Friday, August 5, 2011

Made Up Holidays We Love to Hate

Fasten your seatbelts. My sister Word Whores have focused on the made up holidays they love, I'm gonna get my hate on.

Valentine's Day. There. I said it. I loathe that holiday. More to the point, I hate what it has become - extortion. The original Holy Day was a saint's feast day and possibly some lingering traces of the Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia.

Far be it from me to deny a saint his or her feast day. Never mind the fact that Saint Valentine refers not to one person, but to two. Possibly three. History's fuzzy on those details. But okay, right? Get martyred and the least you deserve is a candle lit in your honor and maybe a feast day. How did that get turned into wholesale material consumption in order to prove one's affection for another human being?

Lupercalia must be to blame? No, see, that's a pagan holiday and pagan holidays are pretty simple. Eat, drink and -- be merry -- in the raunchiest way possible. Bonus points if you did your swithing in the fields which might benefit from the fertility rite. Flowers, chocolates and promises you don't intend to keep not required.

So where did this nonsense about buying roses in the dead of winter (for the northern hemisphere) come from? I mean, I know the roses are grown in plantations in Mexico and South America, then flown via jet to a major airport, and trucked to your local florist. How is forcing some poor lover to buy grossly out of season flowers that are DOA (unless your lover is an overachiever who brings you an entire rosebush for planting - in which case - you scored, carry on) proof of adoration? What's the point of that heart-shaped diamond pendant? Or the chocolates? Proof that someone loves you? Really? For one, obligatory day a year you want a material token of affection? What's that you say? Some people just like to be made to feel special? How does a single day (disregarding the advertising blitz that begins in January) make anyone feel special?

What about the other 364 days of the year when your loved one comes home every night rather than taking up with someone else? Doesn't that speak epic volumes about how special you must be? He or she repeatedly choses you over all others. That's love. Don't get me wrong. There's value in romantic gesture. Flowers, just because. Your favorite treat because your loved one thought you might like it. Those are the tokens of true affection. But an 'official' day? Buy me something or else you don't love me? Whose idea was that?

Phew. Okay. Taking the hate off. For the record? I don't touch Valentine's Day with a ten foot pole. Husband is vastly and visibly relieved thereby. He says he can never leave me because I'm the only woman on earth who would pummel him with the roses he brought through the door on February 14.


  1. I love it when you rant. Wonderfully said. And about this particular holiday, I am in complete agreement.

  2. I'm loving the image of you pummeling him with the dozen DOA roses he brings in the door. That *has* to go in a novel somewhere!

  3. LOVE me some Lupercalia, not that I ever ran through the streets naked striking those I met with a "shaggy thong" as wikipedia says was the custom as the BC timeperiod was nearing its end. Hee hee!!!!

    Side note...Does "Shaggy Thong" sound like a good name for a band, or is it just me?

  4. That was a great rant!
    I myself am not against Valentine's Day, but would never hold it against someone if they didn't buy me anything. And as the owner and her OtherHalf have a more personal relationship celebration at the end of February they usually skip Valentine's Day as well.

    @Linda: that would depend on what kind of music they play ;-)

  5. I had this whole "Amen, Sing it, Sister" response ready to go...until Linda & and her "Shaggy Thong." Now, all I can't think of is 80s Kip Winger doing pirouettes in a speedo.

  6. Jeffe - vengeance is where that belongs. That's all I'm saying.

    "Shaggy Thong" - Hmm. Filthy lyrics would be required, naturally. And heck, I'm all for buff guys in speedos. This band has marketing potential already. :D

  7. I love "Shaggy Thong" for a band name!

    And Marcella, you are so right! ~stealing~