Ladies and gentlemen. Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. You were certainly aware of this. If you're single, society has allocated two emotions for the day: glumness and relief. If you're dating, married, or otherwise involved, well, you're allowed more leeway, although flora is recommended by most experts. I'd recommend staying in though: I can't tell you how many Valentine's Days I've been out and have the displeasure of suffering through spiteful significant others going through the motions for $50 a plate. Personally? I'm cooking. Or watching other people cook. Either way: food, booze, merriment. And nobody the next table over threatening divorce because her husband thinks Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is better than Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Which it isn't, so I see her point.
You of course must brace yourself for the inevitable "Valentine's Day is too commercial" rants, bombasts, and Op-Eds. You will hear the phrase "Hallmark Holiday" at least a dozen times. You will hope Maya Angelou's poetry is not involved in this definition of Hallmark. You will be wrong. I am truly sorry about this.
But really: What holiday isn't commercial at this point? Arbor Day? That's about it, honestly, and lately, even the conifers have been getting greedy. And, since Hallmark has a card for everything ("Our condolences on the loss of your keys"), those tirades are pretty pointless. Hell, this is America. Even our blood pressure meds are commercial.
What I'm saying is, those people are missing the point. Valentine's Day isn't about love or complaining about obligatory dating rituals or watching the Vagina Monologues in righteous protest. No. Valentine's Day is about Soft Rock. It's about Chris Deburgh and Enya and "Against All Odds." It's about admitting you love all those songs and it's about listening to them while not in the backseat of your parents minivan or in a dentist's chair when you can't feel your face and subsequently can't tell that you're drooling blood all over your new sweater.
Of course, maybe I'm just making excuses. See, there was an infomercial on a few nights ago (actual line from the host: "I can't believe I'm sitting here next to Air Supply!!!"), reliving Time Life's favorite Soft Rock songs, realizing "Wait, I kind of like that song...shit...that one too. Oh, it's old Elton!" and then feeling a little dirty, a little ashamed, and strangely exuberant. Maybe I'm just saying that Valentine's Day is the soft rockinest day of the year so I can indulge this newfound weakness for DeBarge for 24 hours without all the sidelong glances. Or maybe, just maybe, this was an extremely roundabout way to force you to watch this video, during which someone who I hope never comes close to you at all admits wanting to kiss you all over. Yes, this was the real band. Yes, MTV was once good for something. And yes, I apologize for the ensuing nightmares.