True Hollywood Story: Valentine's Day

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 | 5 Comment(s)

I should start by saying that I have never had a bad Valentine's Day.
Ok, that's not true.  One year my then girlfriend's dog died on Valentine's Day and her mom decided to go ahead and call her up at college and tell her that evening (ingenius mother's birth control tactic?). . . which i happened to be visiting her for.  It was a mess.  But even still, consoling someone you love on the death of their pet certainly isn't what I was expecting on that day, but it's also definitely part of the job description of being a significant other.  So i sucked it up.  But that's the worst of it.  Really.  In college i would use Valentine's Day as an excuse to ask beautiful women that were a bit intimidating out on dates.  Both times I had a wonderful evening.

But here is the thing.  I hate Valentine's Day.  I really really really hate hate hate it, and I think it's a bad thing.  I don't feel this strongly about most subjects, but on this i will take a stand.  One of the excitements of getting my PhD as a "relationship expert" is so that I can say, I'm an expert on romantic relationships, and Valentine's Day is fucked up and should be done away with.

Let me explain.

If you are in a relationship, I have no doubt that it is possible, and possibly even wonderful, to set aside some time for you and your significant to do something, just the two of you (or three of you or four of you, I don't judge).  Putting aside the fact that part of a healthy relationship is letting your partner know that they are loved and cared for all the time, I understand that we all lose sight of that from time to time and take those we love the most for granted.  But lets understand something.  This paragraph so far, is talking about the VAST minority of people in America.

For most people in relationships (still focusing on them to start), Valentine's Day creates an amazing artificial pressure to do something particularly special for your loved one.  Putting pressure on most relationships is akin to farting in your relationship's face: you may survive it, but you're not going to enjoy it.  Pressure creates two separate sets of expectations (from each partner) and therefore creates the possibility for an incredible amount of unnecessary let down and disappointment.  The irony being that Valentine's Day creates tension, fights, and conflict for couples that otherwise probably wouldn't be fighting.  So even for the subsection of the population that presumably should benefit from this "holiday," you see negative returns.

And now the single people.  Let's be real folks, the majority of people who are single out there are not socially adept enough to just "make sure they have a date" for Valentine's day.  That's just the truth.  Even many of those who can get dates don't always have people around they WANT to date at any particular time.  And what could make those people feel more jump-off-a-bridge awful than a day (and month leading up to it) where the media/society/restaurants/stores all tell you that the only way to have value is through your love with another (actualized through a credit card).  That is some utter bullshit right there folks.  And people DO get sad.  Depressed.  Forlorn.  And if they don't, they still can end up internalizing that negativity and the message that their lives are incomplete without a relationship.  And then Valentine's day goes and announces this message from its candy heart, chocolate-rose covered megaphone that there is something wrong with you if you're single.  And it's like revving your Lamborghini's engine in front of a homeless guy driving his shopping cart.  It's like driving a Hummer when the world is slowly burning.  It's just so utterly douchey that I can't be a part of it.

If you're in a relationship, you lose.
If you're not in a relationship, you lose.
That's called a lose-lose.  (Even Michael Scott knows that that's not what you want)
This is so not a good holiday.

The only real winners on Valentine's Day are card companies, chocolate makers, flower sales (online flower prices are skyrocketing [for love]), and jewelry stores.  And frankly, I don't care if you throw that stuff off a bridge, it the lonely 14 year olds I'm more concerned about.

Just say no to the perpetuation of pressuring us to love on any particular day.  Love everyday.

And, for the record, buying the discounted Valentine's Day candy on the 15th is TOTALLY kosher.


  1. (a) I can't wait for Valentine's Day dinner because it means previous Top Chef winner Harold is cooking me up something delish (and I never turn down good food)!

    (b) I may or may not be buying out Target's chocolate supply on the 15th.

    (c) In general, though, I agree with you.

    (d) You still love me regardless of (a) and (b).

  2. As I said, I only still love you DESPITE (a). (b) is highly encouraged!

  3. (b) is definitely the best thing about silly holidays :)

  4. (a) = amazing!
    also I was raised to understand that chocolate is a separate and legitimate food group so I am RSVPing to (b)

  5. Props for mentioning Michael Scott in a V-day blog.