One thing that Valentine's Day has remarkably made possible is that it reduced my Thursday night yoga class from ten to one student. Admittedly, I like a one-student class, it's a real workshop, lets me get downright technical and all into alignment and such, but I miss the class of ten. Just wait til next week!
Valentine's Day has never really up and spoken to me as a holiday; my power holidays have always been Thanksgiving/Christmas, which is cool, because my other power "holiday" or simply day, is my birthday, which is in the first week of May.
I'm not going to do some cynical deconstruction of Valentine's Day or anything like that; you can read that elsewhere and sure, it's all about a Roman-era martyr and it's an ugly story, but that doesn't have much to do with the selection of ONE day a year for romance and sentiment and (let's be honest about it) capitalism. Same way that Christmas is about the "spirit of the season" and you can almost hear the CHA-CHING!! in the background. Yeah, I'm not here to be cynical about it.
My history with Valentine's Day is this: I started relating late, the same way that I start everything late. Nietzsche once said that late youth promoted long youth. So for me, Valentine's Day for a long, long time was like someone else's promise, and it was much more about alienation and loneliness than it was about, you know, Valentining and all of that. And that remained its main flavor until 1995, when by utter and total coincidence a "honeymoon period" in my life just HAPPENED to coincide with it. 1995 remains the one Valentine's Day that in any fashion resembled the stereotype (stereotype, you say? What stereotype? Oh come on, search that dusty little capitalist unconscious, YOU'LL FIND ONE IN THERE).
And so sure, I poured invective on that holiday for a few years, and yes, insert long story here. Now, it doesn't matter; it's like one of many traditions that don't matter. Like Easter: for me, that's just another day of the month. What's extra cool about this is that for my partner, it ALSO does not matter. She finds it a bit silly to celebrate one's relationship SPECIFICALLY ON ONE DAY; why not more, or any, or all? While our histories and logics regarding Valentine's Day are quite different, they arrive at the same point, and so some months ago, she asked me if it was "ok" if she went to Colorado for a ski weekend (mid-semester!) which would take her out of town for Valentine's Day; without a second thought, I said, "hell yeah, sure, ski and be happy during the Spring semester, you go!" and there wasn't even a mention of Valentine's Day.
I like relating to traditions, to cycles, to holidays, to western culture, this way. I nod at the announced tradition, see its contradictions, and go on my way.
Actually, I'm currently watching the Monkees (yes, THOSE Monkees) in the Jack Nicholson/Bob Rafaelson production HEAD. So far it's psychedelic and crazed and hilarious. Imagine the Monkees and some football player guy on the war front, and then passing through a wall of fire, onto the stage. Suddenly it's Beatlemania and bubblegum songs and whip pans and arbitrary zooms. Hurrah!
Happy Valentine's Day, everyone.