By Emma Garland
If something has annoyed me to the extent that I feel I have to take time out of my life to structurally complain about it, it must be truly dreadful. Thus is the premise of the ‘5 Reasons Why I Hate…’ series, in which I word-vomit over things I think society should put in the bin.
Unlike FRONT magazine, which I complained about last week and everybody loves because boobs, Valentine’s Day is universally accepted as being crap. Here are some reasons why:
1. It’s not real.
Like all nationally celebrated holidays, Valentine’s Day has foundations in religion which have morphed over time into something sentimental. Apparently Chaucer is largely to blame for this transformation. You know, the original romantic with all the outrageous 14th century ideas of relationships as power struggles and treating women with respect etc. Advances in society mean that the idea of courtship and offering of things (confectionary, cattle, chastity belts…) to gain a woman has now given way to a world-wide challenge for greeting card companies to come up with the most diabolical puns that test the waters of how much shit your G/BF/crush is willing to take before leaving you/filing for a restraining order.
Because it’s such an old and therefore horribly cisgendered tradition, the main beneficiaries of Valentine’s Day are generally women. It’s the yearly test that men in relationships have to take to prove they have a sensitive side or whatever. Similarly, men now have Steak and Blow Job Day, which is an equally ridiculous concept but admittedly a more realistic one if you rid it of the whole tone of servility. Most people eat and jizz at least once a day regardless of whether or not they’re in a relationship, so having a national holiday dedicated to eating and jizzing in more decadent ways than usual is something I wouldn’t be opposed to. To that end – where’s the female version of that, huh? Where is my annual day of obligatory stir-fry and cunnilingus? Do people really still give in to the whole ’Men are from Mars (want food and sex)’/ ‘Women are from Venus (need love and flowers)’ theory? No woman in her right mind would choose being taken out to eat over being eaten out. Let’s just rebrand the whole thing as Vagina Day and let everyone be happy.
I’ll just leave this here for reference.
2. It’s awkward.
Every year I have at least two panic attacks on my birthday: one for being a year older and another other one for people feeling like they have to get me things because of it (if anything, I should be getting my mother something for going through the nine months of absolute hell required for me to exist). I find being on the receiving end of gift-giving genuinely uncomfortable and I would sooner die than have to deal with being handed something cheesy or, worse still, classically romantic (A few years ago this totally hot and mysterious guy sent me a love letter hand written in calligraphy and it completely ruined everything). The reign of Keats and Tennyson ended a long time ago, yo. People communicate differently now. We live in a world with Internet porn in which people literally shit on each other – romance is dead.
Obviously people should do whatever works for them whether its exchanging chocolate or enemas, but there’s nothing worse than being in a relationship where one person is a jaded asshole (me) and the other thinks it’s kinda nice. Obviously I’m not a total monster (I write poetry, for goodness sake), but I save my emotional outbursts for the correct times: when nobody is watching, the opening sequence of UP! and any film in which an animal or Leonardo DiCaprio dies.
3. It justifies smug couples.
You’ve all seen them. They are usually the kind of people that have no reservations about noisily wet-snogging in front of you in a queue at the bank or something. They will probably post pictures on every single social networking site of all the crap their “better half” got them like they can’t get their head around the fact that the person they’re spending the majority of their time with actually gets them. Valentine’s Day ceases to be cute or innocent after primary school when everybody got stuff in their tray because in those days the whole class was your valentine. Awwww.
(In retrospect, that may have been an exclusive experience based on attending Catholic school and all the cards may or may not have been from Jesus).
4. THE CARDS
I mean would you just look at these.
5. Lonely people and alt couples take it really seriously.
If there’s anything worse than swooning-out over Valentine’s Day it’s people who stick an ‘occupy’ hashtag in front of it and post pictures of themselves with signs like this:
To me, that reads more like ‘The Lonely Guy’s Manifesto’ than a statement of empowerment and now I am bumming hard. If you feel lonely on V-day you probably feel lonely every other day of the year as well. Let’s not elevate the stench of desperation and loneliness that is intrinsic to human life to even greater levels of awareness.
Is the pressure to be in a relationship really that strong outside of secondary school (a place I’m pretty sure that guy left about 20 years ago) anyway? You got this, my man. Rip that sign up and go get yourself a burrito and if you feel like ralphing on the couple staring lovingly into each others eyes opposite you, don’t. That would be a waste of good burrito. Punch them instead.
However, in spite of all that:
1 Reason Why I Love… February 14th, 2013
It’s also the day A Good Day to Die Hard is released. Yes, Bruce.