Feb 14, 2009
Valentine's Day protest
Merely a therapeutic exchange of bacteria and germs? According to a group of wild European scientists, kissing is a very healthy activity, much like going to the gym. I love to kiss, whatever the health consequences. A good kisser is a gem, and finding one that can live up to my osculation standards is not an easy task.
It must be true, what the doctors say. Kissing does make you fly. Making out lifts your mood and reduces cholesterol, your ticker pounds with excitement while cutting down the risk of heart attack. Trading saliva causes the migration of a gazillion bacteria that stimulate the immune system. And it works like natural plastic surgery: 25 facial organs are employed in a passionate French bisou. This of course if you’re not in Zambia, where kissing is forbidden! The reason lies somewhere between soul-stealing and magic.
A recent survey announced that the majority of kissers (64.5%) bend their head to the right when engaging in an ardent smooch, an automatic reflex developed in early neonatal age. The kiss is ageless and pure.
This long preamble is my convoluted way of protesting. I stand by the rights of lovers but I will not celebrate Valentine's Day. I will not honor the Saint of consumerism. I’m not game for the global scale marketing trick to sell flowers, cards and chocolates. Today, February 14th, metric tons of lingerie will be sold to stupefied customers worldwide. G-strings, brasiers, lace bustiers, thongs, culottes and whatnots will generate an enormous flow of cash and giant display of cellulite.
Computer viruses will peak today, be sure to save a back-up of all important files before the cynical hacker of the day infesting cyberspace lures you into opening chain letters and promises of instantly delivered love and sex.
Hectars of characters will be punched by cell phone keypads all over the world to send instant messages. Pennies and more will be spent on sms epistolaries filled with enough acronyms to nauseate a bureaucrat. The common Italian Valentine’s Day sms lingo revolves around the quintessential TVB for "Ti Voglio Bene," TAT: "Ti Amo Tanto," or TVUMDB to say the complex "Ti Voglio Un Mondo Di Bene," which obsucrely translates to I love you in the the quantity of the world.
In Italy 15 million red roses will be purchased, plus 5 million among orchids, African daisies, tulips, violets, etc. The money payed for this monumental gesture flirts with numbers close to 70 million euro. In this horrid moment of economic crisis, at least florists will be smiling. Transporting the flowers sold on this festive occasion all over Italy will cause the release of more than 4 tons of CO2, another reason why I will not celebrate.
There are two stories that account for Old Val's election to patron saint of lovers. One ancient legend narrates that the nosy bishop overheard two lovers quarreling and interrupted the brawl bestowing a red rose. Another less consumeristic version holds that the martyred Valentine became patron saint of lovers because he dared to celebrate the marriage of a Christian woman to a pagan Roman legionary.
I for one will celebrate *tomorrow*. San Faustino is the saint honored on Single's Day: The Revenge. And although Faustino’s sappy mission is to find for each girl the perfect boyfriend, I will celebrate Feb.15th as my day as I have been doing for the past years. I will gift myself with a potted plant, perhaps an olive tree or a lemon tree and watch it grow and produce goods of my own. I will enjoy a candle-lit dinner with not one but four or more male friends, with whom there has been and never will be any “history.” I’ll paint a wall a new different color and rearrange the furniture in my bedroom to let in some positive Chi. I will buy only books and music, read poetry and elevate my soul with fair trade chocolate and copious amounts of bold red wine. I will reduce my carbon footprint by riding my bicycle and eating locally farmed goods.
On this festive non-Day I will not be considered a zitella, a spinster. I'll be the rotund, fun-loving and sexy single mom I love to be.