Friday, February 12, 2010
From the Archives: V-Day

I've had several people e-mail me in this last week asking for Valentine's Day advice.

Unfortunately, I'm at the end of a long stretch of revisions right now, and it would break my stride to write an appropriately frothy, bile-filled screed about this most abhorrent of qua-holidays.

Then I realized I didn't need to write a new screed. I probably had an old one on file from when I wrote a weekly advice column for the college paper.

So I dug around in my files a bit and found one. Actually, I found several, but here's the one I liked the best.

Share and Enjoy:


Dear Pat,

What are your feelings towards Valentine's Day? Personally, I believe it is just another Hallmark holiday in which consumerism reaches its ugly hand in the picture, forcing couples to exchange gifts and singles to feel like crap.

By the way, what are you getting your girlfriend/sister? Teehee.


For those of you who missed last week's column, the last line of Jessie's letter is a reference to a joke I made. Just so nobody is confused let me re-state again, for the record, that I am NOT dating my sister.

Not that there's anything wrong with my sister, mind you. She's great: smart, funny, and hot. It's just that we're really good friends, and I worry that getting into a relationship might jeopardize that.

*ahem* Okay. Moving on.

Honestly Jessie, I'd all but forgotten that Valentine's Day is coming up. You see, I don't pay much attention to crap like that. And that's what VD is: a big, steamy pile of crap in a shiny heart-shaped box.

You were right in your letter. As a holiday, it's made-up bullshit. But Hallmark didn't start it, Chaucer did. He wrote "The Parliament of Fowles" back in the late 1300's. I tell you, there's only one time in history that more crap has been spawned from bad poetry, and that's the musical Cats.

Now I don't want to get a bunch of huffy letters with people telling me VD all started with St. Valentine, the priest who was imprisoned and fell in love with the jailer's daughter. If it were true, February 14th would be Go-Fuck-A-Priest day. A holiday, I might add, that I would wholeheartedly endorse.

But no, what we have is Valentine's Day. The day designed to convince you that if you don't spend money on someone, right now then you're not really in love. Prove your eternal devotion through a four-dollar greeting card sporting some freakishly deformed bug-eyed puppy on the front. Go ahead and give someone the severed sexual organs of a plant. Diamonds are forever. Every Kiss begins with Kay.

(You can tell it's an older column, because Brett's illustration
is in B&W and optimized for newspaper printing.)

Now I'm not just saying this because I don't have a girlfriend and I'm frothing at the mouth with bitter loneliness and rage. Contrary to what you might think, I do have a girlfriend.

I know, it seems to go against all the laws of god and nature. But not only do I have a girlfriend, not only have we been in a happy, healthy relationship for almost six years, but Sarah is sweet, kind, smart, funny, and almost unfathomably hot.

I know, it boggles the mind.

There are many theories among my family and friends as to why someone like her would take time to smile in my direction, let alone date me for six years.

Some of my more religious-minded friends used to believe that she was working off a hefty karmic debt from a previous life. But this theory lost credibility when one of my calculus-savvy Buddhist friends did the math for me, showing how much bad karma Sarah was actually burning off by dealing with me on a daily basis.

What it boils down to is this, if Sarah had, say, beaten a nun to death with a bag of kittens in a previous life, she could have worked that off in about three weeks of putting up with my endless bullshit. In fact, after six years of living with me she's built up so much good karma that she'll most likely reincarnate as a transcendent being composed entirely of white light and multiple orgasms.

Other theories held by my friends and parents include: blackmail, Truman-Show style conspiracy, and the suspicion that she is performing a prolonged psychological experiment.

What does Sarah herself say? I'll go ask….

In response to the question, "Why the hell do you love me, anyway?" Sarah responded thusly:

"Some part of my soul recognizes part of your soul as being really awesome. And sometimes you take out the trash." Sarah then made several sexually explicit comments that cannot be reprinted here. Suffice to say that apparently I possess certain skills that shall remain nameless.

Lastly, she gazed rapturously at me and said that I was "gorgeous."

All this seems to confirm my personal theory, that she has some kind of brain tumor that makes her love me. Really, it's the only thing that makes sense.

The only other explanation is that I treat her with kindness and respect. Or because when I give her a gift she knows it comes from a sincere upwelling of emotion, not because it's National Buy-A-Gift Day (TM). Maybe it's due to the fact that I make a habit of not taking her for granted, and I tell her I appreciate her, rather than buying a card that says it for me once a year.

Yeah. I know. Too crazy. I'm sticking with the tumor theory myself.


That's all I've got for now, folks. I hope each of you end up enjoying V-day in your own special way. If that means drinking a pint of rye whiskey and cursing the unfeeling sky, more power to you.


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Blogger Aerron said...

"Beating a nun to death with a bag of kittens." I am going to steal that and work it into a conversation, somewhere.

You, Sir, are


February 12, 2010 12:05 PM  
Anonymous Worland said...

I could not top laughing. Pat your scathing sometimes self loathing makes for funny stuff! though I have to say I'm sure it's more than just a tumor you lucky bastard ^_^

February 12, 2010 12:06 PM  
Blogger Alannah said...

Perfect! Just... perfect!!!!

February 12, 2010 12:07 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Good to hear from you on the blog again Pat- and also good to hear that the revisions are still moving along :P

Looking forward to things!


February 12, 2010 12:23 PM  
Blogger K. L. Howard said...

Chaucer started Valentine's Day? I wonder if my English professor knows that . . . ?

February 12, 2010 12:25 PM  
Blogger Becky B said...

I will be celebrating Valentine's Day by sitting in my pajamas and watching the Food Network - the very same thing I do every Sunday.

February 12, 2010 12:34 PM  
Blogger Lizzan said...

Pat, you are awesome! Myself, I'll be spending Valentine's Day celebrating a year of being single after a long relationship which lead nowhere.

February 12, 2010 12:36 PM  
Blogger franti said...

on a sign in the hallway outside my office is a sign that reads: "Just In Case Nobody Loved You: Treat Day Feb. 15th" which I find to be simultaneously hilarious and depressing, almost like if we were to find out tomorrow that SkyNet it real, but that it had spawned from the Lifetime Movie Network and mass produced chintsy grabbed-from-the-headlines movies instead of awesome murderous robots.

February 12, 2010 12:37 PM  
Blogger Wysen said...

To loosely quote a conversation between me and my brother-in-law when speaking of your book and your success.

Bro-in-law: "Yeah, I saw a picture of him and a really hot trophy wife/girlfriend. It must be nice to be loaded."

Me: "No, I read his blog. He's been with that hotty long before he was famous."

Bro-in-law: "Really???"

Me: "Yup. You should check out his blog, he's freaking hilarious."

Bro-in-law: "No. If he's talented, funny, and able to attract hot women without fame, I'll just hate him more. I think avoiding that blog would be best for my ego."

February 12, 2010 12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hahaha, this is so true.

Did you know, the chemical which makes you feel in love, which is in chocolate, is also in peas? I'm giving my girlfriend frozen peas for Valentines Day. She's returning the favor with a finger puppet womb, because nothing says I love you quite like a finger puppet womb.

February 12, 2010 12:43 PM  
Blogger Vulpes Fulva said...

I sent flowers to my wife's work, so all her colleagues can be jealous of her.
I also let her have a puppy.. (I was against it for a while... but who can resist a cute little lab face?)
Happy Valentine's Day to you, Sarah, and Oot!

February 12, 2010 12:46 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Haha, "Death" would not have approved of the kittens being used as a weapon.

What I do like about VD is that unless you’re romantically involved with someone, no one really expects you to participate (unless, of course, you’re 10 and preoccupied with cutting paper hearts two weeks in advance). One of my flatmates has effectively gone and ruined my celebration respite this year by conjuring a twice-cruel event aptly named the D-Day Party, to be held the day before Valentine’s. DDP (aka Desperation Day Party) has two purposes, for one it offers a last opportunity for boys and girls to hook up and be saved the misery that everyone forced to spend VD alone must surely be suffering. This seemingly kind motif is secondary, however. The primary purpose of DDP is getting people drunk because, and I quote “no one should feel good on Valentine’s Day”.

I keep bitter company, I suppose. Wishing everyone a nice day regardless of how you choose to spend it.

February 12, 2010 12:52 PM  
Blogger TheGloop said...

Hah! I love it. Pat, you really are the coolest man in town. Oh I have this random suggestion for you I thought of the other day. When wise mans fear comes out you should totally go in The Colbert Report to get the colbert bump. If somehow the rothfuss-ites and colbert nation could combine forces it would be like a flashmob of flying puppies. Just a thought

February 12, 2010 1:07 PM  
Blogger Dominic said...

A pint of rye along with some heartfelt screaming does seem like a perfect way to spend Valentines Day. Your wisdom brings much happiness to my heart, and much pain to my liver.

February 12, 2010 1:12 PM  
Blogger tifa said...

You are hilarious! Come to ALTON ,IL and have a beer with my husband and I at Fast Eddies Bonair ,I want him to meet you!

February 12, 2010 1:13 PM  
Anonymous Stace said...

I can't believe you slammed CATS. I don't think I can read your blog anymore.

February 12, 2010 1:18 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I love this article. Especially the "Go-Fuck-A-Priest Day" bit :)

February 12, 2010 1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


February 12, 2010 1:22 PM  
Anonymous K said...

meybe it's not a tumor, just the fact that you verbally beat yourself up. and are funny about it.

February 12, 2010 1:36 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

I do like the beating a nun to death with a bag of kittens Im going to make that a new saying just for you. and I would agree that it has to be the brain tumor because well who would ever want to be with some one who cares for them and doesnt mind showing it? thats crazy just pure insanity.

February 12, 2010 1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frickin' great!

February 12, 2010 2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

funny stuff. i unerringly check out your blog every day (well, ok, not on weekends...) because i really look forward to your special brand of humor. and although i am often disappointed (damn, no new blog today...) i understand that you do not exist to make me happy.

as for vd (unfortunate that those letters always make me think venereal disease rather than valentines day. and no, for those of you who automatically 'went there', i never partook of a vd myself, thank you very much) i'm not into it either. but, i feel like a big, sucky, downer, unappreciative jerk when my husband gets me something and i don't have anything to give to him. (he doesn't like vd either, but all the girls he works with would never let him get by with NOT getting me something... busybodies!)

so, this year i got him a kotobukiya boba fett (version 2) to make up for all the vd's where he received nothing. i hope he likes it...

Happy Venereal Disease!


February 12, 2010 2:13 PM  
Blogger Vinny K said...

Pat, just because of that little piece of awesome, my Valentine's Day is gunna suck a bit less. This right about made my friggin week. I was laughing my ass off the entire time I was reading it. And I hope you don't mind, but I'm definitely going to use some of your material randomly in conversations from now on. In consolation, let me tell you that I'm only using your material because it's so fucking awesome. You're justifying my worshipping of you more and more with each word. May fortune smile upon you.


February 12, 2010 2:31 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

VD = Valentines Day? Or Venereal Disease? Or both? I always make a point to tell my lady friends that I don't celebrate Valentine's Day on February 14th, I celebrate it on a random arbitrary day of my choosing with no advance notice. Perhaps more than once a year.

February 12, 2010 5:16 PM  
Anonymous Theo said...

I really enjoyed reading this.

Based on your blogs & interviews, it would be a pure haven to have dinner with you and you're wonderful girlfriend. We would be laughing constantly throughout the grand hours of darkness....

February 12, 2010 6:05 PM  
Anonymous Vid said...

"Go-Fuck-A-Priest Day"...LOL...good one Pat :D

February 12, 2010 6:52 PM  
Blogger B. L. Garver said...

Yep. Whiskey and cursing for me. And possibly laundry.

February 12, 2010 7:19 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

So you say your sister is hot....

February 12, 2010 8:21 PM  
Anonymous Matt F. said...

Don't even get me started on that Sweetest Day bullshit, either...

February 12, 2010 8:29 PM  
Blogger Ryan said...

Pat, have you ever thought of being a comedy writer? like for television. Just reading some of your stuff cracks me up, to actually see it acted out would be great. When I read "beat a nun with a bag of kittens" I pictured it playing out on a family guy episode lol.

February 12, 2010 9:08 PM  
Blogger Keane | Tehanu | Vir | Y otras personalidades más said...

I'm gonna be original here and say that you are... AWESOME XD

Now, seriously. I love you two together! Sarah must be great <3
I wish you guys the best!!

February 12, 2010 11:37 PM  
Anonymous Ivankarlon said...

I did. Finally!.

Hi Pat, today i finished my own version of the first chapter from "The wise man's fear". Don't worry about it. It's just an exclusive gift for my girlfriend in V-day. I just take the cover and made up a bit of photoshop including on it the sentence "How first chapter should be". I wish she enjoy with it.
I'll tell you! =P

You make us do so weird things...

(By the way, what should i do if my verification word is "Dennar", just have dinner or still dream with Denna??

February 13, 2010 8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At my (all girls) school it seems to be some sort of law that no holiday can go by without an event for charity. However I think that they were rather onto a hiding to nowhere with Valentine's Day. So they settled for a Mufti Day - with the compulsory wearing of red or pink - it was as though everyone had turned their skin inside out - and cake sale with 'romantic' songs in the hall lit by a red light (I believe I was the only person to wince at the alternative interpretation of gathering a large group of girls under a red light with the promise of a sweet food and letting them wear what they like - therby ensuring that they'll dress up).
My parents will have been married 28 years now - they have never to my knowledge celebrated Valentine's Day and in fact they ignore it so completley that I didn't know the date until I was 12

February 13, 2010 10:17 AM  
Blogger maine character said...

You know who'd absolutely love this piece? Anna Jarvis, the woman who started Mother's Day. In fact, she was once arrested for disturbing the peace in trying to stop what it'd become.

From wiki:

By the 1920s, Anna Jarvis had become soured by the commercialization of the holiday... She and her sister Ellsinore spent their family inheritance campaigning against the holiday.

Jarvis became embittered because too many people sent their mothers a printed greeting card. As she said,

"A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to Mother—and then eat most of it yourself. A petty sentiment! You might as well beat a nun to death with a bag of kittens!"

Okay, so I added that last line, but really, she'd love you enough not to send you a Valentine, but would buy a goat for a child instead.

February 13, 2010 10:43 AM  
Blogger Naomi said...

None of you understand the true beauty of valentines day. It's a day of ... wait I got nothin. OH! The candy tastes good!!! Unfortunately I have never had a boyfriend and so do not receive the delicious candy unless I buy it myself when it's clearance price. Oh well. Single at nineteen baby!!

February 13, 2010 12:09 PM  
Blogger Sefarina said...

We chose to have a completely geeky sunday with lots of pizza and all the good films we always say, we should watch more often ^^
I don't need dead Flowers to be happy...

February 13, 2010 2:29 PM  
Blogger SWEETDADDY_73 said...

My friends in Europe don't understand why America is so stupid ga-ga for this holiday.

February 13, 2010 7:41 PM  
Anonymous SonomaLass said...

"The only other explanation is that I treat her with kindness and respect. Or because when I give her a gift she knows it comes from a sincere upwelling of emotion, not because it's National Buy-A-Gift Day (TM). Maybe it's due to the fact that I make a habit of not taking her for granted, and I tell her I appreciate her, rather than buying a card that says it for me once a year."

That, right there. It's the same reason I have been happy for so many years with my wonderful partner. He gets me, and he shows it in ways that Hallmark could not fathom.

You rock! I think you and Sarah are fortunate to have found each other.

February 14, 2010 12:34 AM  
Blogger Vae said...

Pat, that was unbelievably hilarious. Reading stuff like that makes me wish I was at your college, not just to meet you and hang out with the coolest, funniest, and undoubtedly greatest fantasy author ever, but I would get to read more stuff like that every week. that would have been AWESOME. sounds like Sarah is too, and has been for a very long time.

LOL, the whole thing about her becoming a being of light and multiple orgasms had me laughing out loud for a good long while. Thank you for making my V day good Pat.

also, i wish you strength and luck working on all those revisions! every one you make is a step closer to publishing the book!!!

February 14, 2010 12:59 AM  
Anonymous Daniel said...

Another fun bit of trivia that amuses me about V-Day is Warren Ellis' assertion that Valentines Day is a "Christian corruption of a pagan festival involving werewolves, blood and f***ing" in his annual greeting of Happy Horny Werewolf Day. The latest being here:

I've tried to corroborate his claims with a quick google search and have found some articles claiming the same thing, but nothing I can point to as a trusted source. Whether it's true or not, horny werewolf day is a notion I can get behind.

February 14, 2010 1:21 PM  
Blogger mathias said...


Funny stuff there. I find it ironic that even though many people agree about how unnecessary V-day is, you will still get an angry gf, mother, or granny on Feb 14th if you don't comply with the socially established rules, per se.
Although I agree with you that V-day is a sham perpetuated by Corporations world wide, in Japan, where I live, the gals have to give guys chocolate on valentine's day. That can't be too bad can it?

February 14, 2010 8:47 PM  
Blogger KillerKitKat said...

As an English Lit student due to start a Masters in Medieval Literature next September, I would like to defend Chaucer's poetry. Chaucer is sublime and insightful - even if Medieval Lit isn't really your cup of tea I can't see grounds for just dismissing his work as "bad" poetry. But I'm not the bestselling author here, so what do I know.

I would agree with pretty much everything else in the blog, though. Couples already have a special day to celebrate being in love. It's called an anniversary. Anything more than that is obnoxious and unnecessary. But yay, discount candy FTW.

Hope little Oot's doing okay :) big love to you all from Norwich, England.

February 14, 2010 9:07 PM  
Anonymous Josh said...

Pat. Beautiful. Utterly beautiful. Like a heavenly rainbow, your words strike again. Rothfuss is synonymous with grace. But...Star Wars is still better. Bye!

February 14, 2010 9:21 PM  
Blogger Jess said...

I'm too lazy to read all the comments, so just in case no one brought it up yet, Cat Valente actually has some fascinating and awesome things to say about Geoff Day.
And Warren Ellis always has something hilarious to say about Horny Werewolf Day.
Word Verification: Farnid. =p

February 14, 2010 10:51 PM  
Blogger Fernanda said...

You two are such a nice couple, Pat. Sarah seems so sweet,you should never let her treat the tumor.
I'm always laughing when I read your blog, it can't be helped.

Here in my country(Brazil) something like VD is celebrated in June 12th, so until them I can develop my skills to avoid salesmen, just as we do every year. Actually, we do not even have a priest's love story, it's the pure consumism, without any mask.

February 15, 2010 12:00 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

Pat- thanks for putting my feelings about valentines day into your perfect words!

I have to admit that I was getting frustrated by not hearing any words about progress on the book. I didn't understand the revision progress, and you don't talk about it much.

I mention this because there are probably others in this boat and I gained some understanding and patience when I saw the interview with you on Suvudu. If you mentioned it earlier in the blog I may have missed it, if not you may want to refer people to it.

Plus its nice to see what you look like normally. As opposed to the Klingon DMV photo.

February 15, 2010 8:50 PM  
Blogger Vae said...

Hey Mathias - I live in Japan too! and while that is pretty cool, you musnt forget the significance of that tradition here. The girls give the guys nice chocolates on Feb. 14 (the nicer the better) because then exactly one month later, on March 14, the guys give the girls a gift, usually jewelry or something equally nice. so yeah, bit of a tradeoff there. the girls supposedly give nicer and nicer chocolates in proportion to how nice their gifts in march should be. :)

February 16, 2010 1:16 AM  
Blogger mathias said...


Totally!!! Isn't that called White Day or do I have them mixed up? One of the teachers at my school told me about another related holiday that occurs on April 14th. It has something to with the guys who didn't get anything.. Arg! Too many holidays in this country!

February 16, 2010 6:34 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

By far the best part of this awesome blog was the mention of making headway on the book. =D

February 16, 2010 8:33 AM  
Anonymous barentanz said...

Pat, According to Borders ( or maybe B&N? I don't remember which.) TWMF is coming out in August. Of this year. Is this true? I must admit, I have my doubts. But if it's true, then I will be about as happy as it is humanly possible to be.

Let us know!! We want this book!!

PS. I agree with "thegloop". It would be awesome if you got on the report with your new book. Or the Daily Show. Either one would be cool.

PPS. My word verification is "nuffery". That's kinda awesome.

February 16, 2010 10:18 AM  
Blogger dArEm said...

oh i hate cannot write well english ! .. and you don't read spahish. do you? .. well .. i love your book .. it was so adictive for me .. ! .. i wat to rad de next ! .. i'm sorry i cannot understand very well tha english .. :/ .. good luck !

February 16, 2010 3:02 PM  
Blogger Nobbynob said...

Pat, I'm gonna take potshot and say: "It's your eyelashes. You have nice eyelashes."

February 16, 2010 7:57 PM  
Blogger Vae said...

HAHA! yeah, there are tons of holidays, all the time. It's partly to help break up the school year since students go year round unlike in the States. Yes, it is called White Day, but I hadn't heard about the April one. I guess we will see!

Where abouts in Japan are you?

February 17, 2010 1:14 AM  
Blogger mathias said...


I live in ながのけん。How's your 日本語 btw?Anyway, the name of my town is Suzaka. There really isn't much here but it's within 20-40 min of every major ski-jo in Nagano-ken. There are also a ton of really good onsens around here.

Where abouts do you reside?

February 17, 2010 1:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just one correction - I always understood that St. Valentine wasn't in love himself (its not very saintly behaviour) but that he was martyred for disobeying the Roman edict that stated that soldiers could not marry the foreign 'barbarian' women they met while posted in the far-flung reaches of the empire. Valentine, a Christian (that in itself being a crime) priest continued to conduct the marriages despite the prohibition and was killed for his pains. So logically this day should be celebrated by marrying someone inappropriate/in an inappropriate way.

February 17, 2010 6:55 AM  
Anonymous LaurafromNY said...

the question was your feelings on valentines...but you went on about sarah! still, we got to know more about you two in that way.

Yah, valentine's IS just a way to spend more money...and I think the picture really captured what valentine's has turned into, what with the guy worrying about $$ and the girl lighting up at her gift...

bleh...too sleepy to function...

February 17, 2010 11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don’t understand why so many people are complaining about Pat’s fundraiser posts. I really enjoyed the interviews with the fantasy authors, liked the story how Pat got the Creed guitar, was very excited to hear about “The Adventures of The Princess and Mr. Whiffle”, loved the Joss Whedon post, got a lot of recommendations for new books, … So where is the problem?
The posts were as clever, witty and entertaining as always.

In summary, thanks a lot for doing this blog, Pat!


February 18, 2010 7:08 AM  
Blogger Vae said...

Hey Mathias. My Nihongo is daijoubu. (sorry, don't have the japanese for you at the moment.) i can speak less than I understand, but I get by. Ive been in the country just about 1 year now. I live in Ibaraki-ken, in a town called Hitachinaka, right next to Mito. Mito is the capital of Ibaraki. Perhaps one day we will run into eachother, though we probably won't even know it. lol

February 19, 2010 5:15 PM  
Blogger mathias said...

Perhaps we will run into eachother.. Or maybe we already have.. If you ever want to check out Nagano- look me up.

February 21, 2010 5:32 AM  
Anonymous Amy said...

You are absolutely hilarious!
And I'd like to say Bravo! on The Name of the Wind. It's the only book my boyfriend has picked up in years, and he's on his third time reading it. He raves about it all the time.
And I'll say that your blogs provide wonderful comic relief. Thank you!

February 24, 2010 3:23 PM  
Blogger Aud said...

It's probably a tumor. But an understandable one. You're smart, and you're both weird. By contrast, Christopher and I are both smart, but I'm weirder, and he likes VD more. We're talking scavanger hunts, jewelry...and I give him NOTHING. He says it's my special day. I say he's pathetic, and thanks for the diamonds.

February 24, 2010 4:22 PM  

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