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.

Jessie

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.

pat

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