More D-Day than V-Day

Ah, friends and foes: it’s that time of the year again.

A time for the kind of emotion that is not only heavily advertised but used to evoke other emotions: jealousy, depression, and literal insanity. Ah, love, advertised year-round. First, there are the black-and-white online dating service commercials, with people smiling, riding bikes, riding horses, and playing hockey. These beautiful images seem to serve as visual metaphors for what you could be doing with the significant other that you don’t have. There are inspirational television shows like Real Chance of Love and A Double Shot at Love, which demonstrate the true meaning of love: fierce competition with some other weaved-up trailer trash woman (or man, really) vying for the heart of your desired lover.

So why do we need a singular day in the year, in one of the coldest months in Pittsburgh, to utter those three words to that special someone-of-the-moment? Because Hallmark can make money from it. And the business of making money is sometimes scheming and underhanded — much like the love we so eagerly celebrate. All of this culminates on one day: Feb. 14.
As children, Valentine’s Day was the time you’d have to go to CVS with your mother to get some of those paper Lisa Frank Valentines with some candy hearts inside of them to give to your classmates somewhere between multiplication tables and lunch. Let’s return to those simpler times. When you’re a kid, you think nothing of how your paper Valentine that you made especially for Benny applies to the larger scheme of the money-making machine.

And then age becomes you and you notice that all of your money is going toward expressing your emotions through unoriginal bouquets of roses and stale chocolates to someone you’re trying to get or someone who you have decided on until someone better comes along. The florist, greeting card companies, Trojan — they all benefit from this holiday.

But it seems in context that all of this goes to waste. Why have a singular day in the year for just shallow gifts and hugs and kisses? What’s so different between Valentine’s Day and all the other days in the year? Yet even though people love each other every day, it is still very rare to find people who buy their significant other flowers or candies or bacon cheeseburgers for “no reason.”
So we know that it’s a possibility that Valentine’s Day is kind of forced on people, and people go along with it because, come on — who doesn’t enjoy getting free gifts because someone else feels obliged to give you that very gift? It’s free, isn’t it?

But for some of us, V-Day smells more like a day of death and doom: D-Day. The dark and twisty set either regard Feb. 14 as a day of complete irrelevance and unnecessary behaviors, ignoring the Hallmark-inspired love surrounding them, or they consider this a day worth loathing.

Ah, sweet bitterness — completely appropriate for the topic. It seems that the best way to show that loathing (for the 21+ set, mind you) is to drink up. Or if you’re underage, get some ideas from what The Tartan staff has to say in The Tartan Q&A.