February 14, 2008
Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column grateful that Valentine’s Day is over for another year.It’s not that we completely hate the holiday. There are aspects of it we’re OK with. Red, for instance, is our favorite color. We’re also extremely fond of chocolate – especially the dark kind with gooey centers. And we have some pleasant memories from elementary school of those tiny heart-shaped candies with cryptic sayings on them. What exactly does “Pitch Woo” mean, anyway?All this lovey-dovey business, though, seems pretty ridiculous to us. We wonder how much of what passes for “love” on Valentine’s Day would be considered pathology by most therapists. Greeting card expressions commonly associated with the day include sentiments worthy of an insane stalker, like “Be Mine,” “You Complete Me,” etc.Sometimes it seems to us that the purpose of Valentine’s Day is simply to divide up the world between people who consider themselves “in love,” and those who don’t. And the toughest part of the whole day for the latter group is pretending to be happy for those who get bouquets of roses and boxes of chocolates delivered to their desks at work.It’s not that we’re jealous – really, we’re not. Usually we’re quite happy not to be involved in the kind of co-dependent relationship that would require us to come up with the perfect romantic gift, “or else.” We honestly do like to sleep in our clothes when we want to and leave dirty dishes in the sink. On Valentine’s Day, though, society conspires to make us feel like we’re missing out on something. It’s hard to come up with a polite response when an insensitive acquaintance asks, “Did you get a valentine?”We heard one friend answer this dopey query with a poignant question of his own: “Do you mean in this decade?”Valentine’s Day always makes us feel a bit like Charlie Brown. When all the other kids are getting piles of candy at Halloween, Charlie Brown looks in his trick-or-treat bag after every house and says, “I got a rock.” He says it so many times in a row that it stops being sad and starts being funny.This valentine business works sort of the same way, we think. At first, it seems sad to be alone on Valentine’s Day. And then it starts to seem funny. Really funny.***It’s Friday, folks, and we’re out laughing ourselves silly. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.