Christmas has its Scrooge, Thanksgiving has every single grumpy and dysfunctional American family (there are a LOT of those by the way), Easter has its questions (is crossing pagan fertility symbols with the resurrection really that great an idea?). Valentine's Day just seems to have terminally depressed single people and frantic couples willing to spend anything to ensure some sort of unique romance. Now, I've already made my loathing of this cynical, vapid, unromantic day clear in my second ever post. And though I was tempted to reiterate that loathing and the fundamental flaw in a holiday dedicated to romance, I felt I'd be repeating myself. Instead I think there needs to be some sort of fictional, mythical anti-Valentine, sort of like Scrooge to Christmas - or the Grinch (from the book, not the movie). Without the supernaturally induced redemption. No, the anti-Valentine must remain cynical and distrustful of such things. If there's a Ghost of Valentine's Past, then it only serves to remind this character of how rubbish all the previous ones were.
Maybe we could use Scrooge himself. Dickens wouldn't care, he's dead. And probably wouldn't care to much for a fake holiday created by the greetings card companies and aided by the restaurant trade. Just because Scrooge likes Christmas now doesn't mean he likes every holiday. He's not buying leeks for half of London on St David's Day. And all that pent up grumpiness he had must be focussed somewhere. Let it be today. Let it be an onslaught on how inherently unromantic this day is. Let it be a heartfelt lesson in what it really means to be romantic (Note: being one of 150 couples in a posh restaurant is not romantic - it's what everyone else is doing). Let him tell Bob Cratchit that he'd be happy to give him a couple of days off to take the misses out to the country for a romantic couple of days, but not on Valentines because the countryside will be covered in like-minded couples and there'll be no privacy. How about a week earlier? Have him throw bits of burning coal at people carrying around scarlet hear-shaped cards. Have him buy the local card shop and use all the cards to light a bonfire to warm the homeless. Have him fall madly in love on the 15th.
I like this idea - it has merit. There should be a contest - who can come up with the best anti-Valentine. It gives naysayers like myself someone to rally around. I've chosen Scrooge - who would you choose? Pol Pot? Abu Hamza? Dick Cheney? The Easter Bunny? John Prescott (could anything be more unromantic)? Answers in comments.
Oh - and to you delusional couples celebrating with a romantic candlelit meal. Happy Valentine's Day. You suck.