It's no secret that I hate Valentine's Day. If I had to name the worst holiday ever invented, it would be National Everyone Puts Ice Cubes Down Your Pants Day. But Valentine's Day would run a very close second.
The New Year's excitement has worn off, groundhogs are popping out of the ground to predict many more cold gray weeks, and this is the time we need a holiday to make people feel bad for not being in a relationship? Or, alternatively, make people buy lace-encrusted chocolate-filled teddy bears holding flowers in the shape of a heart to prove their relationship is valid? I just want to take a knife to those bears and then say "I'm Beary Sorry."
Any way you slice it, Valentine's Day is a terrible holiday. It also has the worst holiday mascot. Thanksgiving has turkeys, which are delicious and generally appreciated. Christmas has Santa Claus, and I think we can all get behind the concept of a jolly fat man who gives us gifts for no good reason. But Valentine's Day has the most grotesque creature imaginable -- a winged baby with a dangerous weapon.
If there are two things you do not want a baby to have, they are sharp objects and wings. Either one is bad enough, but endowing a baby with both is downright evil. I'm aware that Valentine's Day was a holiday created by the greeting card companies and whatnot, but it's difficult to imagine the ad meeting for choosing that mascot.
"OK, we need something youthful.
"How about a winking young girl?"
"Too Lolita. Give me something less sexual."
"Too safe and boring. Add some sense of mobility and danger."
"Puppy on a barbed-wire leash."
"More mobility. And lose the puppy."
"Baby on a skateboard with a hammer."
"I like the baby! More danger."
"Baby on a skateboard with a pair of scissors."
"Better, but give me more mobility and more danger."
"Baby on a motorcycle with a Taser."
"Go big or go home!"
"Winged baby flying overhead with a bow and arrow!"
So that's the official Valentine's Day mascot. I almost said Valentine's Day Massacre. They sound very similar, and both involve weapons. Although I imagine Valentine's-related depression and fights have caused more damage than the weaponry. You know the saying, "Sticks attached to stones and fired from bows may puncture my organs, but societal pressures and expectations will always hurt me." Or maybe you don't know the saying; Bartlett hasn't returned any of my calls.
My point, insofar as I have one, is that Valentine's Day is a terrible holiday, we should all be glad it's over, and this week is an excellent time to buy discount candy for someone you like -- and I know this may sound crazy -- someone you like but are not trying to romance. It's the perfect time to show your appreciation for people who are making your life better even if there's no interest in making out.
I know some people will accuse me of just fishing for free candy with this suggestion, but I have a two-part rebuttal. Firstly, you don't know if I have any interest in making out with you because you haven't asked. And secondly, even if I were just greedily trying to get free candy, that would be the ultimate expression of holiday spirit.
After all, nothing says Valentine's Day like cupidity.
Seth Brown is an award-winning humor writer, the author of "From God To Verse," and thinks Eros is Eros is Eros. His website is RisingPun.com.