On Valentine's Day

Lori and I do not celebrate Valentine's Day. This is not an act of defiance or counter-cultural stubbornness. Rather, I think it's born of our shared confusion over the Day's existence and purpose. 

Upon reflection, I think it's actually the worst holiday on the U.S. calendar.  Score each scenario with me as either for or against Valentine's Day:

For the mutually in-love, it's redundant. Two people who love each other well have nothing more to say on February 14th than they do on any other day. Of course, if they're like Lori and me, they may have to fight the urge to bask in the glow of their own smug sense of romantic superiority; but that's a small price to pay for the pleasure of being truly, madly in love.  (Valentine's Day: -1)

For the half-in-love couple (one is, one isn't, or both only halfway there), the day seems fraught with internal conflict. Can you imagine anything more loneliness-inducing than a day devoted in every way to underscoring the difference between your feelings for another and the other's feelings for you?  (Valentine's Day: -1)

Then again, maybe the loneliness is even worse for the mutually out-of-love. Picture the tired old married couple who is still together out of habit. And, out of habit, they exchange the customary cards and niceties on this one special day of the year. But it is the height of absurdity to deliver a typical Valentine's note in this context. And it must only accentuate the inherent loneliness of the arrangement.  (Valentine's Day: -1)

For the newly dating, the Day is - of course - an absolute minefield. It is virtually guaranteed to create stress, strain, miscommunication, unnecessary dinner reservations at the wrong kind of restaurant, and wasted flowers, chocolates, or both.  This is the Mariana Trench of sitcoms material, so I won't pretend to have anything new to add, but it does seem self-evidently problematic. (Valentine's Day: -2)

For the unhappily single, the Day presents some obvious frustrations. And, come to think of it, I'm sure a heightened sense of loneliness is visited upon these poor souls too.  (Valentine's Day: -1)

Loneliness seems to be the theme so far.  Is there anyone who doesn't feel either sad, lonely, or smug today?

Perhaps the happily single can take a little joy from a day that creates some challenge or another for virtually everyone else around them.  (OK, score 1 for Valentine's Day here.)

So that's 7 points against, and 1 point for...and even that 1 point is sort of misleading.  I mean, what does it say about a holiday that the only people who really benefit from it do so because they're the least miserable ones all day?

Or maybe I'm looking at this all wrong.