Lifestyle

Valentine's Day 2014

(www.slog.thestranger.com)
Lisa Sanchez
Ah, Valentine's Day. A special event marked by angel and heart iconography, planned good deeds, and proclamations of love and adoration. But really, let's get serious. Valentine's Day in its modern form bears more of a resemblance to Halloween for adults. Sure, the costumes may not be as ornate and the intentions of sugar-crazed gallivants may not be as accepted, but the parallels are certainly drawn. Every year it's like a mad dash for the available and the taken alike to secure their reservations at whatever restaurant they can sufficiently ignore their significant other.

A few years ago, admittedly less than I would like to admit, I worked at what shall remain a nameless adult store. However, this store was not of the satin and lace variety that typically caters to women and women who drag along their awkwardly postured husbands. My former workplace had it all, from big to small (take that how you will) with an A to Z, Alpha to Omega collection of DVDs, magazines, toys, lingerie, lubricants, and all the other essentials any savvy consumer needs to put "50 Shades of Grey" to shame.

Now, dear reader, you may be asking yourself the purpose of this lead-in. Either you're intrigued or mildly disgusted at this moment. The ultimate point that is deceivingly easy to overlook is that adult stores double or triple their business during the weeks leading to Valentine's Day. It makes perfect sense, really. Perfect, creepy sense. The worst part about my porn shop was that it was right next to a chocolate store. The biggest Goddamn chocolate factory in the county.

The worst part about the Valentine's madness was the ridiculous products my store would receive in preparation for customers' XXX holidays. We're talking "Couples Therapy" lubricant, "Romantic" adult films (which is just code for no anal), and the coup de gras, vibrators in the shape of roses. Take a moment to consider that. Somehow the adult industry turned a media marketing materialistic holiday and made it an even more banal example of consumerism. It's just the adult version of going to church twice a year. Valentine's Day and Sweetest's Day: the official holy days of porn hubs.

The combination of candy and genital stimulation regularly caused the intersection to back up with cars and led people to come knocking on the store's doors well after we had closed, with customers yelling about how they NEED this, that, or the other indiscriminate, vibrating fleshy-mold. Come on, if you're so desperate to please your partner on Valentine's Day by offering up erotic paraphernalia something tells me you screwed up a long time ago. No one absolutely needs candy, flowers, or the finest sex swing money can buy, people are just conditioned to think these things mean "love", when all they really mean is "DTF?"

Sure, all of these things pass for nice gestures, but it is the dramatic increase in sales around Valentine's Day that is truly disappointing. For a day that celebrates love; the main inspiration for great poets, painters, songwriters, we can't seem to evolve much past the baser instincts of stuffing our loved with food and...assorted other goods.

Perhaps my perspective on the holiday is skewed. Full disclosure, I have been in a dedicated relationship for the last two years filled with all variations of courtship, wooings, squabbles, and endearments. So please, dear reader, do not take this article as the bitter ranting of a love-sick, man-hating, twenty-something cat-lady with an axe to grind. I'm really just sick of the pomp that surrounds this working holiday.

If you want to show someone you care, whether they be a partner, family member, or friend, do something personal for them. It's played out to hear at this point, and buying a personalized rhinestone thong seems so much easier, but seriously you'll like yourself better in the morning. We are bombarded 364 days a year with the idea of courtly love vs. ravenous sexual fascination. So take Valentine's Day as a respite from that. Make it your own day to show you love your partners in your own unique way, none of this played-out unoriginal nonsense. You, my friend, are better than that, and ultimately so is Valentine's Day.