Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Change Of Heart On Valentine's

Notwithstanding the risk of being perceived as a Valentine Scrooge, I boldly announced my view on Valentine's Day on Facebook this morning by posting it on my status:

"Rye doesn't understand all the hype on Valentine's.
Love should be spread and celebrated everyday.
And we should be having passionate sex everyday too."

I am not a hater. I just don't understand the need to celebrate it the way we do today. Of course, some people may argue that Valentine's is a religious celebration, to commemorate St. Valentine. Ok, religious rites are not to be questioned. But do we even know which of the these St. Valentines this day is to be attributed to? According to my research (yes, I did research before I complained. I'm not a plain wanker.), the Catholic church recognizes at least 3 saints whose names are either Valentine or Valentinus. And, even if we know exactly which of them this celebration is for, why do we celebrate? Because he was a martyr? Well, aren't all saints martyrs? Why isn't any of them deserving of the same hullabaloo that we create, year after year, for one of them saints known as Valentine?

One look at the world around us on VDay and there's no denying that it is the genius behind the commercialization of this worldwide event that we are honoring. Her name was Esther Howland of Massachussets and she was the first to mass produce Valentine's cards sometime after 1847. A marketing phenomenon, her legacy lives on more than a century after her death.

So you get my drift. That's how I perceived Valentine's. Perceived. Past tense. I had a change of heart coming home from work today.

I am currently suffering from a bad cold and dry cough. My sinusitis is at its peak today and when I was in class today, I unintentionally yelled when 2 of my students couldn't do a simple pas de bouree en tournant in time with the music. The rest of the class, they were all quiet and pushing their bodies hard.

I had a chat with one of the students on the way to the train station and she said that my sudden outburst scared the shit out of them. And I saw that. I had never seen any of them concentrate that way in class before this afternoon. Then I remembered my favorite high school teacher, Mr. Aguila, in one of his pep talks in class. He said that if one screams and projects anger everyday and earns the reputation of being a "terror", he will succeed in intimidating people in the beginning. But people will get used to it and his antics will eventually lose impact.

That was the perfect rebuttal to my Facebook status. Valentine's, like Christmas, cannot be celebrated everyday, because it will diminish the impact by which it hits us. It will seize to be something we look forward to year after year. Flowers and chocolates will be meaningless when we receive them everyday. Passionate sex, when done everyday may be fun in the first few months but human nature will make us want for something that we don't have: the absence of sex. And can you imagine if we have to go to fancy dinner every single day? Too much money!

So I am changing my opinion on Valentine's. But I still refuse to spend my money on anything in the name of Valentine's

Happy Valentine's everyone! I hope it's not too late.