Bent Words

Bent Words

February 11, 2006

For many, Valentine's Day is referred to as the "Hallmark Holiday." It is a day celebrated by couples and Kindergartners and is marked by the forced exchange of pink and red cards, heart-shaped, chalk like candies and outrageously overpriced roses. It is a day when a High School girl's head hangs low if her name is not called by the office to pick up a bountiful bouquet of flowers. It is a day which is revered by some but it is also a day that is rejected by many.

For me, Valentine's Day is a day when my father not only remembers my mother, but me as well. When I was young, he would come home after work on this coveted day of love and set my mother's eyes aglow with a fresh sea of scented flowers, a rich looking box of luxurious chocolates and a perfectly picked bit of poetry. At the moment her tears of joy would subside, my father would then turn to me with the widest of grins and take out from behind his back the most charming box of chocolates which were meant only for me. A card would follow. My name written carefully upon the pink envelope and, inside of the card, his signature mark of a hand drawn heart with an arrow shooting through. "Love, dad."

Add to that a single rose from my mother's bouquet and you can see how Valentine's Day stacks up pretty well against the other holidays recognized in our society.

Take April Fool's Day, for example. Now here is a day that was theoretically taken over in the 16th century by dignitaries (namely, Charles IX) who decided that The New Year should be changed from April 1st to January 1st. Thus the reformed Gregorian calendar (as Charlie was apparently lacking for more serious occupation in between massacres). Since the great majority of the population was slightly ill-equipped with reliable means of mass communication, those who did not catch wind about the change of dates were berated for having been so damned ignorant. That's right up there with the discovery that your car has been removed from the High School parking lot after class on April Fool's Day and finding it relocated to the not so nearby football field. It's just not nice.

How about Ground Hog's Day? We rely upon a skittish little rodent to inform us as to whether or not we'll have an extended winter or enjoy an early spring. Whose logical idea was that?

Less supported holidays have crept carefully into our lives like weeds in an untended garden. We begin to panic when we think that we've missed one of the millions of ridiculous holidays now forced down our gullets. What will your obnoxious boss think of you on October 16th when you're the only bastard in the building who did not buy him a card filled with your under paid, over worked sincere expressions of gratitude? How much longer will your mother-in-law graciously accept the grandkids if you've forgotten send her flowers for the fourth Sunday of every October? On National Good Neighbor Day, did the next door ninnies not find your gift of three dead geese, once thought to be anonymously shifted from your lawn to theirs, as generous as a kind greeting card?

You can pick your own poison but the rationale behind St. Valentine's Day, which is, by the way, to have another great reason to tell those cherished souls in your life that you love them, makes more sense to me than attempting to be nice to everyone on Sweetest Day.

Or at least that's my opinion...

Written at 11:42 p.m.