Valentine’s Day is terrible. Unless you have a lot of stock in Russell Stover or you’re in one of those relationships where anymore you only have sex on birthdays, holidays, and favorable election nights, we can all agree that it’s just the worst. February 14th really goes down hill once you’re out of elementary school and you’re no longer encouraged to construct a fun mailbox-like container for consuming the mandatory candy and cards of each of your classmates.
But it doesn’t have to be that bad!
Like most holidays celebrated in America, Valentine’s Day is based on a Christian story/tradition, which has been bastardized by Hallmark and jewelry stores. Saint Valentine was executed for his Christian beliefs, right after reported healing a blind girl (miracle-style) and in doing so, converting her entire family away from Paganism and to Christianity. This story takes place in 269 AD, a time when martyrdom was “trending.” Really, on Valentine’s Day we should give out cards in the shape of a murdered evangelists, instead of hearts. Make sure to tell your coupled friends that they get to be romantic and paint pottery together because a bunch of really nice dudes were tortured to death–you know, to set the mood.
Valentine’s Day is still an official feast day in Anglican and and Lutheran communities. A feast day. Guys, we could hop on board with the Anglicans and treat Valentine’s Day as another Thanksgiving. Why aren’t we doing that? That’s so much better than a pink/red/purple color scheme polluting Target and Walgreens, and people talking themselves into thinking that love is real! Romantic love wasn’t even introduced until 1382 in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Parlement of Foules. Chaucer wrote:
For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.
Which translates to: “For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.”
Seems like kind of a small mention to change the basis of an entire holiday. I don’t know why we adopted the whole romance thing from this anyway–he can’t even spell bird correctly. What an idiot. (I think we can all agree that Chaucer should have stuck to fart jokes.)
So the question remains–how can we still enjoy this corrupted-and-now-corporate holiday? Well other than doing that whole feast thing, I have a few ideas.
Valentine’s Day Songs. Christmas has carols, Easter has hymns…Valentine’s Day should have songs too. But most songs are about love, so including all “love songs” is too broad. I propose that power ballads become the seasonal songs to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Why? Well, first of all, they combine catchy melodies with fist-bumping rhythms like no style of music has ever been able to before or since. Also, the lyrics are absurdly sincere (sometime’s laughably so), and if real people are going to take Valentine’s Day seriously it only makes sense that absurd lyrics parallel their absurd perspective.
Also, lyrically, this genre provides a huge range of stances on love, applicable to a variety of celebration styles–From the person choosing to full-on celebrate love and Valentine’s Day (“When I’m With You” by Sheriff, “Love of a Lifetime” by Firehouse), to the person waiting on that special someone to love him/her back (“To Be With You” by Mr. Big), to the person expecting love to sour (“Bringin’ On The Heartache” by Def Leppard), to the person trying to overcome heartache (“High Enough” by Damn Yankees, “Don’t Know What You Got Till It’s Gone” by Cinderella), to the person trying to recapture lost love (“Love is on the Way” by Saigon Kick), to the person just straight-up bitter about love (“Love Bites” by Def Leppard).
I think this is a great idea. This might be the only time of year we remember that bands like Kix, Bad English, and Steelheart were a thing once.
Hang out with your single friends. Valentine’s day is unfortunately segregating, but on the bright side, you know all of your single friends are free. And they’re more fun than your coupled friends anyway. If television has taught me anything it is that there’s nothing more boring than two people in love with each other (Jim and Pam anytime after season 3 of The Office, anyone?) So go hang out with all your other autonomous friends. One time I spent Valentine’s Day eating bratwursts, drinking beer, and watching Demolition Man with my best friend. It was magical.
Change your perspective. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a romantic day, nor does it have to be “Single’s Awareness Day,” or something like that. February 14th could also be “Heart Shaped Candy On Sale Day’s Eve.” Guys, there’s about to be huge savings on delicious pink-colored candies. That’s something we should all be able to get behind.
So, if you’re a Valentine’s Day hater (reasonable as it is), you should be able to go and turn that frown upside down! And turn that heart-shaped card or decoration upside down, too, so that it looks like a butt. Because that’s way more fun.