By Rachel Sauer
Look, I have no problem with Valentine’s Day.
Hallmark is welcome to make up all the holidays it wants, I say, and The Hershey Co. can invent as many unnecessary reasons as possible to sell me heart-shaped and preferably peanut butter-filled chocolate.
Heck, I’ll even watch whatever The History Channel wants to show me about St. Valentine — who may or may not have existed and may or may not have cured either a judge’s or a jailer’s little daughter of blindness — and the pagan festival of Lupercalia (which, yikes; they say festival, I say hygiene crisis).
So, I’m not one of these “I hate Valentine’s Day” types who swan around in widow’s weeds on Feb. 14 and deliver impassioned, unasked-for screeds about our corporate overlords forcing mindless consumerism and love is for every day, not just one arbitrary day and the oppressed greenhouse workers growing roses in Ecuador’s Cayambe Valley.
I don’t want to spoil anyone’s joy in the day and besides, my better screeds are Labor Day-specific.
No, if I have any problem with Valentine’s Day, it’s that the sentiments expressed on cards and mylar balloons and the hearts being clutched by a menagerie of teddy bears are never quite right.
I’m not saying I need the stark realism of an Elliott Smith song, just something that’s a little more on-the-mark — a little less of the gauzy pastels generally associated with tampon boxes and a little more of the love I’m likely to feel.
Plus, I’ve long thought my destiny lies in writing greeting cards, so that destiny starts today! Herewith are a few samples for the sort of Valentine’s Day I’d be likely to have:
Card 1 front: Roses are red, daisies are white,
Let’s stay home and loll on the couch tonight.
Card 1 inside: Seriously, please don’t make me leave this house. All our best stuff is here and I’ll make cookies! For you! Please.
Card 2 front: Sometimes I watch you sleep…
Card 2 inside: … but good grief, that’s boring and creepy. You’re adorable, but it’s weird. So, I get up and take a melatonin.
Card 3 front: You have cilantro in your teeth.
Card 3 inside: I’m telling you in a card because we’re in public and I don’t want you to feel embarrassed. I would have texted, but that’s so impersonal.
Card 4 front: Luv!
Card 4 inside: Is not how that word is spelled. You know that, and I look forward to your next TED Talk: Family Room about the tragic and mindless death of grammar and how it bespeaks a larger social degeneracy.
Card 5 front: I’m not going to lie.
Card 5 inside: I got these flowers at Maverik on the way home. I know you’re not going to have an existential crisis about it or react like this is some dopey rom-com in which I’m the villain, but I wanted to be honest. Also, I took your car to get the oil changed.
Card 6 front: You’re so sweet and tender…
Card 6 inside: … I’m pretty sure the cats would eat you first if we died at the same time because we did something stupid like forget to change the batteries in the carbon monoxide detector.
Card 7 front: Have you ever done a Google image search for “Valentine’s Day cards”?
Card 7 inside: Holy cow, it’s a wasteland out there. SO bizarre. And apparently we’ve devolved from double entendre to single entendre? Or possibly no entendre at all? Ick. Also, all these pop culture references that make me feel 1,000 years old and deeply uncool and like I’m trying too hard, plus get really depressed about the lives of factory workers in China, because really? We need to print some of-the-minute meme? That’s worth the paper and ink and shipping? And then I guess I’m supposed to make a card, but you know how dismal my success rate is with stuff like that. If you need me, I’ll be lying down and watching YouTube videos of pygmy goats wearing pajamas.
Card 8 front: Happy Valentine’s Day!
Card 8 inside: Let’s get a pizza and just sit next to each other, OK?
Rachel Sauer is at email@example.com and wishes you a more on-the-mark Valentine’s Day.