Happy Friday the 13th everyone! It’s Valentine’s Day: that time of year when we celebrate romance by locking ourselves and our loved ones in darkened rooms in our pajamas to watch horrifyingly disfigured serial killers prey on innocent couples locked in darkened rooms wearing pajamas. Isn’t that considered romantic? Watching gory horror movies with your sweetie? I guess it is sort of appropriate given the bloody history of Valentine’s Day. No one remembers that when it comes to this Hallmark holiday, which, if you’ve been following me, you know I think is the worst excuse for a holiday ever. (Halloween—now there’s a holiday worth celebrating.)
My feelings about Valentine’s Day are perfectly summed up in The Simpsons episode titled “Trash of the Titans.” Executives at Costington’s department store want to manufacture a holiday between Valentine’s Day and the “summer slump” to make more money. Their instructions to their lackeys were to come up with something like “love day” but not so lame. They went with Love Day. It was an instant commercial success. Homer wanted the stuffed bear Lord Huggington but Marge got him the off-brand bear Sir Love-A-Lot. He was disappointed. Also, Lisa’s cynical activism about how Love Day was just for boosting sales made Homer angrily say “Don’t you ruin another Love Day, Lisa!” The rest of the episode is Homer running for Sanitation Commissioner because the town begins overflowing with post-Love Day garbage. This episode gave me the line I quote most often in my classroom when students whine about work: “Can’t someone else do it?”
So, yes, Valentine’s Day is a farce and watching horror movies is perhaps the most appropriate way to celebrate it. Especially if you, like me, are already dating Netflix. I recommend a movie on the campy side of gory like Evil Dead 2 or Re-Animator. If you’re feeling especially romantic, check out the train wreck that is Troll 2. It has the most spectacular romance scene ever put to celluloid. A teen-ager and an ageless witch (in disguise of course) get to some sexy times in a mobile home while eating corn on the cob that (I guess because of the heat they generate and/or the witch magic?) begins to pop and fill the entire mobile home with popped corn. Don’t try to understand it. Just enjoy the ride. I myself had a spiritual experience watching this film. I laughed so hard I stopped making noise and was simply frozen with glee. I definitely recommend this means of celebrating what is otherwise a useless holiday.
In summation, Love Day is a made-up holiday, quoting The Simpsons is often how I express my feelings, and we should all celebrate the holiday in a way appropriate to its bloody origins—horror movies.