Valentine’s Day: no, i’m not a fan

Typical, a man is not a fan of Valentine’s Day.

An often heard and witnessed harangue, the woe is me charade: a man who has to spend buttloads of cash and oodles of time with a significant other or sometimes-jump-off-turned-friend-with-benefits who may very well be wifey material but you haven’t given much thought, all for the prospect of some carnal pleasure. But, more importantly, it’s truly for evading the days-, weeks-, months- or maybe year-long (because they have a mulligan once another 365 days passes) pissy mood their said woman (or multiple women for the enterprising debonair male) will surely be in if a particular ovaries-toting human does not receive her favorite Godiva-brand heart shaped chocolate, all-time favorite book (first edition, out-of-print), bushel of roses (nope, a single bouquet isn’t enough), whispers of sweet nothings, and not to forget the modern-day proclamation of undying love via Tweets and Facebook statuses. Heck, they may even expect a profile picture change.

Ahh, yes. That’s how it goes. But honestly, before this begins to reek of the i’ve-heard-this-before: i don’t have that strong an issue with the materialization or commercialization of the “holiday” nor the publicly digital display of affection. Go for it. Dole out monies, one-up your best friend with lavish gifts and trips—treat your woman like the goddess she is; i’m all for it.

My issue with Valentine’s Day (in America, for i’ve recently become privy to the stark contrast in Japanese culture where the men are the objects of pamperdom, not the women!) has to do with obligation and the all-or-nothing aspect that love’s showcase has become because of V-Day.

Valentine’s Day makes us—men!—feel obligated to do something special for their significant other on this day. What if i—we—do something heartfelt many (random) times throughout the year? You know, showing love, affection, care, insert whatever word you want here, by taking her out to places or buying gifts, cooking her favorite dish(es), writing sonnets or lyrics, heck even a full song, or just watching a horrible TV show marathon just because she’d like it. And even after all of this, what if February 14th is not on the agenda? You better stock up on hockey protective gear or (for you religious folks) pray for protection, because all hell is about to break loose on your ass. And i’m not speaking without experience: i’ve been on the receiving end of you-didn’t-do-for-or-get-me-anything-on-Valentine’s-day-(or so i thought at first)-and-now-i’ll-be-mad rants, equipped with scowl and looks of impending death. It’s ridiculous.

V-Day is a get out of jail free card for those who consistently f*ck up in their relationships: you cheated (8 times)? Make up for it on Valentine’s Day. You forgot her birthday or your anniversary? You killed her dog, goldfish, pet snake or dreams and slept with her best friends? Make up for it on Valentine’s Day. All will be forgiven.

I shall hail this day for its power of absolution of a year-long litany of sins! Religious- and relationship-wise, i’m not for any of that mulligan type ish when the rap sheet is not equal to the forgiveness.

Now, this is interesting and perfectly timed!: Don’t Drive Your Wife to Cheat the Day After Valentine’s Day. And you thought i was wrong in feeling this way. Shit, i didn’t even know there were (limited) statistics backing up the asinine nature of this one “holiday” superceding all other days’ pampering or gift-giving or just overall being a quality partner/companion/lover/whatever.

Equating love with a 24-hour span is flawed. The “report” that more women sign up on this i-want-and-will-cheat website the day after All Absolution Day because they do not “feel appreciate or loved” is ridiculous. I’m not sure how others cannot see this problem. I would personally be offended if the only time out of the year i received “i love you this much” was during a designated day out of the year, one where every other women in the world is told the same thing, given the same cookie cutter gifts and cards. There’s nothing special about that. Maybe i’m just more romantic than that—i want and strive to do things that are, not necessarily original, but at least unique to that person, to her likes and loves, wants and untickled fancies. Hmmm…i don’t know, man, maybe i’m the irregular one here, and i should just pipe down. Oh, but before i forget:

Father’s and Mother’s Day fall into this, too, by the way; i’m just not as up-in-arms about these two, and i’ve not given much thought yet as to why. Once May and June roll around, i’ll probably have some bubbled-to-the-top thoughts on it i’m willing to share.

Till then: keep buying chocolate and roses one day out of the year, making sure to deliver them with a mirage of a smile. It’ll get you laid rather than laid out.