Feb 092003
Authors: Ryan Owens

Editor’s note: Ryan Owens has been known to offend some people in the past with his diatribes on sexual matters. Reader discretion is advised.

National Bitter Single People’s Day, a cherished national holiday, is celebrated by millions of Americans annually. What better way to celebrate your “fierce independence” than rubbing your own bitterness in the faces of happily coupled people everywhere?

The weeklong precursor to Valentine’s Day (“V.D.”), NBSPD encompasses a variety of fun-filled events such as:

* adding habanero pepper juice to the bottle of personal lubricant of your ex who cheated on you;

* posting naked pictures of your ex who dumped you and broke your heart on the Internet;

* writing anonymous letters to all your exes asking them if they’ve been experiencing any painful urination lately;

* sending dead, wilted flower to your ex with their old cards and love letters attached.

Okay, so National Bitter Single People’s Day doesn’t actually exist. But hey, it seems like a good idea to me.

So why is it exactly that we celebrate a “romantic” holiday filled with such a paganistic, misunderstood history?

Few people understand that Valentine’s Day was an effort by the Catholic Church to end an 800-year-old pagan practice of young men’s rite of passage to the god Lupercus.

Young men were assigned the name of a female companion with whom they would spend the next year, for their entertainment and pleasure (presumably sexual).

At the close of the year, another “lottery” was held, and the young men assigned new companions.

Best said by Charles Panati, the origin of Valentine’s Day is “the Catholic Church’s attempt to paper over a popular pagan fertility rite with the clubbing death and decapitation of one of its own martyrs…”

But why do I really hate Valentine’s Day, you ask? There are a lot of reasons. Let’s begin.

First off, I’ve been dumped not once, not twice, but three times on “V.D.”

Is there not enough cruelty in the dating pool already, that people could not make their fateful decision one day to the past or future of the wretched holiday?

Moving on, another reason I hate Valentine’s Day is the over-commercialization of everything in this country.

With the exception of Christmas, more Americans send cards on Valentine’s Day than any other date.

Perhaps I’m a dying breed, but I believe that when you love someone, you should express that love – all year round, and especially at times when your beau least expects it. That little extra effort to show your feelings can truly make his or her day.

However, the reason I truly dislike Valentine’s Day is the historical manipulation of the holiday, not to mention people, by the Catholic Church.

If you’re one of the millions of people who observed Sin/ad O’Connor tearing up the picture of the Pope on Saturday Night Live, perhaps you were shocked and offended – even if you weren’t Catholic.

However, having been raised Catholic and managing to flee from the insanity promptly after leaving home, I thought it was one of the most daring, admirable things an artist has ever done.

O’Connor’s career suffered immensely from her stunt, and has essentially never recovered. But in my mind, such an act of bravery against one of the most oppressive organizations in the world makes her a star, no matter what.

Ryan Owens is the pseudonym of the author, who is a junior Technical Communication major.

The author welcomes questions and comments from anyone not intending to waste his time debating religion to:


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