— Just when we thought we could finally put the anxieties (and expenses) of the holiday season behind us, Valentine’s Day arrives to bring out our inner Scrooges. From the pressure to spend money and be “romantic” to feeling self-conscious about our less-than-perfect relationships, it’s going to take a visit from the Ghosts of Past, Present and Future to shake us from our cynicism and teach us the real meaning of Valentine’s Day.
Just as the ghost of Jacob Marley was weighed down with locks and chains, so too is the spirit of Valentine’s Day Past heavily burdened — with a belly full of steak and a head spinning with champagne. Forget sex: This ghost just wants to go to bed.
But in our tour of the past come distant memories of romance and infatuation: a time when we couldn’t keep our hands off of each other, when we were actually “in love” and not just routinely saying “I love you” — when we didn’t need February 14th as an excuse to get some nooky. Once upon a time every day was Valentine’s Day. If only we could really go back there.
This brings us to the Ghost of Valentine’s Day Present. With less than a week until V-Day, the pressure’s mounting: to call the sitter and make a reservation; to figure out a gift that’s not going to break the bank; to do something “special.” The ghost of Valentine’s Day Present is harried and anxious, and in need of a Valium.
But if Old Scrooge is capable of a change of heart, surely so are we — what’s the real point of Valentine’s Day anyway?
Which brings us to the ghost of Valentine’s Day Future, a hooded, creepy figure that’s pointing a long finger at a single decrepit tombstone: your sex life, long dead and buried. R.I.P.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s still time to change the future and send those ghosts packing. It’s not too late to embrace the spirit (and not the specter) of Valentine’s Day.