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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Return and Belated Forced Love Day

Alright. I'm back from my little hiatus. Thanks to the outpouring of support from my regulars during my "medical journeys." I'm starting to feel much better, so the angst will return!
Funny how that works.
Anyhow! We're already a week past the infamous Valentine's Day... but I'm still gonna talk about it because who's gonna stop me? You? HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAA!
People's opinions on V-day tend to be fairly bipolar. You either love it or hate it. Not sure which you are? Here's a quick quiz. On Valentine's day do you:
A) Wear ONLY white, red, and pink; make pink, sparkly, heart-shaped construction paper boxes filled with candy to give to your loved ones; and cook a special, candle-light, filet mignon dinner for your sweetie?
B) Dress up like a pirate, complete with bandana, eye-patch, and sword; spend the day switching couples' candies with Bittersweets and laughing hysterically at the results; and slashing pictures of your exes and setting them on fire on a toy sailboat down your university's lawn fountain, like some twisted Viking funeral pyre?

If you picked A, you're a V-day fan. If you picked B, you're not a fan. And you were probably spending the day with me that day..

However, tonight's post isn't really addressing you Type A kids, though feel free to stick around. You just may enjoy it. I'm speaking more towards the angst ridden Type B kiddos. It's easy to be bitter on Valentine's Day. It is. It's true. It's trendy and acceptable. It's easy to pass Valentine's Day off as a Hallmark Holiday, a crass consumerist money-trap, an all around painful day to be single. Cruel Hazel knows, kids. Cruel Hazel did not receive ANY valentines, save one from a close female friend. And Cruel Hazel got pissed because there were certain menfolk out there who SHOULD have gotten their acts TOGETHER and at least sent an email or a phone call or SOMETHING. But this isn't about me and it's not about my bitterness. Not directly, anyway. This post isn't about anger. It's not about sexual frustration.
This post is about the TRUE meaning of Valentine's Day.
And the TRUE meaning is:
*drumroll*

Valentine's Day is what you make it.

At the risk of sounding like an after-school special, it's the truth. Let me explain why before you explode from the saccharine sentiments. Valentine's Day didn't start out the way we celebrate it now. Without getting into details (maybe next year, kids), the holiday started out in 5th century Rome as a pagan holiday where men would draw the names of young women to be their sexual partners for the year. Naturally, when the Church moved in, they HAD to do away with the fun. So, the names of young women became the names of Saints that the men would try to emulate that year. Slightly less sexy, yes? Well, the Church had to find something to keep it palatable to the peasants, so they picked what they thought to be a suitable saint for the day, St. Valentine. Valentine secretly married young couples in the time of Claudius, an emperor who believed married men made bad soldiers and hence banned marriage. Claudius orders the beheading of Valentine and right before the future saint gets the axe, he sends his secret love a last note, signing it "From Your Valentine." Hence the tradition of sending 'valentines.' So, from the pagan holiday celebrating young men's right of passage to Lupercus to a consumer-driven holidays for lovers, Valentine's Day has taken many forms and has meant many things.
So, what's the point of the little history lesson?

Valentine's Day is TRULY what you make it. Valentine's Day may not have started out as a day for lovers, but we've evolved it into such. A day has no inherent meaning, it only has the meaning that we give it. So when the masses assign February 14th as a day celebrating love, it becomes that day. So it's pretty futile to fight against a mass assigned meaning of the day. By opposing the meaning, you're only affirming its existence. Rather, to properly combat the day, we should work to change its meaning.

So fuck off on trying to sabotage Valentine's Day for others. It's not worth it. Find your own meaning for Valentine's Day and help make the change.

Happy Belated Singles Awareness Day.

~CH