Friday, February 14, 2020

Drunk and bitter on Valentine's Day

  I'm not opposed to love. In fact, I love love, especially the sex part. It's not even that I hate Valentine's Day. But like every event in our society that contains even the slightest hint of sappy sentimentality, it has been done to death. (Can you say, "Titanic?")

  For example, as if it weren't enough that some person or persons came up with the concept of setting aside an entire day dedicated solely to the celebration of lust and adoration, this same person (or persons) decided that this day needed a symbol. It was decided that the best symbol would be a bastardization of that big, red, thumping blood-pumper in the middle of the human chest. Of course, since the natural appearance of this vital organ doesn't exactly evoke feelings of lust (unless you're into such kinky stuff as barfing on your partner), it had to be "prettied up" by taking out the lumps and slapping on some ribbons and bows.

  In a sense, this gaudy makeover of a vital organ is a perfect symbol of what has become the Valentine's Day we know - a day that bastardizes the seemingly imperfect, natural phenomenon of love by glossing over the lumps of ordinary interpersonal relationships with trite prose, while slapping on the flowers and candy.

  Without even venturing down the well-trodden path of over-commercialization, I think the ceremony of the day itself is a sufficient foundation for ridicule. Surely everyone, (especially women), can identify with this scenario: Some wretched creature crouched down at his or her desk at work or at school hiding out and hoping that no one has noticed her lack of flowers and balloons in comparison to the person next to her, who seems to have received the entire contents of a Hallmark store. While on the other end of the spectrum, there is the creature who sits among all her tokens of admiration wondering why she received gifts from everyone except that "special" someone.

  For most, the giving and receiving of Valentines is nothing more than a big pissing contest. He who receives the biggest warm and steady stream is the winner and certified champion of the pseudo-adored.

  Of course, like everything else under the sun, there are exceptions. There are those true lovers and hopeless romantics who view Valentine's Day as an opportunity to prove their worthiness by planning some elaborate gesture months in advance. Even I find this endearing. I must admit that I'm not entirely immune to such types of devotion. However, and I stand firm on this, most of it is just bullshit.

  For the most part, it is simply the embodiment of inferiority complexes and the fragile egos of those who believe that love is defined by the perceptions of their peers and for those who believe that grand gestures of love only count when everyone else is paying attention. For these people, there will never be enough flowers and candy.

  About the author: Renee Lee is a Capital City Free Press Contributing Editor and former Features Editor for the AUMnibus, the student newspaper of Auburn University Montgomery.

  Editor's note: This article first appeared in the Capital City Free Press on February 6, 2010.

Copyright © Capital City Free Press

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