Of all of capitalism's high holidays, Valentine's Day is definitely the worst, with its corporate-sponsored emphasis on love, couples, snuggling, and other disgusting things. The only thing worse? The people who empower it with emphatic hatred.
That's right, all you singleton's and "black hearts" are just as responsible for the continuation of this wretched festival as all the happy couples cooing into each others' earlobes after too many expensive oysters and too much cheap champagne.
Sure, Valentine's Day was created to sell candy, flowers, romantic dinners at overpriced restaurants, and frilly panties from Victoria Secret that will be forgotten about as soon as they are flung off an expectant toe into the dark corners of a bedroom. To get all English major-y for a second, it is a despicable propagation of the hetero-normative monogamy fallacy that plagues the world, telling everyone that they have a "soul mate" and one special person to complete them and anyone who isn't in such a relationship is a worthless piece of shit who doesn't deserve to be loved and probably dresses bad and needs more time in the gym.
However, the reaction to these sentiments is just as knee-jerk and trite. Hating Valentine's Day is a sad fucking cliche. On the outside its says, "I hate the corporate structure that built this shitty holiday" and "I'm doing fine on my own, thank you," but what it says on the inside is, "I am so sick of not having the validation of someone in my life that I need to rebel against this thing or I am going to wither away like a dried toe nail clipping in the garbage." These people think that they are going to do something to change the couple-centric world that we live in, but all that they're doing is giving credence to it. It's like scowling at the concept but sneaking handfuls of chalky conversation hearts while all their fellow black-wearers go to change The Smiths record.
Just like every year, alternative Valentine's Day options abound. Jonathan Ames is hosting an anti-romantic poetry reading in Brooklyn and The Village Pourhouse will try to set up single men and women at their black heart's party. There are plenty of events for those without a mate to attend and weep with each other and talk about how disgusting and lonely they all are while bashing their seemingly happier counterparts. Still, we hate you just as much as those making kissy-face and gurgling about how much they love each other.
Instead of getting their non-frilly panties all in a wad, maybe it's time for the haters to just leave this whole mess to those who want to call 1-800-Flowers, order up a chocolate souffle for two, and give each other their thrice-annual dose of oral sex (along with both birthdays). What's so wrong about expressing the love one has for his partner? It's rare and wonderful to find someone to share one's life with, and surviving the daily silent tug of war of a relationship shouldn't go by unnoticed. The protesters don't want it to end entirely either, because you know that the first single girl at the "Heartbreaker's Club" dance party is going to be the one who wants the biggest bouquet once she finally has a man.
For those of us who aren't in a relationship, why don't we take the night off? Let's give it up to all those unlucky enough to have their egos eroded by the will of another in the search for romantic fulfillment. There's no need for hatred, spite, or resistance. Just take a deep breath and relinquish the day with quiet superiority and calm abandonment—and masturbate yourself into a chafey coma.
[Image via Thomas Fuchs]