For couples, Valentine’s Day is a cheesy holiday where people hand each other tasteless chocolate hearts wrapped in red tin foil, and then dine at restaurants well above what they can afford before retiring back to the ranch for some candelight romance.
For singles, like myself, it’s something… different, though not necessarily in a depressing way like Christmas is for people who don’t really have family or friends on their continent. Being single on Valentine’s Day is actually nothing to complain about, as I’ve learned over the years of occasionally not having anyone to chaperon about (I think my batting average for this specific holiday is around .4). Actually, it’s quite great.
First off would be the freedom of not having to conform to some ridiculous standard or norm set down rather arbitrarily by our society, which I guess is what most holidays are. I’ve never really been the biggest fan of celebrating something just for the sake of doing so because everyone else is. Hoping on the generic holiday bandwagon with all the other sheeple doesn’t say or do too much about the human spirit or indepence or character or what have you. Yes, I’m one of those people who doesn’t like to arbitrary celebreate the Christmas “holidays”, and I’ve been called a Grinch for it more than once (funny how a green-skinned Doctor Seuss Character has become superimposed with a Christian-Pagan holiday about nativity and the solstice). I suppose not wanted to celebrate Valentine’s Day makes me a… Stoic? I’ve definitely been called worse.
Secondly, who actually knows anything about Saint Valentine (or rather, any of the saints named Valentine)? Did any of these ancient martyrs named Valentine have anything to do with cinnamon candy hearts? Probably not. Did any of them have little wings or shoot arrows into lover’s hearts? No, that would be Cupid, that old Greco-Roman troublemaker.
What it all boils down to is Valentine’s Day is just another mish-mash of a holiday that the Western world seems to enjoy doing (look at Christmas, St-Patrick’s Day, Halloween, etc). Considering how ridiculous the holiday is, I figured it wouldn’t hurt if I did something equally absurd to celebrate a day that has no meaning other than what we give it.
This year for Saint Valentine’s Day I decided it was high time that I trim myself a fancy new beard. Those who know me, know that I’ve been sporting a handsome chin strap goatee for quite some time now, but in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, as interpreted by yours, it had to go. Replacing it now is a moustache-chin-scruff combo not unlike the combo that Johnny Depp usually sports (and should have sported in Don Juan)
I’ll admit, I had some doubts about embarking on a journey towards new-beard-island, but the end result is actually quite impressive. It’s not entirely faithful to the one that Johnny’s Hollywood stylists graft onto his face in most of his movies, but it’s close enough that in the battered remains of my facial hair I can at least say I’ve decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day in my own way. No one can really say that it goesn’t against the spirit of things because it’s not as if holidays have some sort of rule book to follow or a strict set of traditions that we all need to follow. I’m pretty sure we just make them up as we go along.