The Valentine curmudgeon: Dissing Valentine’s Day since 1979

Image in public domain, courtesy of hercampus.com, St. George News

FEATURE — I suppose it all started around 1978 or so. The girl I was dating asked me where I was going to take her for Valentine’s Day. What was I going to tell her?

“I’m sorry honey. I don’t think this Valentine’s Day holiday is any different than any other day. Don’t I bring you flowers? Take you to dinner? Buy you gifts? Why should I save up all year for one night when we could spread it out over several nights and enjoy it all year?”

Alas, I didn’t say that. Instead, we planned a romantic evening at one of the most exclusive and oldest steak restaurants in Burbank, California – The Smoke House. Great atmosphere (except on Valentine’s Day). Great value (except on Valentine’s Day). Great service (except on Valentine’s Day). Nice quiet romantic restaurant (except on Valentine’s Day).

The place was a zoo. I had called ahead to make reservations a week before to ensure a nice evening. As it was, we sat in the waiting room for over an hour while I heard the constant refrain of the host at the desk saying things like the following:

“Oh, you don’t have a reservation? I’m sorry, sir, but there is a Denny’s restaurant about 1/2 mile to the east. They could probably fit you in.”

We finally got a table. Rushed in by the host, rushed to order by the waitress and rushed out by the maitre d’ when we had barely finished our meal. Romantic evening? Not in the slightest.

You ask why I detest Valentine’s Day?

It’s a made-up holiday that isn’t even a holiday. Supposedly celebrating St. Valentine, a Roman Catholic and Anglican saint who lived in the third century, Valentine is mistakenly referred to as the “saint of love.”

According to legend, Valentinus was a priest of Rome who attempted to convert Romans to Christianity. He was doing pretty good … until he tried to convert the emperor, Claudius Gothicus. Claudius condemned Valentinus to death, and Valentinus was beaten with clubs, stoned and finally beheaded as he refused to renounce his faith on Feb. 14, 269. On the day of his execution he reportedly left a note that was signed “Your Valentine.”

Oh how romantic.

So let’s get this straight. The “saint of love” was beaten, stoned and had his head cut off for his religion. Sounds like a good excuse to take a partner out and spend lots of money on the anniversary of the dude’s death.

Let’s face it. Valentine’s Day is not a “holiday” in the real sense. It’s a day where greeting card manufacturers, florists, jewelers and chocolatiers make bank. And we are sucked into this madness because we are supposed to. It’s ingrained since childhood. Remember passing valentines at school? Brainwashing was rampant back then, wasn’t it?

Average spending on Valentine’s Day has increased dramatically over the last few years. From $108 per person in 2010, last year’s spending was an obscene $147 per person, according to the National Retail Federation. – that’s almost $300 per couple. The NRF added that total spending in 2017 on this made-up holiday was almost $20 billion … with a B. And that rhymes with C, which stands for Curmudgeon.

Lest you think that the lady in my life is not on board with my feelings toward Feb. 14, I asked her for her thoughts. I told her I would publish them with no editing and no changing of her style.

“I get your feelings about the commercialism of the day. I hope you think that every day should be Valentine’s day, that we appreciate each other every day and show it. I do wish to be appreciated in some form for Valentine’s Day, even if it’s a foot rub or something.”

You got it, honey. When it comes to love, I’m not a curmudgeon. Really.

Email: rwayman@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @NewsWayman

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

 

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9 Comments

  • comments February 13, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    This is like something I’d write. The purpose of Valentine’s Day is for women to feed their egos. And for the man it’s a chance to either do it up right or fail miserably, with no in-between, and almost always spending a lot $$$. And if you fail it’s a nice time where your wife will sulk, not speak to you, or just be passive aggressive for a week or so afterwords. When the women get together after the fact and discuss among each other what their respective men did for them on v-day, you’d better have done something she can brag about, or you’re in for a rough time.

    • mctrialsguy February 14, 2018 at 9:25 am

      I finally agree with you on something. But, off to make my reservations if it’s not too late….great article!

  • Mindy February 13, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    I love the chance and excuse to spend a day in the middle of an otherwise uneventful month and say ” I Love you” a million times a day. It can be fun and exciting and does not need to cost a penny. Some of the discussion read has been about Valentines Day being a “made up holiday” (really, who cares?) and then suggesting we shower our significant other with love all year round. Are the people against this holiday really showering their love, with love, all year round or just making excuses not to do anything? It could be that some are just not romantics at heart, and that is okay. For me, I love the holiday and feel we need more excuses in the world to say “I LOVE YOU” to our spouse, our children, and all those around us. Happy Valentines Day, even to the curmudgeons out there!

    • comments February 13, 2018 at 6:22 pm

      My point proven. V-day is a holiday for women only. For us guys it’s just extra work.

  • utahdiablo February 13, 2018 at 8:26 pm

    Kind of like remembering the “reason for the season” of Easter…..chocolate Bunnys and pastel baskets….WWJD?

  • ladybugavenger February 14, 2018 at 6:31 am

    I’ll be at work today, you can send my flowers and chocolates to ladybugavenger ❤

    • ladybugavenger February 14, 2018 at 6:33 am

      I’d appreciate your participation so I can brag to everyone lol

      • mctrialsguy February 14, 2018 at 9:24 am

        U velly funnee ladee!!

    • Striker4 February 14, 2018 at 10:08 am

      Please forward these flowers and chocolates to Ladybugavenger c/o St George news

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