What could be wrong with a celebration of love?–regardless of whether that government-sanctioned day is, as Liz Lemon noted, “a sham created by card companies to reinforce and exploit gender stereotypes.” Nothing, one supposes–at least on the surface. The surface of which is made those who retch at the sight of couples in restaurants that have been overcrowded on February 14th to feel like they’re overreacting for such retching. But are they, when it’s one of the most blatant visual manifestations of phony baloneyness?
Why can’t “men” feel inclined to express this level of a bathetic display every day of the week, if he’s so goddamned in love, huh? Why is the effusiveness treated as obligatory rather than of his own bona fide volition (as opposed to engaging in the V-Day charade solely for the benefit of cajoling his significant other into doing something “different” in bed, because straight people need an excuse to do such things). In short, Valentine’s Day speaks to all the ways in which passion can never be sustained in the way we’re taught to believe it can by essentially every piece of pop culture (and, for some of us, even our parents have managed to outfox the goading average statistic of divorce).
This is precisely why a “man” walking down the street with flowers in hand on Valentine’s Day or taking “his girl” out to a restaurant is the very symbol of the perpetuated lie we’ve all bought into for so long. The myth of the happy couple that, more often than not, can feel just as miserable as someone “doomed to wander the planet alone like the Incredible Hulk.” Because they’ve told themselves that to believe in the lie is to avoid the shame of being seen alone in public on occasions like Valentine’s Day, Christmas Day and essentially every other day of the year that is tailored for single-shaming. So if you’re a couple who, like many an “unattached” person that chooses to stay sequestered on February 14th, maybe there is a shred more genuineness to your relationship than those parading it around like self-righteous little assholes.