A Celebration of Bitterness and Spite

Posted: February 7, 2012 by S. Trevor Swenson in Life, Me & Mine
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Fun for everyone!

Fun for everyone!

This is dedicated to my best friend Gow, who manages to put up with me, in spite of everything. (Har!)

I am not a fan of Valentine’s Day, and if you’re expecting some original reason for this…well, you’re going to be disappointed. I actually have a few reasons for hating Valentine’s Day, but none are terribly unique.

1. I’m single, with very few romantic prospects at the moment. (With the possible exception of my incarcerated lady pen pals that I have been corresponding with, and that tree wont bear fruit for at least another 16-24 months with good behavior.) Valentine’s Day serves as a reminder to every single person who is taking part in the dating nightmare that they’re alone. It’s not automatically sunnier when you are romantically involved or dating. It can serve as a reminder if things aren’t going well. Plus it’s easy to get into a fight on Valentine’s Day. Hallmark and various confectionary companies have set some kind of bar that most people can’t agree upon. If you do too much, it’s awkward. If you do too little, you look like an ass.

2. Valentine’s Day is quite literally a bad luck day for me. One year I was fired from a job. Another year I was arrested. On one Valentine’s Day I awoke to a note from my mother saying that she had taken herself to the hospital with blood poisoning, which was quite scary for both of us, not to mention how horrible she must have felt. Three horrid experiences on this joyous “holiday” of love? I’ll stay in bed and hide, thanks.

3. Then, of course, there is the tried and true belief that Valentine’s Day is a bullshit holiday made up by greeting card companies, candy makers and florists to boost business.

Yeah, that about sums it up right there.

Yeah, that about sums it up right there.

What one does to celebrate Valentine’s Day is a bit of a social tightrope. If you buy a card for your partner, then surely someone that they or you both know will go balls out in a Valentine’s Day frenzy and make you look cheap or uncaring. Most of the standard Valentine’s Day gifts are useless, expensive or unhealthy, and often a combination of all three. Stuffed animals, candy, flowers. Sure they’re all nice, but the flowers die, the candy isn’t healthy and the stuffed animal is about as useful as …well… a stuffed animal. Speaking of candy… I hate those “assortments” that include about 50 disgusting mystery chocolates to every one halfway decent one. Let’s cut the crap. Give me a heart shaped box full of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and you can skip the box too.

Getting back to the cards for a moment. Who writes this cornball crap? I get nauseous just reading them. Surely Hallmark or American Greetings can come up with something better. Maybe a checklist type of card, where the sender can check off the things they want to “say” to their love interest. Maybe it’s not terribly romantic, but it’s clear and concise and beats those maudlin poems and messages that Hallmark is obviously paying lonely, unattractive people to write.

Wow. . . just . . . ummm . . yeah.

Wow. . . just . . . ummm . . yeah.

Years ago I was living with my girlfriend we were very much in love. I was making decent money at the time and thought it would be nice to send a dozen long stemmed roses to her at her office. She adored the roses, and that made me feel good. However, later I came to realize that part of the reason she had enjoyed the roses delivered to her at work, was because it gave her a chance to stick it to the girls she worked with, but didn’t care for much. Now that’s fine too. I’m a big fan of any, every and all petty torments to those who make our work life a little harder every day. Hell, if I thought it would piss my least favorite co-workers off, I’d be sending myself roses or Godiva chocolates all the time. I understand and enjoy being occasionally spiteful as much as the next guy, but let’s call it what it is then, and not disguise it as a celebration of love.

So this year I have decided to forgo Valentine’s Day in favor of Petty Spite and Bitterness Day. Instead of sending expressions of affection to those we love, like or are interested in, let’s send them to our friends to make their catty co-workers green with envy. Valentine’s Day was named after St. Valentine who, after extensive research I found, had little to nothing to do with chocolates, roses, love letters, or romantic dinners…then again, what do marshmallow peeps and jellybeans have to do with the execution and re-birth of Tim Tebow’s personal lord and savior? (See what happens when advertisers get their claws on a concept? They warp it completely out of recognition.) Since “Petty Spite and Bitterness Day” doesn’t really roll off the tongue or fit in most calendar slots I shall have to think of a more marketable name for this new holiday.

In the UK, Valentine’s Day is celebrated by sending anonymous cards, flowers or trinkets to whomever one has a secret crush on. That’s kind of cool, although I want to take it a step further and send anonymous messages of paranoia and depression to people I dislike. Mail someone some deodorant, soap or mouthwash anonymously. Spend an evening cutting out words from a magazine and paste together a poem with a ransom note panache.

A year ago I wrote a piece called “Really Bad Valentine’s Day Ideas” and it was probably the best received piece I have ever written and one that I felt really good about. I have had a few more really bad Valentine’s Day ideas that I wanted to add to the list.

Oh, the humanity!

Oh, the humanity!

1. Mail yourself 20 or 30 Valentine’s Day cards. Wait by the mailbox for them to be delivered and the inevitable comment from your postal worker about how popular you are. Smile and agree with them, then go back indoors and cry.

2. Make a reservation for two at a popular and expensive restaurant on Valentine’s Day. (Do this well in advance as many places fill up quickly.) Buy a nice new suit or dress for the occasion and sit pretending to wait for a date. Have a bunch of flowers with you. Glance at your watch often while looking forlorn. Fill up on breadsticks and rest assured that all the happy couples in the restaurant are discussing the poor loser who has been stood up. If you’re a true pro with a vivid imagination who has watched and believed too many romantic comedies…try to get into a conversation with the waiter or waitress, certain that they will have some brilliant insights into your situation, or will hook up with you.

Only thing missing is the shirt, right?

Only thing missing is the shirt, right?

3. Buy a “Free Hugs” t-shirt 5 sizes too small and stand on a busy sidewalk or at the exit of a subway station. Have a video camera set up behind you to catch the reactions of disgusted, annoyed or frightened people you encounter after smiling and extending your arms open wide to them. Then go home, make popcorn, play “Air Supply’s” All Out of Love over and over again while watching the tape of the general public’s rejection of you.

4. Call one of your parents and ask if they will be your Valentine. Go out to dinner and a movie with them and tell everyone who will listen that “My mom is my valentine today!”

5. Buy 6 huge bags of those little candy hearts that taste like saccharine flavored chalk. Go to a wine bar and buy and overpriced bottle of red and consume it quickly. Order another bottle and while sitting at the bar, pour the bags of candy out on to the bar in front of you. Between large gulps of wine, read the little hearts messages aloud, then sob or make sarcastic commentary and throw them over your shoulder one at a time. “Be mine….pfffft” “Real Love…doesn’t exist”….”My Baby….My ass” “Let’s Kiss…Let’s not…” You will be asked to leave after a short time. Promise to stop, and then start again until the police are called or a burly doorman escorts you out.

6. Spend the day watching depressing love stories on DVD. My Left Foot, 1984, Leaving Las Vegas, La Strada.

I don't think that's the look of love in his eyes, do you?

I don't think that's the look of love in his eyes, do you?

Happy Valentines Day Everyone.

  1. I laughed my ass off, this is hysterical. Also, I am pretty sure I got that weird Batman card from some boy at school.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s