Not because of religion, or politics, do I despise February 14th. Neither am I one of those people who hates it simply because he has no one to celebrate it with (though I sincerely sympathize with everyone who hates it for precisely that reason).
My profound problems with this so-called holiday run deeper than that.
Consider, for instance, the candy:
Too sweet, too artificial, inevitably heart-shaped, and always stuffed in a ridiculous box that no grown man (or woman) should be seen carrying in public. Indulge in a few of these, and you can actually feel your teeth rotting in your head for the rest of the day. No amount of toothpaste can quite erase the sticky film on the enamel. Drinking ten soft-drinks in a row is probably much, much healthier.
Then, of course, there is the rest of the merchandise:
I was in a store this week, searching for clothes for a formal occasion, when the salesman decided to force me to buy a sky-blue tie patterned with pink hearts and chubby cherubs. “Special promotion, sir.” At first I thought it would make for a nice joke-gift, until I realized that this “special promotion” actually cost approximately one hundred British pounds.
Of course, come February 15th, it will be lying in the bargain bin next to the pink, heart-shaped cuff-links, and God-knows-what-else.
On my way out of the store, a saleswoman with an evil grin sprayed me with something that came out of a (surprise!) pink bottle, and smelled like roses doused in sugar. She claimed that this was a cologne for men. Well, no woman should have to wear something like that either. It was more like perfume for chihuahuas.
The entire episode made me wish I could barricade myself in my house until February 15th had safely arrived, and avoid the bargain-bins henceforth for at least another week.
So, am I in favor of banning this ridiculous debacle of a holiday?
As a matter of fact, I think that certain religious authorities have gone a trifle too far in banning the color red this week. They are only making the forbidden fruit that much (artificially) sweeter. Now there will be people who will celebrate this holiday simply because it is a rebellious thing to do. And we don’t need anything like that.
The minute that Valentine’s Day becomes a cool, “alternative” holiday for people who “oppose the system” and “question authority,” will also be the minute that I officially decamp to another planet. Or, at the very least, a deserted island somewhere.