Rebranding Valentine’s Day As February F*cking 14th

Has this pitch been covered?

Photo by me, has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day. Now you’re gettin’ it.

I fixed Valentine’s Day. No thanks required, for heaven’s sake don’t send chocolate, your sighs of relief are all the gratitude I need. It’s January, which means editors internet-wide are in search of new takes on the old, stained sectional sofa that is Valentine’s Day. Rather than try to put an additional layer of lipstick on a lemur, re-spinning the same takes/countertakes/takes on countertakes that make for reasonably rebloggable headlines, I’ve decided we should explore a complete rebrand of the day itself.

Everyone hates Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t matter who you are, who you’re sleeping with, or how long you’ve had their keys. We assume it’s single people who hate the holiday, since by premise alone we’re kind of just standing in the corner. We’re not in love, so we’re assumed to be skipping romantic things like accepting last-minute grocery store flowers wrapped in cellophane or dining in a restaurant with a watery attempt at theme where the waitstaff opine on which couples still have sex. With each other.

But it’s not just single people. Yes, we’d like to throw it on the fire, but Valentine’s Day doesn’t necessarily delight couples, either. Have you ever asked someone in a couple what they’re doing on Valentine’s Day? Did they ever not roll their eyes? It’s a day of implied pressure and expectation, and we’ve all very recently had enough of that with New Year’s Eve, thank you. No one actually likes Valentine’s Day, for years it seems we’ve all just been getting through it, rather than getting into it. One wonders why we need bother at all.

I’m sure at one point, the calendar slot marked February 14th read simply that, with no annotation for Valentine’s Day. I’m spinning this rebrand as a totally fresh take, but I suppose one could argue it’s the ultimate throwback. Remember, back in the days of the Visigoths? When there was no Valentine’s Day? Let’s give that a go.

We’ll treat this like a marketing plan, getting back to the core values of the day. What are we really dealing with here, and how does it add value to the consumer? What is February 14th? A cycle around the sun? The 45th day of the year? Cloudy with a light snow?

February 14th, as I see it, is now simply a calendar date, plain, simple, and void of any mention of Valentine’s Day. Another midwinter Thursday where we’ll have our coffee and refill our metro cards and wait in a really long line for salad at lunch. It will pass as any other day would, you’ll come home, Netflix something, and shop on your phone while you Netflix something.

We’ve been beholden to a holiday long enough. Valentine’s Day is not a human relative you’ll disappoint if you don’t do something “romantic” for your partner. It’s just a formerly religious, currently commercial excuse for Target to fill its seasonal aisle with candy instead of plastic storage bins and that spray you use to clean tires.

What do the youths call it these days? Cancelling? Yes, that. Erase every mention, every pre-fixe menu, every box of shitty candy that pales in comparison to the Easter offerings we have to look forward to. Let it all go in favor of a crisp, clean slate, just plain old perfect February 14th. Wipe it out, start from scratch, and call it a day.

NPR once called me a humor essayist, let’s go with that. Host of A Single Serving Podcast. shanisilver[at]gmail

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