We’ve posted this before on the old site, but we hope to make it an annual holiday tradition.
A survey indicates that 78% of Americans are currently in a romantic relationship (and since we saw this on one of those VH-1 pop culture shows where they get all sentimental about Voltron and Shrinky Dinks, it must be accurate). For these people, there is Valentine’s Day, a time to show your loved one just how much you care by buying him or her a tacky gift and a pre-printed card. And while some cynics maintain that the holiday was invented by Fanny Farmer and FTD, we shouldn’t forget the person for whom the day is named, Saint Valentine, the Christian martyr who was shot by gangsters in a garage in Chicago over a shipment of bootleg Whitman’s Samplers.
Don’t get the wrong idea; we approve of Valentine’s Day, if only because a holiday celebrating romance is better than one honoring some of the other popular themes in American society, like random gun violence or daytime TV, thus saving us a trip to Wal*Mart to buy a heart-shaped box of hollow-points for that Special Someone.)
Nevertheless, we don’t think it’s quite fair that couples get Valentine’s Day and Sweetest Day, the third Saturday in October (described as “a day to honor and be kind to one’s sweetheart”). While Sweetest Day has never really caught on with shoppers (despite the urging of florists, who fail to see much Halloween business) it is still listed on most calendars and celebrated by many parochial schools. So, since people who need people are the luckiest people in the world, we think that it’s only right that the 22% of the populace who are not in a relationship get a holiday of their own. Thus, for everyone who won’t be getting flowers, a diamond, or dinner and an amateur strip show this Valentine’s Day, we would like to propose a special day, just for us. We call it Bitterest Day.
Bitterest Day, celebrated on the 15th of February, will be the official anti-romance holiday. It will be a legal holiday, involving time off work with full pay, but only for those who are nobody because nobody loves them. Its motto will be, “I am not appealing to the opposite sex, so I have lots of disposable income to spend on consumer goods.”
Let us now explain some of the customs and traditions of this newest American holiday:
We all know that an integral part of Valentine’s Day is those frilly, mushy, overpriced bits of cardboard which all spouses and sweethearts are required to buy, under penalty of a booty moratorium. Bitterest Day also has its cards, but you don’t send them to that Special Someone. No, you send them to one member of that Special Twosome. Indeed, you choose the cutest, sweetest, ickiest couples you can think of, and “Care enough to send the very worst.” And although you may address the card to Marsha, your intended audiences is John (or vice versa). After all, they do share everything, right?
Here are a couple of sample cards:
Front cover: When you left, you took my heart. But you left behind . . .
Inside: THESE! (Attached is a pair of crotchless panties.)
Front cover: How do you make love last forever?
Inside: I don’t know. But I DO know how to make you pay for it for 18 years. (Attached are authentic-looking paternity test results.)
While lovers get 5-pound boxes of chocolates and expensive candlelit dinners at French restaurants, what do we, the non-adored get? Well, we also get expensive dinners at French restaurants. This is how it works. You call up “Danny,” your ex-boyfriend, and you tell him that you read in Ann Landers that it’s “Reconciliation Day” today, and you want to invite him to sup at Chez l’Imbecile to demonstrate that you’ve “gotten beyond” everything. Mention that you also want to invite Klamidia, the stewardess he dumped you for, since you know she must be a special lady.
When they arrive, tell them that this is a special occasion, and urge them to order the most expensive things on the menu—you do the same. During dinner, offer small talk such as, “I’m so happy to see that the two of you are still together. It’s rare to see somebody forgive the person who gave them . . .oh, but I shouldn’t be talking about periodic discharge at the dinner table!” And, “Danny, I have such special memories of our time together–I think of them whenever I watch the videos. Hey, have you heard about those websites where they pay for amateur bedroom tapes? Kind of intriguing, huh?”
Then, while they are enjoying dessert, get up to “powder your nose.” Keep on walking right out of the restaurant, leaving the check for them. Worried about repercussions? On Bitterest Day, there are none. It’s the law.
Okay, maybe you won’t be getting two dozen red roses, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy nature’s bounty. As a celebrant of Bitterest Day, you’ll get your fill of posies by spending time in a floral shop—whichever floral shop uses the most annoying Valentine’s Day ad this year. (My nominee is the one that cautions “Don’t break her heart this Valentine’s Day—get her the roses she deserves, if you really care.”)
On February 15th, the florist will be exhausted, stressed, and probably suffering from methamphetamine withdrawal. So, use Bitterest Day to choose massively complicated flower arrangements for your upcoming wedding! Surely you’ll need to look at LOTS of design books and at TONS of samples to plan the floral arrangements for the extravaganza your daddy, the Senator, will be giving his little girl. And since you are something of a bubble brain, you will have a hard time remembering just exactly what they call those white blossoms that you’ve always dreamed of for your bouquet. (“Bougainvillea? Tuberoses? No, wait, I think they’re called carnations!”)
After five or six hours, when you have finally gotten everything settled, call your fiancé and tell him the plans. Sputter, stutter, mutter some profanities, and finally yell, “Then the wedding is OFF!” and slam down the phone. Inform the florist that you could never marry a man who didn’t love baby’s breath as much as you do. But feel no need to apologize for wasting the petal monger’s time–for you’ve just helped another curmudgeon learn the true meaning of Bitterest Day! Which brings us to…
Bitterest Day Holiday Specials
Let’s face it; we all lead rushed, harried lives that leave little time for the simple joys of an old-fashioned holiday celebration. That’s where the media comes in, since it often takes a showing of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” or “Frosty the Snowman” before we can begin to feel the Christmas spirit. So it is with Bitterest Day.Of course, in our version of the typical Rankin-Bass animated special, Frosty has nerve-endings, and he screams as he melts. Screams quite a lot, actually, until the children who pranced so gaily around him are left pale and shaken, and his last, whispered words, “I’ll be BACK again, someday…!” haunts the dreams of all who witnessed his hideous demise.
For the adults, meanwhile, there’s that Bitterest Day perennial, “The Bishop’s Wife,” in which an angel is sent to Earth to restore a churchman’s wavering faith, and help him to erect a cathedral. In short order, the angel cuckolds the hapless cleric, then hatches a ghost payrolling scheme with the mobbed-up local union boss to funnel the construction funds to an offshore account, leaving the Bishop behind to face charges of peculation while the angel and the Bishop’s wife enjoy an extradition-free life on Grand Cayman.
So, in conclusion, we urge you to open your heart to Bitterest Day, the one day a year in which it’s okay to be an old maid living with nine cats, or a quiet loner with a large collection of guns and porn. For the most important part of Bitterest Day is feeling good about yourself as a person in your own right, and realizing that you don’t have to be part of a couple in order to be okay. Plus, on Bitterest Day, you don’t have to wear anything that makes you look like a prostitute Care Bear, and can wander around your dusty house in the tattered remains of a wedding dress without enduring any snide references to “Great Expectations.” So get on the phone to Merlin Olson today, and say it with Bitterness.