(U-WIRE) BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – I don't know if these columns leave any impression beyond the final sentence. But, if so, you might have noted that every year I write something snarky about Valentine's Day — something bitter, mean-spirited, nowhere near "in the spirit of things" …
Well, I just want to say: Not this year. Nope.
For example, I won't write about how it's a big scheme by florists, candy-makers and jewelers to make single people feel inadequate and bleed people in relationships dry. I mean, if I happened to know that, according to price-indexes for 14 cities calculated by Internet-dating Web site www.Dateable.com, the average date costs about $95 — I wouldn't use it. Nor would I employ a Discover Card survey's findings that Valentine's Day costs women an average of $74 and men pony up, on-balance, about $127.
And it would be downright awful of me to say something about how I'm convinced that not only will you end up paying for dinner this Valentine's, but also that your date will surprise you by ordering lobster thermidor — despite its not being on the menu. Or about how the flowers will turn out to be sprayed with a pesticide that makes you break out in hives. Or how the milk chocolates are mixed with the tears of Colombian villagers forced to make them for the narco-terrorist group FARC as part of a complex money-laundering scheme — the ultimate purpose of which is to buy plague bombs.
That wouldn't do at all.
It would also be unromantic of me to bring up the American Social Health Association's estimate that over 65 million Americans are infected with a viral sexually transmitted disease. Or that ASHA reports that "less than half of adults ages 18 to 44 have ever been tested for an STD other than HIV/AIDS" or its claim that "one in two sexually active persons will contract an STD by age 25." And it would be downright wrong of me to worry that your date is looking a bit green around the gills. I mean — is it just me, or is that nose looking a little droopy? Like it might fall off due to advanced syphilis? No, I'm sure it's nothing.
And you wouldn't want to hear about how half of all marriages end in divorce. Especially since I predict that you and your spouse will be together forever. At least until they meet that pool boy. No, sex and orientation don't matter — I definitely foresee hoses and nets and chlorine. And I'm not talking about the work on the pool. And I won't mention their beach-front villa in Costa Rica. Or that their lawyers leave you eating out of dog food tins.
Finally, it would be wrong to point out that the Romans probably killed St. Valentine in some horribly brutal fashion and that Cupid looks like a pedophile's fever-dream.
No, I'll simply say this:
Have a Happy Valentine's Day.