Valentine's Day

"Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra, which suddenly flips
over, pinning you underneath. At night. . . the ice weasels come."

As you might guess, Valentine's Day (alternatively, "Single's Awareness Day") is a very special day at New Mexico Tech. In fact, it is celebrated with the exact same festivity as the other 364.25 days of the year--by playing World of Warcraft and Halo 2.

The day after, of course, is "Forgiveness Day." Even more popular around here than Valentine's day, Forgiveness Day is the day when those who miraculously managed to get a level 23 wizard in World of Warcraft on Valentine's Day suddenly discover that their imaginary +7 Vorpal Blades cannot be used to parry the wrath of a real-life angry girlfriend. (Imaginary weapons do, however, work on imaginary girlfriends, provided that the imaginary girlfriends in question do not themselves have imaginary +7 Vorpal Blades.)

Legend has it that Valentine's Day originated when St. Valentine--who was set to be executed the next day by an angry mob of unmatched singles for coming up with the idea--gave a love note to his jailer's daughter reading "From your Valentine." Now, if I were going to be executed and in the position of sending a letter to my jailer's daughter, I would probably have written something more like "Please get me the key to my cell" or "Please get me a nail file" or "Please, for pity's sake, do not commemorate my death by handing out stale candy hearts." However, you must remember that in the early times of epistolary writings it was much more important for a letter to inform a recipient who it was from, as opposed to conveying any substantive content. (Especially in dire circumstances such as pending execution.)

During the middle ages, the notion of 'romantic love' was developed, and eventually came to be assosciated with the holiday. Of course, these were the same Middle Ages during which the principle function of the society's social elite was to go galavanting off in portable Easy-Bake ovens to fight giant firebreathing lizards by swinging small pieces of metal at them, so I'm not entirely sure about their credibility as far as sane social constructs go. Who knows, perhaps valentines originated as a more friendly and economical way of placating the resident dragons?
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Please don't burn my village,
This fair damsel's for you!

Most likely, it was quickly discovered that angry fair damsels are exceedingly more dangerous on Valentine's Day than angry fire breathing lizards, and the dragons, now forgotten about, became severely depressed and died off. (Unfortunately, dragons did not have Halo 2 to fall back on.)

Today, the National Greeting Card Assosciation estimates that approximately one billion valentines cards are sent each year, of which 85% are purchased by women. Seeing as I have yet to receive a single valentine's day card, I can only take this to mean that the U.S. Postal Service loses roughly 850,000,000 valentines day cards every year. It was much better in elementary school when these cards were hand delivered. Of course, this was back when girls had cooties, so you had to take extra care to make sure that you did not accidentally give them a card that said something mushy. Which ended up being rather awkward, because then you would have to give all your mushy cards to guys. What's worse, sometimes, depending on how sadistic your mother was, you might still not have enough non-mushy cards. Fortunately, both of these issues could easily be remedied by appending comments such as "you stink" and "i stole your crayons." The net result would be cards with such charmingly romantic sayings as "I like you a lot stupid face." Needless to say, this made the girls cry, and sometimes made the guys cry, both to such an extent as could only be remedied by copious amounts of candy.

Truly, nothing could better prepare our children for the future.

( P.S. Standby for poetry later tonight. )