Glenn Eichler developed and served as executive producer for the MTV series "Daria."
As told to Glenn Eichler...
I always just assumed that when the inevitable happened and The Huffington Post finally begged me to write for them, I'd take a cue from my fellow celebrities and blog about an international humanitarian issue dear to my heart. Golf Clubs for Orphans, that sort of thing. And yet here I am being asked to write about Valentine's Day, I suppose because they thought my somewhat low tolerance for sentimentality would make it amusing. You know, like having a bond trader write about basic human decency. And it's true that sappiness leaves me cold. I remember being invited to a birthday party as a child, watching a video of the movie E.T., and being the only five-year-old in the room who booed when the bug-eyed little freak's heart started back up. Come to think of it, that's the only birthday party I remember being invited to as a child.
But Valentine's Day is by no means my least favorite holiday. For instance, just five weeks ago on January 6th, we had the Christian feast day of Epiphany. I can't stand Epiphany, because the whole day I feel like I should be having one. Yet when it's all over and the sun goes down, my sister makes no more sense than she did when it came up. Some mysteries are too big for epiphanies, and Rosetta Stone doesn't make a Gibberish edition.
At least Epiphany is a real holiday, though, and not one of those phony ones Hallmark came up with to sell cards, like Administrative Professionals Day or Friendship Day or Clergy Appreciation Day or my mother's birthday. Hey, Hallmark, I've got an idea for a new card-sending occasion: "National Hallmark Comes Up With A Card Whose Insipidness Doesn't Make You Retch Day." We can celebrate it every year on the 33rd of Nevruary.
As a kid, by the way, my favorite holiday was May Day. Not because of the crocuses peeping their heads up or any of that crap, but because I would wake before dawn, tiptoe down the hall to my parents' bedroom, throw the door open so it banged against the wall and yell, "MAYDAY! MAYDAY!" Then I'd consult my watch to see how many seconds it took my father to realize the bed hadn't been hit by a German torpedo and it was okay to crawl out from under it. Man, that never got old. Unlike my father, who for some reason seems to be aging prematurely.
Anyway, my point is that I don't have anything against Valentine's Day. In fact, I think it's kind of cute. If couples want to surprise each other with flowers and chocolates and dinners and jewelry and pharmaceutical-grade ecstasy, accompanied by heart-shaped cards reading "I love you more than life itself and [your transgression here] will never happen again," more power to them. Some say the day just forces us into a spiral of anxiety; unable to articulate our feelings, we try to compensate with cards and gifts and uncomfortable new positions that, honestly, don't show either one of you in your best light. I say it can't hurt for Americans to be reminded once a year of their basic lack of eloquence. Then maybe they'll shut up when they're sitting behind me at the movies.
Besides, Valentine's Day always precedes one of my absolute favorite holidays, February 15th, "National Half-Off Every Piece of Red-Foil-Wrapped Sugary Crap in CVS Day," the day I really get out there and do my bit for America's economy. (And before you fire off your angry tweetmails, I'm well aware that February 15th is also Susan B. Anthony Day, when schoolkids learn about women's suffrage, except in Texas where they learn about America's proud heritage of uncirculated dollar coins).
And I myself am not utterly without romance. I am seeing someone right now -- I'd rather not give any details, except to say proudly that he does not wear a house-arrest anklet -- and he and I are planning a traditional holiday celebration. Tonight we're going door to door in Santa hats, caroling "Good King Wenceslas" at the top of our lungs.
That ought to liven up a few candlelit dinners.
A NOTE FROM HUFFPOST VALENTINE'S DAY EDITORS LINDSAY AND TODD, WHO BROKE UP THIS MORNING: We're not letting today's personal issues affect the quality content we bring you every Valentine's Day! Still, if you want to know exactly how Lindsay messed up, we are keeping a liveblog.