Barnard College's Monthly Magazine
By Bob & Eli
Before we begin, we would like to make one thing very clear. As a couple of Caucasian, Jewish, private school educated, heterosexual males, we clearly represent the human experi- ence in all of its glorious diversity. So keep that in mind if, at any point, you start to think that other opinions might exist.
When we were asked to address Valentine’s Day from the straight male’s perspective, we couldn’t help but think, “How much will we be paid for this?” Because Valentine’s Day is expensive, and so is our addiction to online poker. But we’re not here to discuss our career aspirations. We’re here to discuss the reign of Saint Valentine. His day is loved by some, loathed by others, and spent “doing it” by the popular kids.
It’s tough to maintain a steady opinion re- garding Valentine’s Day. Some years we’re alone, drinking whole milk out of the carton. Other years we’re tied to a bedpost wondering, “Who are these people?” The latter years are the best.
Unfortunately, the years that we expect to be a part of a goddamn magic show, we end up catching the 9 p.m. showing of Beauty and the Beast 3D and going straight home to our separate twin beds instead. With a holiday as unpredictable as Boost Mobile’s cell phone ser- vice, how can anyone’s expectations be met?
Frankly, Valentine’s Day is like the 2010- 2011 Miami Heat. When you’ve got LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh on your team, and you host a giant welcoming celebra- tion to brag about it, it’s going to be humiliat- ing when you lose in the NBA finals. Similarly, when there’s a whole holiday dedicated to rau- cous lovemaking, the holiday is inevitably go- ing to fall short of expectations… or should we say, sexpectations. Get it? Because of the sex.
Anyway. Therein lies the disappointment.
With months of advertising in storefronts and on television, Valentine’s Day makes us realize that we’re not Hugh Grant, we’re not Robert Redford, and we’re certainly not the suddenly attractive Neville Longbottom. We are clumsy, forgetful, and sometimes burp while whisper- ing sweet nothings in your ear. On Valentine’s Day, we don’t stand a chance. Romance has be- come a Platonic form: it is an ideal that exists in commercials, not in the real world of chapped lips and erectile dysfunction.
Our everyday attempts at passion seem half- hearted in comparison to the affection we are expected to display on the massively signifi- cant day of Valentine. Why should we let one girthy day of the year own spontaneity and romance? Yes, we can cover the bed with rose petals on any random day, but then we look like we’re trying to hide the fact that we acciden- tally lost that thing you gave us from that place you went. So how can we expect an everyday gesture like presenting you with a two-thirds majority of our Batman covers to go anything but unnoticed? Romantic gestures — grand or petite — often don’t feel genuine unless they’re done on Valentine’s Day.
In that sense, Valentine’s Day is like Mondo Burger from the seminal 1997 film Good Burg- er. In the film, the corporate burger joint Mon- do Burger makes the small-time, big-hearted “Good Burger” irrelevant by monopolizing the burger market. Have we learned nothing from Nickelodeon? We can’t let Mondo Burger ob- tain Ed’s secret sauce recipe, and we certainly can’t let Valentine’s Day monopolize the ro- mance market.
We don’t mean to come off as sappy roman- tics. We’re just a couple of guys who happen to be above-average cuddlers. And to us, Valen- tine’s Day just seems insincere. It’s all stuffed into 24 hours, like Jack Bauer’s character de- velopment. Why not redistribute the romantic wealth that Valentine’s Day has hoarded? We’re not saying we’re going to sweep you off of your feet every day of the year. Look at us – we’re in no shape to do that. But aren’t those nights when we order Chinese food and watch two seasons of America’s Best Dance Crew better than the rouge-covered panic attack that is Valentine’s Day? Why can’t it all just happen organically?
We’ll tell you why—because of Mondo Burger and the Miami Heat. Because of gir- thy Saint Valentine and Neville Longbottom. Because as exciting as Valentine’s Day can be (remember when we were tied to a bedpost?), it makes all of the other days look like Rob Schneider in an Adam Sandler movie: over- compensating and forgotten.
Are we saying we should get rid of Valen- tine’s Day? What, and get rid of candy hearts, too? Of course not. We’re not barbarians. We’re just suggesting not taking a non-federal holi- day so seriously. And maybe we shouldn’t be afraid to buy you red roses in July. Or whatever that thing is that you like.