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Bah, Humbug to Your Valentine’s Cheer.

February 14, 2013

Being around me for upcoming holidays must sound like some kind of inversion of “I Love the Mountains.” With me, it’s, “I hate Christmas, I hate my birthday, I hate Yom Kippur, I hate Valentine’s Day. Boom-di-ya-dah, boom-di-ya-dah, boom-di-ya-dah-boom…” With an attitude like mine, it’s no wonder the dudes are beating down my door in spite of my lack of interest!

With the first four, I have good reasons for keeping Scrooge mode going year-round. That Christmas’ crass materialism has infested even Hanukkah, a minor celebration of Judah and the Maccabees that lends itself only to eating oil-soaked foods rather than eight nights of presents, doesn’t bother me that much. That I have Facebook “friends” who persist in responding to “Happy Holidays” with “MERRY CHRISTMAS, SATANIC HEATHEN!”…Suffice to say that I feel justified in saying that I didn’t declare war on Christmas. Christmas declared war on me.

My birthday is a reminder of things I managed not to accomplish in the past year. Even though I’m exempt from taking part in the Yom Kippur fast by virtue of being diabetic and, it should be mentioned, an atheist, I still feel the need to attempt it anyway. Then with only two hours to go until sundown, I get dizzy, see spots, and ruin dinner with my massive chowdown of every sugary food in the house, which then results in my blood sugar bouncing back high enough to rival Pink Floyd’s mental state back in the seventies.

But Valentine’s Day has never been a favorite of mine. This is not because this year will mark the first time in six that I have “celebrated” it as Singles’ Awareness Day with that clever acronym of SAD. As much as I might sound like a sneering hipster for saying so, it really is the sappy, pappy Hallmark nature of the holiday as celebrated in the States that sends my spittle flying.

After all, what’s not to hate about a holiday whose bases came from the mass fertility-honoring orgies of the Romans’ Lupercalia and took its current name from a man who died a violent, bloody death for allowing couples who lived in sin to get right with the Catholic God? This is the age of HBO and Showtime, of Dexter and Girls and Breaking Bad. We love graphic sex and violence! You’re seriously going to take those elements out of the day and expect me to throw myself into it wholeheartedly?!

And just look what they’ve replaced the juicy parts with. I’m allergic to flowers and think they send the wrong message anyway–a soon-to-be-lifeless life-form that had to be viciously severed from its roots and left to wither over a matter of days somehow doesn’t seem like an appropriate symbol of one’s eternal support and devotion. Chocolate’s fine for most, but as a personal gift, it would tell me that the guy somehow misheard or misunderstood the meaning of “Type I diabetic,” which would indicate his lack as a long-term prospect. I’m allergic to the metallic compounds in most jewelry and find shiny objects irritating anyway.

Oh, but surely I could enjoy a simple, romantic evening with dinner and wine! Sure, except the nightly consumption of food tends to be on my agenda most evenings. If the grocery store by my house has a special, I’ll even grab a nice tenderloin when it suits me rather than a somewhat arbitrary date on a calendar. I don’t drink wine after an incident involving trying to keep pace with my stepbrother while the Rockies went into four extra innings, and the adult beverages I do enjoy shouldn’t need to be saved for once a year–the beer and ciders I like are costlier than Bud Light, but they’re not some rare vintage that needs to be saved for a momentous occasion. And I happen to think a momentous occasion would be more along the lines of publishing my book rather than toasting long-buried rites to a fertility I’d like to keep out of my body or a long-dead saint I don’t believe in and whose cause I don’t personally support.

Of course I won’t begrudge my happily paired friends an excuse to spend quality time together, perhaps trying that restaurant across town or snuggling under a blanket and watching cheesy movies. But even if I’d decided to ditch my plans to go to Mexico with one of my longest-lasting friends for a desperate attempt to live out a rom-com fantasy (like hell!), I’d still be a bit queasy at the artificially saccharine nature of the holiday.

Maybe that can be my next project after I get back from the beaches. Ebenezer Scrooge teams up with St. Valentine. Armed with a crossbow, they venture forth to hunt down Cupid. Sounds like just the sort of thing Showtime would go for.


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