I spent today studying at a cafe in Cole Valley - one of my absolute favorite neighborhoods in San Francisco - and, in fact, in the world generally. I joined a few neighborhood cats on the wood deck out back, next to the gently flowing water feature, and we sunned ourselves until the afternoon winds blew in from the sea.
Around me, various couples came and went. And yes, couples. All over. With the handholding and the over-lunch bonding. An amazing number of these couples and various other seemingly non-romantic pairings dedicated an excessive amount of their conversations to Why Valentine's Day Is A Made Up Holiday That Doesn't Matter And Why Should This Be The One Day That People Feel Compelled To Avow Love Just Because Hallmark Says So.
To which I say: Fah!
Valentine's Day, or Saint Valentine's Day is based on the feast of a saint. So it is at least based on a legitimate celebration. Has it been inflated a bit by American consumerism? Sure, maybe. But so have a lot of other things still worth enjoying and celebrating.
And about this whole "why should I/he/she be compelled to declare love today just 'cause?" Well, anyone should be compelled to declare love any day they feel it. What the world needs now is . . . whatever, you see my point.
And the gender-bias supporting the V-day naysayers is unbearable. Guys have orchestrated their way right out of compliance based on an improperly founded assertion of anti-capitalistic idealism. Who carries most of the weight for the other holidays? Chicks, that's who. We bake your damn Christmas cookies, more likely than not we plan your holiday parties, pour the vodka into your 4th of July watermelon, etc. So if women and Hallmark have colluded to amplify a minor Catholic holy day, I don't feel bad. Guys should be making reservations, sending flowers, gushing their gushiest of all gushy gush, and jewelry shopping - which, my friend DS would like every male to be reminded, can be accomplished from the comfort of your own lazyboy via the net without ever stepping foot in a Big Scary Jewelry store.
So please, save the stock arguments against Valentine's Day and get thee to Hallmark. Buy the sincerest or the funniest card you can and treat your sweetie right. We carry the emotional weight of the relationship for the other 364 days a year. Today should be our day off, our day of reinforcement, and the one day we get to be free of disabling self-doubt or general i'm-too-mushy self-consciousness.
So quit your bitching, boys. And quit supporting their bitching, girls. Keep card writers and florists in business and jump on the opportunity to love. Is it really such a bad thing to do?