Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Ah yes. It's Valentine's Day. How ever could I forget?

Perhaps through the magic of repression? That I should be so lucky. As you probably know, today is St. Valentine's Day. Saint Valentine, of course, was a Christian who was beaten severely, and then beheaded, for the crime of marrying soldiers. No, he didn't actually marry the soldiers himself, he performed the ceremonies. Seriously, you people need help.

Beyond merely honoring a guy who was really into matrimony, Saint Valentine's Day is probably the relic of an early Roman festival of eroticism (Gosh but I love the fact that I have a link like that on my blog) that was co-opted by the eternally-greedy Catholic Church. It has, in turn, been coopted in the modern world by our own greedy powers-that-be. And so the circle of life continues.

For myself, this has never been my favorite holiday. For one thing, I was born on this day. Yeah, I'm a Valentine's baby- as you can clearly tell by my sunny disposition and romantic prowess. It may seem kinda cool to be born on a holiday, and in one sense it is, but let's face it: being a male who was born on a day that prominently features pink is unlikely to bring you much joy. My childhood often involved people that would try to combine the two events- a celebration of my birth and a celebration of all things pink- in some sort of creative fashion. I have news for you: most people really aren't all that creative.

It doesn't help that, as holidays go, the food on this one sucks. I mean, seriously, Thanksgiving? Rocking food. Christmas? Cookies up the wazoo. New Year's? More chips, dip, and salsa than you can shake a stick at. And if you drink? Fuck yeah, you're all set. Valentine's Day? Well, in all likelihood, you're going to end up with a box of these goddamned things. My parents send me one every year, despite the fact that I hate them, and that they know that I hate them. That's just the sort of family I come from. Once more: a big surprise, I'm sure.

The biggest thing about Valentine's Day, however, is that it's probably one of the most exclusionary holidays we celebrate. The only way to really feel "in" this one is if you have a stable, positive relationship with someone of your sexual preference. On the other hand, if you're in a troubled relationship, a dysfunctional relationship, not dating anyone seriously, or celibate as a priest monk nun gelding, this day really just serves to remind you of the fact that your life could be better... and really should be, according to the brochures. Even if you are in a healthy relationship (elusive, nearly-mythical though they may be) this day may well just put pressure on you to somehow show your appreciation to your patner in a suitably romantic way. This has never been my strong-suit, as you might guess, but then I can't recall ever having the opportunity to spend February 14th with a significant other, so I probably don't have a basis for judgment. For those who are interested, this is not to say that I've never had a significant other at this time of year, but only that circumstances have always intervened to prevent my taking advantage of such a happy coincidence. Particularly that one year when she broke up with me on the 14th. That coulda been better.

I know I'm not the only person who feels this way either. I once knew a man from Nantucket in Washington D.C. who held an anti-Valentine's Day party. As I recall, the climax was the disemboweling of a stuffed Valentine-themed teddy bear. Then again, this man eventually started stalking one of my friends, so perhaps I shouldn't regard him as supporting evidence.

All that said, I do offer my best wishes to those who are celebrating this day with someone they love. What makes life worth living isn't the job we do, or the awards we win, or the things we own, but the people that we share all those things with. As I commented to a friend recently, "Sociology is great, but it won't keep you warm at night." I could go further and add that it's good to love what you do, but what you do can't love you back. So, if this day is stressful for many, and depressing for still more, it's worth remembering the true meaning- well, the true meaning once you get away from the Roman eroticism, the Catholic saint-stuff, and the assinine cardboard hearts. This day is about appreciating the people in our lives who we love, and who love us. They are what makes life worth living, and without them we would be nothing.*

Don't forget to tell the people you care for that you love them. This is a day to remind us all of that simple necessity.

As for me, I would spend the evening drinking heavily, except that I don't drink. I would spend the evening getting stoned, except that I don't do that either. So perhaps I'll just have to find something else addictive and pointless with which to occupy my time.

Well, I suppose I haven't spent quite enough time blogging for one day...

* This is, of course, not to say that we should gloss over the deficiencies in dysfunctional relationships. Sometimes the people we "love" are quite capable of ruining our lives. So, hey, if you're in such a relationship, don't consider my "without love you're nothing" point to be an excuse to persist in self-flagellation.


Special thanks to the freaks over at Something Awful for their fine collection of twisted Valentine's Day cards. It wouldn't have been the same post without ya.

And before you go thinking that I'll just be blogging alone tonight, I should mention that I'm scheduled to have dinner with a friend. Of course, this friend is a guy, so it may create the illusion of homosexuality (not that there's anything wrong with homosexuality, it's just- ah, fuck it) but that's just the price you pay for having a birthday on this bloody holiday.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

From one VD hater to another ... happy birthday, Drek.

Monday, February 14, 2005 9:01:00 AM  
Blogger Brayden said...

This post was a nice/strange mix of sweet sentimentality and Drekish cynicism. What more can we ask for on Valentine's Day?

Monday, February 14, 2005 9:54:00 AM  
Blogger Drek said...

You know, I appreciate the sentiment, Anonymous, but is there anyone out there who isn't a VD hater? If so, I don't want to meet them!

Monday, February 14, 2005 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger Belle Reve said...

Happy Birthday, Drek!
As a Jewess born December 25, let me know when you want to compare notes.

Monday, February 14, 2005 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Happy B-Day Drek.

My partner hates this day too. For the past 3 years all greeting cards have been boycotted in our house. But he knows better than to completely forget - so specifically not on V-Day I'll get a thoughtful note that includes some protest of commercialism. Always funny.

Monday, February 14, 2005 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Happy b-day, amigo! Here's a non-pink* e-gift for you.

* You're really hung up on this gender/sexuality thing, aren't you? Frankly, I think it's holding you back.

Monday, February 14, 2005 1:10:00 PM  
Blogger Hazel said...

Happy Birthday, Drek!

Monday, February 14, 2005 2:46:00 PM  
Blogger procfreak said...

happy birthday!

Monday, February 14, 2005 6:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neither do I, but someone apparently liked it enough to devote an entire holiday to attempting to catch it...

Monday, February 14, 2005 8:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. You have just made me smile for the first time today. Today being the 15th, post-nice-sort-of-valentine's-without-too-much-pressure-or-pink. A bloody awful day when those stray illnesses finally descend on you and you feel all those things you used to blame Valentine's day for. I would take your rather sweet advice and get in touch with the people I love, only I just harassed them/him so much yesterday. Bugger.

Happy birthday from that other side of it.
The planet I mean.
Seriously - hope you had fun.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005 5:03:00 AM  
Blogger tina said...

Happy happy birthday, Drek.

When I am King, everyone gets candy on
Valentines day, which will be renamed the Day of Drek.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005 6:31:00 AM  

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