There are three things in life that I won’t tolerate. They are:
1. People who use the words chillax or chillaxin
2. Arizona State fans who live to age 40
3. Valentine’s Day
I only dislike two holidays, and one of them celebrates a 15th century explorer who enslaved and killed thousands of people. Somehow, Valentine’s Day is worse.
Here’s a day when the entire world takes a look in the mirror and says, “Y’know what? Somebody better love the sh*t out of me today.” Girls expect it from guys, and guys from girls, and girls from girls and so on. Everyone, even you, even if you aren’t wicked about it, is expecting a big show of affection that you don’t expect the other 364 days of the year.
(On top of that, Valentine’s Day is a big middle finger to everyone who’s single. It’s the world’s way of saying, “Hey, we’re having this enormous celebration, but you can’t come because no one loves you enough. Be more lovable and come next year.”)
Allow me to create a metaphor for the typical Valentine’s Day lovewhore: My dog Yankee often sits on my lap and throws back her head against my body. She wants me to pet her, and so I do, happily. After a while, I stop.
Yankee throws back her head again, this time violently, and looks at me with a sense of annoyance, as if to say, “I know you loved me just a minute ago, but you’re not loving me enough. I need you to love me even better now, and you better have a Snausage for me, too.”
That’s exactly how humans think on Valentine’s Day: Love me more, and feed me well. The only difference for Yankee is that every second of her life is Valentine’s Day.
Four years ago, I made an undying vow to boycott Valentine’s Day. I don’t buy my wife flowers, cook her a special meal, write her poems, nothing. I’ve done each of those things on dozens of occasions in the past nine years.
Nowadays, I’m more likely to say “Please run me over with your car” than I am to utter the words “Happy Valentine’s Day.”
It’s her fault, really. I used to get into the whole Valentine’s Day routine because it was my time to shine. Our first Valentine’s Day was essentially Valentine’s Week. I made a few home-cooked meals, gave her little gifts, wrote sweet-yet-witty poems, took her to movies and all that. (Within six months of dating me, she was my fiancee. Homeboy got game, OK?)
She did sweet things for me, too, but after the first couple years, the reciprocity disappeared. And in 2008, after I planned a surprise date that involved a nice dinner out and a movie, she let it be known that Valentine’s Day was all about the guy doing something for the girl.
You can guess my response. I’ll let Garrett Morris re-enact it.
Given that and the petulant show-me-more-love nature of the festivities, I gave up on Valentine’s Day. I still love my wife just as much as normal, if not more, every Feb. 14, but I’m careful how I show it. I don’t want her to think I’m upping the ante because it’s some bogus holiday.
And for you guys and girls who dislike the holiday for the same reasons I do, let me give you a few pointers on how to still be loving while also staying true to your boycott:
1. Compliment your partner’s looks, but not too much. Example: “You look nice, but I bet you’ll look even better tomorrow.” Careful, though, because this could backfire if it sounds too much like, “Better luck next time, sport.”
2. Offer to cook dinner, but only give quasi-appealing options. Example: “What’ll it be, hun? I’ll whip you up a mean PB & J, or we can split a baked potato. Your call.”
3. If your partner cooks a meal, be only mildly excited. I actually said these words to my wife once as she cooked dinner: “It kind of smells like diarrhea in here.” To her credit, she didn’t set my face on fire while I slept. So take what I said but tone it down by 80 percent.
4. If gifts must be exchanged, be practical. Examples: New coat hangers or travel-size toothpaste or a gallon of windshield wiper fluid.
Fear not, friends. The world returns to normal tomorrow.