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Jour 44: The mixed messages of Valentine's Day

I always think of poor, broken hearted Ralphie Wiggum every February 14th.

Hey, guys! So, I'm not going to be all "everybody should love everybody every day so why have a special day" because whatever, I love cinnamon heart candies and buying cheesy Valentine's cards and sending them in inter-office mail (hi, co-workers who are reading this! Look for your surprise tomorrow morning!). But, there are a number of things that confuse me about Valentine's Day.

10 Mixed Messages

1) It's too close to Christmas, really. I'm still breaking in all of my Christmas and Boxing Day goodies. Too soon for another gift-giving/chocolate holiday. Move it to April, and then we're talking.

2) The conundrum of "do I celebrate this day or do I ignore the day and will I look like a jerk if I ignore it but I don't want to celebrate a fake commercial" aspect, best summarized in this cartoon. I mean, people don't angst like this over St. Patrick's Day or Halloween, right?

Not gonna lie: the best part of Valentine's Day is that I get to post 
these crizazzy old-timey Valentine's cards, which I love.

3) Tacky shit everywhere. I like hearts and the colours red and pink as much as anybody (possibly more than a lot of people) but the stuffed animals? Throwing hearts on random things just to make them Valentine'sish? I saw a display of movies with heart stickers on them saying "Fall in love with one of these movies!" and included were a) How To Lose Friends and Alienate People and b) All About Steve. These are the movies people won't buy the rest of the year, and they're just trying to trick somebody into buying crap movies nobody's bought in the last 5 years.

4) If you wait until the 15th, all the candy is half-price anyway.

5) The whole weird popularity thing in elementary schools where at first, you used to be able to give cards to just the people who were your friends, but then somebody complained and then you had to give  card to everybody in the whole class (even people you didn't like) but you could still make passive-aggressive friendship gestures like how many heart stickers you put on, or which message you gave to which person. And then the person with the most Valentine cards wins. (Or was this just my school?)

Hello there, oversized cannibal cat face!

6) Is it celebrating romantic love, or all love? If it's just romantic love, why do kids make Valentine's cards for their parents? This holiday needs to clarify its thesis and stores need to rearrange their products accordingly. In other news, here's a really funny slideshow of Valentine's gifts that really aren't romantic (including candy underpants) (and beef underpants) (... and sex lottery tickets).

7) If you do something on Valentine's Day (i.e. a romantic dinner, some sort of elaborate date) then there's a huge added pressure that it's your Valentine's Day date whereas if you don't do anything, then it's like you're consciously not doing anything for Valentine's Day which is like making a big political statement.


... and this one is just kinda creepy. OK, really creepy.

8) Judgment of others. If you aren't doing anything (see #7, above) then people may be like "Aw, poor you!"Of if you are doing something, you may be too embarrassed to tell anyone because you don't want to make them feel bad. Valentine's Day is the one holiday where you need to look out for other peoples' feelings way too much - if people aren't doing anything on Halloween, it's no big deal. But asking people about their plans for Valentine's is akin to asking them if they're pregnant, which is not appropriate ever.

9) Oh and then there's the whole thing where if you're single on Valentine's Day and happen to go to a bar or out for supper or log onto an online dating thing then it's like you're suddenly desperate. Like, this is the day where single people need to go into hiding so as not to appear desperate, when really it's just another Tuesday and so what if people want to check out if somebody winked at them or whatever, in online dating?

10) The amount of cinnamon candy hearts in stores is severely testing my attempt to avoid too much sugar. Those things are so good. Gah!

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