Unhappy Valentine’s Day

Augustine Marinelli

You know what the best part about being a borderline workaholic who only watches “Hardball” and DVDs is? I haven’t had the pleasure of enduring the Valentine’s Day industry’s excruciating ad blitz. (Thank God it is over.) Every man unfortunate enough to have a wife, girlfriend or mistress at this time of year knows what I’m talking about. Who hasn’t seen those pesky jewelry store, department store, greeting card store or chocolate manufacturer’s commercials that only serve to shame you into handing over part of your income toward an extravagant dinner/gift/floral arrangement that she’ll end up hating after she finds out her friend got a nicer/better/more expensive one? I manage to opt out of this madness each year, but there are friends of mine who would rather have a colonoscopy performed on them by the cast of “Sex in the City” (in other words, watch an episode of that show) than submit to this insane obligation. However, the madness still manages to ooze into my paper-strewn, dust-covered existence.

I do not recommend dining out on Valentine’s Day unless you bring painkillers to dull the senses. Apparently, it is a sin to walk into a restaurant alone on this, most tedious of days. You will be relegated to a table nearest the door, where the February breeze seeping through your threadbare sweater is most invigorating. But if you, like me, are unattractive or piss off the host, you will be sent to an uneven table near the bathroom, where exotic odors and visions of line cooks not washing their hands will tickle the senses. And if that isn’t enough, you will have the pleasure of watching Valentine’s Day couples giggling their way through overpriced bottles of house wine … her eyes fixed upon the hand that will reach for the check and gifts purchased on credit and his eyes buried somewhere in her cleavage. It’s enough to make you wish you’d ordered pizza, Chinese food or any bit of vulcanized rubber slathered in tomato sauce that someone will deliver to your doorstep.

But, this isn’t to say Feb. 14 doesn’t have any positive aspects. I did like those candy hearts they sell from mid-January until yesterday. I liked them so much that in the sixth grade, my best friend and I polished off a gigantic bag of them during a Friday night sleepover after a first course of pizza. After spending a redeeming evening on 14K dial-up Internet looking for UFO conspiracy theories and homemade napalm instructions, our freewheeling ways caught up with us. The rest of the night and part of the next day were spent in the fetal position moaning softly from the pain that was squeezing my digestive tract. The chemical-and-preservative-laden hearts propelled me into a hallucinogenic state in which UFOs were probably among the things I saw.

Come to think of it, Valentine’s Day has no redeeming qualities. Despite the ridiculous pre-Christmas frenzy, I can honestly say that I have memories of times spent with family and friends that I treasure. Thus, Christmas redeems itself. On the other hand, my fondest memory of Valentine’s Day consists of a painful trip on chemically-treated candy hearts. So, the Valentine’s Day industry can take its stale chocolates, overpriced jewelry, sappy cards, dying roses, gaudy floral arrangements, expensive meals and elaborate commercials and stick them in Cupid’s quiver. I’m not afraid of you.

And if godless, America-hating liberals declare “War on Valentine’s Day,” I will lead a platoon of pissed-off people into the middle of your decadent capital and leave nothing but destruction and empty boxes of candy hearts in my wake.


Augustine Marinelli is a senior political science major from Atlanta, Ga. He can be reached at [email protected].