A few days ago, I was standing behind a woman wearing a T-shirt bearing a picture of Cupid with an X over him. It read, “When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, fat toddler coming at me with a weapon.” The shirt was positively heinous, but that’s besides the point. I realized how easy it is to drain the sexiness out of Valentine’s Day quickly. Cupid isn’t exactly sexy, and neither is sharing your too-small twin bed in Oldenborg. What’s more, I find it particularly entertaining that our beloved romantic holiday overlaps with Family Weekend this year, because the prospect of having Mom and Dad right down the road at the Doubletree somehow makes your big night seem a lot less arousing.
I absolutely despise Valentine’s Day. I know what you’re thinking, but no. It isn’t because I’m single, bitter, or heartbroken. Nor is it due to a personal vendetta against Hallmark and the corporate giants that make the holiday the monstrosity that it is. It’s because, for me, Valentine’s Day is just one of those things I take immense pleasure in hating, like the improbable plot line of Twilight or grown men wearing socks with their Crocs.
Why do I find it so satisfying to hate Valentine’s Day, you ask? Well, it’s certainly not uncommon to loathe the 14th, given its cheesy, overrated, nausea-inducing nature. In addition, the holiday serves as an annoyingly persistent reminder of a sore subject for the single people out there. (Sexual frustration, anyone?) Each February’s arrival brings with it cheap boxes of chocolate with horrid “mystery fillings,” those little conversation hearts that taste like chalk and Pepto-Bismol, and sappy, month-long romantic comedy marathons on TV networks.
Hating Cupid’s holiday should not be limited to singles, either. The idea of a date mystifies or terrifies most Claremont students, but some couples might venture off campus this Sunday when they realize that dinner for two at Frary just won’t cut it. The pressure of the Valentine’s Day date can put unnecessary strain on any relationship, from the tedious time spent in the greeting card aisle to the dreaded gift exchange. Will your last-minute gift from one of those kitschy stores in the Village be enough? Too much? Or just hopelessly lame? Probably the last.
If two people are not in a committed relationship but have experienced anything remotely resembling a date in the past two months, Valentine’s Day makes both parties antsy and causes them to prematurely question the direction of the relationship-you know, the “where is this going” conversation. Ugh, spare me. If you’re in the not-quite-relationship stage with another person, there is nothing more disheartening than discovering the person you had previously considered boyfriend or girlfriend material expresses their affection with a “you are the mac to my cheese” type of card. Or worse, a card overflowing with flowery script and sentimental crap. Not cute. For those who steer clear of relationships, it’s too bad they don’t make “friends-with-benefits” or “thanks-for-the-post-TNC-hook-up-last-week” cards.
When the day finally arrives, there are still burdens to bear. For girls, that mani-pedi or all-over body wax is hardly worth the trouble. For guys, the price of roses quadruples overnight, and, let’s face it, being romantic for more than a few minutes at a time is flat-out exhausting.
Those of us who aren’t going on a fancy date might feel the need to occupy ourselves with some kind of distraction, mostly so that we aren’t forced to think about the drawbacks to singledom. Choice of activity is crucial, however. While at Christmas it may be excusable to get buzzed drinking your family’s eggnog, it is far less acceptable to nurse a pick-me-up cocktail on a Sunday afternoon in mid-February.
The one redeeming factor? This is the one day of the year when you can lounge around all day with a large order of curly fries from the Coop to keep you company, watch an entire “Jersey Shore” marathon, and not feel the slightest tinge of guilt. And that’s exactly what I’ll be doing.