February 17, 2005

Valentine Daze

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Just how different can one connotatively abundant holiday work out for three different people? From the perfect night that resulted from spontaneity to the sad evening caused by being absent minded, it turns out that Feb. 14 can, in fact, escape the normal guidelines set by convention.

We don’t buy the melodramatic extremes often associated with Valentine’s Day and consider stereotypical fates such as “the gushy romantic evening of the long-term couple” or “the lonesome night of solo chocolate eating” with a doubtful eye. We are tired of cheap marketing ploys, shallow attempts to appeal to the romantically attached or the bitter singletons with demographic specific paraphernalia, dominating Valentine’s Day. Isn’t it time for a dose of reality, instead of a boring, single-themed day? Thus, we bring you Valentine’s Day done different, or at least with slight unconventionality.

One Last Chance

Having spent my previous 20 Valentine’s Days either in a state of insurmountable grief over the tragedy of human loneliness or blissful, youthful ignorance, I attempted to take my 21st Valentine’s Day in stride. At the very least, I needed a non-depressing February 14th to close my college career on. Freshman year was tainted by a residence hall dance that I planned which not one single person attended. Sophomore year found myself going to bed by 8 PM to simply forget about the day. Finally, last year, while studying abroad and on a solitary three day trip to Ireland (a trip I explicitly planned to help forget about Valentine’s Day), I happened to walk in on a couple having sex in my hostel room. It was grand.

So, with the previous three years in mind, I figured that, for my final Valentine’s Day as an undergraduate, things could only be looking up. With ample gumption, I first bought one of those kindergarten-esque Pooh Bear Valentine card packs and hand delivered cards to my female friends. Then I found myself a dinner date. We had met at a party a couple weeks prior and I asked her to be my Valentine via post (fellow unassertive boys take note: Her response was, “How adorable!”). Although I barely knew the girl, I decided to go the whole nine-yards for the evening: card, rose and suit. My companion and I dined at Pangea, before retiring to my house for dessert with amusing conversation provided by my roommates. It was friendly, unassuming, and made for a very pleasant Valentine’s evening.

But the real Valentine’s story belongs to my roommate, who 19 minutes before the end of the day decided to run up to North Campus to deliver my own date’s graciously donated rose to a girl he had only recently became interested in. They ended up kissing exactly at the stroke of midnight. And as long as stories like that exist, I will forever be a hopeless romantic. — Matthew Nagowski

True Romance

Not having classes on Monday is a beautiful thing. Not having to leave my apartment and deal with human contact on Valentine’s Day is even better. So what did I do during my day off on the greatest of all fake holidays? I parked my ass on the couch and wallowed, like a pig in his own filth, in watching other people’s misery on reality TV.

Dr. Phil’s Ask Dr. Phil About Sex special was a less than eye-opening experience to start the day. To give you an idea, just think of WE’s late-night Sex Talk show except toned down for Puritan America, though, I didn’t expect much from a douche bag with a hack psych degree and the mentality of a Charlie Brown V-Day special.

The primetime lineup kicked off with FOX’s Trading Spouses and NBC’s Couples Fear Factor. Nothing exemplifies love more than swapping wives and downing glasses of blended frog. Afterwards, ABC’s The Bachelorette made love look like a cattle auction, while Supernanny made me wish our species were capable of eating our young. Cupid’s saving grace came in the form of Strange Love on VH1. If Public Enemy’s Flavor Flav can find love, maybe there’s hope for the rest of us schmucks.

On the other hand, I could have spent all evening watching the opening night of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, but if I wanted to watch three hours of well-groomed and pampered bitches prance around, I would have taken in a drink and show at Dino’s. But just as quickly as the Valentine’s Day festivities “came” and went, chances are that come Tuesday, we’ll be seeing an inordinate number of Cialis and Levitra commercials on TV. Better yet, here’s an idea for a new reality medical drama that can be filmed right here at Cornell, Gannett Clinic: The Morning After. –Edward “Chong” Kim

Just Forget It

Celebrating Valentine’s Day really isn’t all that hard. Those conspicuous red and white aisles constantly remind you of it and girls really aren’t all that choosy about their gifts. You can get away with so much, even with a hearty meal of KFC and beer in pretty pink bowls and cups, as long as it seems like it was planned IN ADVANCE and not the DAY OF. So there really isn’t any excuse for forgetting about Valentine’s Day, unless you are a complete blockhead, which, sadly, means my boyfriend is one, since he managed to forget.

I find it so hard to believe how he committed this egregious blunder. How is it that he manages to remember so many of our one-month, one-week, 24-hour anniversaries, but he manages to overlook the glaringly obvious! Is it fair that I did everything right by buying him an exquisite cake and classy blush wine, while he hurriedly hands me some flowers that he undoubtedly bought at the drugstore that very day?

I consider myself low-maintenance and not shallow, but I was bitterly disappointed. Poor boyfriend tried to call every restaurant in town, but to no avail — they were all booked. Eventually, I had to snap out of the delusion that this was all a farce and he really had some fabulous trick up his sleeve, and we had to order Chinese take-out. In regular white boxes, mind you, and not in pink ones with hearts.

In hindsight, the Chinese food was really filling, and it was a lot more fun than being uptight in a formal restaurant atmosphere. But you can bet that I’ll raise all hell if he forgets about it next year. — Sherry H. Jun

Archived article by Sun Staff