Are you a fan of the Hallmark, stereotypical Valentine’s Day? I am. The whole mushy deal: Fawning, kissing, cards and flowers.
But for those of you who aren’t fans of the schmaltzy mainstream love-fest, a little research will tell you that February 14 isn’t just Valentine’s Day! Couples, don’t feel restricted to the usual dinner and a movie, and if you’re single, no need to feel down. There’s plenty of February 14 holidays that get shoved aside by evil greeting card conglomerates and candy cartels that “The Man” doesn’t want you to know about, just so you can continue to be miserable while all your friends with a ball-and-chain have the fun. Stick it to the man and celebrate the coming February 14 your own way: screw the establishment!
It’s a good idea to start at the beginning and, like most holidays, Valentine’s Day started with horrible tragedy. As one story goes, St. Valentine was a nice, peace-loving Christian priest back in Rome circa 270 AD. By most accounts, Valentine was a fairly decent guy who made the silly mistake of marrying lovestruck Christians. For one reason or another, the overlords of the Empire decided that this was bad and punishable by death. So, the Roman Legionaries did what they do best and beat Valentine to a lovely blood red with clubs and rocks. When they found Valentine was still alive, they chopped his head off to finish the job. Where are the church pageants of this delightful little story? Valentine stood up for people’s right to marry and got axed for it. My suggestion? Do a re-enactment (without the homicide). Or raise a glass to this unfortunate fellow on your February 14, and be glad no one’s emotionally clubbing your hopes and dreams.
Love and hate’s little mixer doesn’t stop there! Another quick Google search reveals that Al Capone liked to throw a wild party on Valentine’s Day too, even if he was in Florida at the time. During Prohibition, Capone and his friends were in competition with a rival gang led by Bugs Moran. Seven of Bugs’ associates were in a garage in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Four men, two dressed as cops, entered the garage and riddled everyone inside with bullets, marking what would be known as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. My suggestion? Watch a gangster movie or go shooting to keep up your violently depressed mentality. Mobsters can be slippery when they’re facing a wall, as you should be.
Here’s a holiday suggestion for those singles out there who might feel a little dejected because you find yourself alone again this year: Singles Awareness Day! This black humor holiday is dedicated to those of us who don’t have someone special to celebrate with but want to have a sardonically good time anyway. Do it all with a smile on your face and whenever you see some couple so cute it makes you sick, just think “Happy S.A.D.!”
Call in Single Day is another holiday that’s pretty obvious. Take the day off. Do whatever you want! You’re free to go do that re-enactment I talked about, crash a party, hang with your other single friends and play games all night long.
For those of you in an abusive relationship or just too fed up to stay with whoever you’re with, you know what you’ve gotta do. Sure, you don’t want to be remembered as the jerk who broke up with them on Valentine’s Day, but is that really worse than stomaching another moment with someone you’re already sick of? They’ll get over it eventually, and you’ll both be better off, at least from your point of view because that’s all that really matters. And hey, once you’re single, you can go celebrate one of the other holidays I mentioned to “console” yourself. Just don’t combine this advice with Capone’s approach.
Finally, there’s the mushy stuff that all you couples (including me) love. You guys and gals don’t have to work too hard to come up with a reason to celebrate. Chances are, they’re sitting right next to you. You can walk into Sol’s or Walmart with a spring in your step and look at all the fun little greeting cards, the pink and red candies, and the roses all lined up waiting for you to give them to your sweetheart.
If you really love ‘em, push the limit. Do something extraordinarily nice for them, urinate their name in giant letters in the snow outside their window (better hurry, there’s only so much snow), play games you know they like even if you’re not a fan, give them a sensual massage while their roomie or the kids are gone, talk to them for hours — really anything to let them know that you care. Don’t feel restricted to the usual, the mundane. Be different. Chances are that’s why they like you in the first place. You know what I gave my girlfriend for Valentine’s day last year? Knives. Three Rainbow painted throwing knives to protect herself from Mobsters... and Romans.