Valentine's Day is Like Passing the Football. Three Things Can Happen and Two are Bad by Wal Ozello

Maybe it’s just me, but I think Valentine’s Day sucks for just about everybody. It doesn’t promote love. It promotes disappointment.

Ohio State Football Coach Woody Hayes used to say, “There are three things that can happen when you pass, two of them are bad.” Valentine’s Day is a lot like passing the football. You hope that the receiver is going to catch your well placed perfect pass and you’re going to end up scoring. Chances are you’re going to fumble during the snap.

There’s too much pressure on this holiday - for everyone.

Let’s say you’re single. Your week starts and ends in disappointment. You’ll have to field questions of “What are you doing on Valentine’s Day?”, listen to others talk about what they’re doing on Valentine’s Day, watch your friends get flowers and then actually experience the day/evening alone – thinking everybody else is happier than you. Well I got news for you, us “in a relationship” people are just as miserable.

The “Let’s Make This Night Special” couples are totally screwed. Totally. The guy goes crazy trying to secure reservations to the most expensive restaurant in town, trying to coordinate flower delivery, buy chocolates/jewelry/presents, and then check his plan with his buddies to make sure he’s got all bases covered. The girl goes through at least twelve different clothing outfits to make sure she’s going to look her best, including the bra and panties just in case something happens.  I knew a girl that had 18 different bras to make her boobs look 18 different ways. That’s an immense amount of pressure. There are so many variables to this evening that chances are expectations won’t be met and the evening will end in disaster.

Which brings us to the next group, “Let’s Do Nothing.” This group are big fat liars. Because the week starts off with truces and pacts that they won’t buy anything for the other person but one (or both) will be breaking their agreement. We hear what all our friends and coworkers are doing, the guilt sets in, and we think we need to do something as well to express our love to each other. “Let’s Do Nothing” slowly turns into, “Well, let’s at least go out to dinner at our favorite restaurant,” or “Don’t get me anything but flowers would be nice,” or “I know we promised no gifts but I got you this card.”  Before you know it one person is set back $150 and disappointed that they didn’t get anything in return. Worse yet the other person feels guilty a day or two later because they didn’t do anything. BOOM. V-Day creates angst, guilt, and pain instead of love.

But there’s one other final group – those that are so blissfully in love that “we don’t need Valentine’s Day” to show their love. Seriously, these people exist. A couple friend of mine posted on facebook that they sincerely don’t need a special holiday to express their love – they do it every day. Now I know some of you just threw up in your mouth a little bit when you read that, but I think about this for a moment.

Wouldn’t that be awesome? To have a warm loving feeling all year long instead of one night of perfect explosive passion that may never come to fruition?

Maybe love should be more like a solid Rushing Game – trying to get just a few yards every play to get to the next first down. Then after a series of great first downs you get a touchdown (or at least a field goal). For you single folks, that’s a smile to someone at the bar or a friendly conversation with someone while you’re in the line at the grocery store. All those things can build up and lead to something else. For us “in a relationship” that’s a peck on the cheek, holding hands, or a simple “I love you.” No pressure. Just a little romance.

So let’s cancel Valentine’s Day next year. Or at least turn it into a “wine” version of St. Patrick’s Day. Who’s with me?

Wal Ozello is the author of Assignment 1989: The Time Travel Wars and is the lead singer of the Columbus hairband Armada. He's a resident of Upper Arlington, Ohio and a frequent customer at Colin's Coffee. He hopes his wife didn't read this blog entry.