I know what you're thinking: the Wise-Ass is gonna go on a rant about how much Valentine's Day sucks, right? Wrong. I'm not. So there. Just when you think you know me, you don't. Unknowable, I am. Elusive. Tricky. A rebel, a loner, and a mystery wrapped inside a riddle covered with hot caramel and walnuts. Eat me.
I wouldn't ordinarily write about Valentine's Day, but our editors are making us, which is fine, because it lets me play devil's advocate to all the people who bitch and moan and whine about how lame Valentine's Day is. And they're right: it is lame, a holiday that forces us to show affection to our lovers and spend money on overpriced flowers and candy and cards. I don't need a holiday to tell me when to be sweet to my girlfriend, guys will say. But guess what? You do.
For some, Valentine's Day is one of the few times a year when they show or are shown affection from a partner. I know plenty of women in stagnant relationships who would say that forced or not, it's still nice to get flowers or a kind word even once a year. Yes, we would all prefer that our mates be affectionate year-round, but men are notoriously bad about that, myself included. We are masters at taking things for granted, but Valentine's is the one day a year when it's all but impossible to take your mate for granted. So at least give it credit for that.
I know that Valentine's can be hard on people who are single and lonely, because it's a big, ugly, in-your-face reminder that you are single and lonely. Few things chip away at the ol' self-esteem more than watching everyone in the office but you get flowers, or being asked if you're doing anything special for Valentine's Day when you don't have a wife or girlfriend to woo. "Yeah, I'm having a nice romantic evening with a six-pack, some Jergens (Jerkens?) lotion and a Girls Gone Wild DVD."
On the other hand, Valentine's is a day that reminds us all, single people included, that love exists, that it's real despite all the hype and BS, and, best of all, that it is possible for anyone. So you're single right now; who knows what next month or next week or even tomorrow will bring? Isn't the possibility of romance worth something? I think so. It's a glimmer of hope that says, "My day is coming." And it is.
So, this year, I encourage you to resist hating on Valentine's Day, and view it like many people view Christmas and Hanukkah: underneath all the commercialization and crapola, there's a nugget of something real and meaningful and important. When I'm digging through the chocolate hearts and teddy bears and singing cards, and paying $100 for flowers that cost $40 every other day of the year, that nugget is what I choose to hold on to. You should, too.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go play some tackle football or hit the Bass Pro Shop because I just grew a vagina while writing that.
Happy Valentine's Day.