Remember when you were a little kid with the stack of Valentines on the kitchen table knowing you had to give one to everybody in your class and trying to decide whether to give your crush the really cute, mushy one, or whether to give it to your best friend because they wouldn’t judge? Yeah, I can’t help but laugh when I think of the evolution of Valentine’s Day. It’s not exactly like gorillas turning into men or the evolution of dance moving from the Twist to the Moon Walk, but there’s still a progression.
I just think it’s funny that we start off not being allowed to leave anybody out, giving these uber dorky Super Hero 2×4 inch cartoon hearts and trying to bribe fellow classmates with the best king-sized Reeses or 17 pack of Hubba Bubba attached to it. Then, somehow we end up at the dating stage where you only give your heart to one other and if you give your heart, you better damn well give flowers, candy, and jewelry. Unless, of course, you’re the girl, in which case you’re not expected to give anything, but inevitably, you give him some mushy card he barely even reads and you’re shocked and disappointed he chucked it on the coffee table. Duh.
Of course, if you’re a good girlfriend/mate, you give him the Papa Murphy’s pepperoni heart pizza because after all, the way to a guy’s heart is through his stomach. Didn’t you learn anything with the bribery Valentines in elementary school? And all of it is exciting when you’re dating, even though the pressure to get the exact right gift is astronomical, because if you screw up, I swear they charge more for roses and 6 packs the day AFTER Valentine’s Day! But it all seems so important and special during the lovey-dovey phase of a relationship and it’s kinda like prom – every guy assumes he’s getting some at the end of the night.
Except when you don’t…because you’re single. I have to admit there is officially no worse day to a singleton than February 14th otherwise referred to as VD. You feel like you have a venereal disease when you’re home alone wearing black staring at your empty in-box. In fact, if you had a venereal disease at least then you’d know why nobody chose you to be their Valentine! It sucks! And it’s one thing to know you’re single and alone, but it’s a whole ‘nother thing when there’s that Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin feeling about the day in which you can’t help but wonder if there will be a surprise secret admirer who pops out of the woodwork to say they have loved you forever – straight off the good chick flick movie you were probably watching to give yourself hope that the white knight does still exist and that Grandpa Henry wasn’t right about you being an Old Maid, or in the case of being a bachelor unwillingly, marrying the first girl you lay like Ferris Bueller said would happen. So then the day sucks even more when you realize that Cupid sure didn’t find his way to your door. Damn that bastard!
The interesting thing about Cupid though is that he has two kinds of arrows, according to Greek mythology. And logically, you’d assume they were love and hate, but really they are love and indifference. And that’s where we find the married folks of the world – at indifference. Not all, of course, but too many for my liking. I can’t tell you how many times I hear the “well, I usually try to give him a card, but we don’t really do anything” story. Yeah, and the world wonders why the divorce rate is so high? Not me. I’m pretty sure if you take the time to muscle up enough energy to stop for beer and a round of nachos for the Super Bowl, you can grab a card or some M&M’s for a spouse for a freaking holiday when they put up with your ass year-round! Get a freaking clue. And please don’t even get me started on using it as an excuse to purchase a new vacuum cleaner or a new dishwasher. OMG! That’s so not the point. Hell, as far as I’m concerned, you don’t have to spend money, but you do have to have one giant ass piece of construction paper in the shape of a heart with something more than your name written on it. Even a picture of your bare ass taped on it would be better than nothing. And an old-fashioned mix tape/cd wouldn’t hurt anything either. But it blows my mind that we go from giving cheesy greetings to everybody in 1st grade to ending up at the point of obligatory flowers or sports jerseys to say “I love you” when we’re 10 years in on a marriage that those VD singletons would kill for.
And what about your inner child has died so much that it’s not okay to give those cheese 2×4 Glee Valentines with a sprinkle-topped cupcake to all your co-workers, your significant other, or the crush you’ve been facebook-stalking so that they know somebody out there wants to be their Valentine? Come on, people, how is there supposed to be love in the air if nobody’s willing to stand on top of the Empire State building with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan? Break open the piggy bank to buy fun dips and heart-tushy-ed teddy bears for all and don’t be afraid to draw hearts next to your name when you sign the card. It’s Valentine’s Day, Charlie Brown.