.g. while in a relationship). Man, I'm just piling euphemism on top of euphemism. Let's try again.

Rather I have never been in a relationship for this holiday. To date I've only been in two relationships, one in college that lasted ~7 months and one last Spring that lasted ~5-6 weeks. Those would be the only times in my life that I would classify myself as "seeing" someone (not counting that incredibly botched thing in 6th through 8th grades which really does not deserve to be counted). Yes, this reason is entirely selfish and self-serving but it's also, unfortunately, entirely true (and, in my opinion, not a little sad and pathetic).

I can tell you how I spent Valentine's Day first year of law school. Three also-single women-friends and myself got together and watched sappy Romantic Comedies (Serendipity and some others, I forget which). (Of those 3 women, only one is currently single.) Last year I spent Valentine's Day with another also-single guy-friend also watching a movie or two (forget which ones). (Btw, he's now back together with his formerly ex-girlfriend of some years.)

This Valentine's Day will probably be similarly compelling... except out of all my friends only two others are currently single. (Do you have any idea how much that honestly and totally, forgiving the parlance, sucks at times?) I'll probably spend some of Monday playing my computer game (World of Warcraft). I may make a dedicated effort to hit the local pub, just because. And/or maybe I'll give it a go at reducing my overall alcohol supply by some small fraction. Again, just because. And the just because would probably be because my "social life" (euphemism here for "dating life") stinks and/or is nonexistent. Then again, if I'm masochistic enough I could try to find a date on Craig's List. Except I'm not sure I'm that desperate and/or low yet.

Gah. The more I write here the more I get depressed. Bollocks. I hate Valentine's Day. Hate it with the passion of a thousand fiery suns. (Yes, yes, fiery suns is a little redundant... and "little" there was probably also redundant or, at the very least, unnecessary.)

You know what? Although Valentine's Day, in theory, is supposed to be a celebration of love and relationships and all that fuzzy stuff, I think it's also, in practice that is, a kick in the teeth to those of us who are single. To paraphrase a line in an e.e.cummings poem (literary crime in progress, watch out): it raises up some while making others feel worse (when what it really ought to do is make everyone feel less worse).

[Insert Google search here.]

Literary Crime Atonement By Certain Copyright Infringement -- e.e. cumming's Ever-Ever Land excerpt:
down above all with love
and everything perverse
or which makes some feel more better
when all ought to feel less worse
I'm not sure I agree with the sentiment in a broad, all-encompassing context but as it applies to Valentine's Day I am in complete accord.

And that is why I lament Valentine's Day.

So enjoy your chocolates, greeting cards, candlelit dinners and teddy bears. I will likely be drunk off my ass in some corner or other, desperately trying not to think of the other things I should be doing, like schoolwork and finding a job. Have a nice time.