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Here’s wishing you a happy Valentine’s

In the year 269, a minor Roman priest was beaten and beheaded because he would not renounce his Christian beliefs.Nowadays, 1,735 years later, the anniversary of that priest’s brutal death is celebrated as a day of love. His name was Valentine. Go figure.Wish I had a sweetheartIt’s Valentine’s DayDidn’t even get a stinkin’ cardIt’s Valentine’s DayI just have to sayI hate Valentine’
/ Source: msnbc.com

In the year 269, a minor Roman priest was beaten and beheaded because he would not renounce his Christian beliefs.

Nowadays, 1,735 years later, the anniversary of that priest’s brutal death is celebrated as a day of love.

His name was Valentine. Go figure.

Wish I had a sweetheart

It’s Valentine’s Day

Didn’t even get a stinkin’ card

It’s Valentine’s Day

I just have to say

I hate Valentine’s Day

— Jewel, “I Hate Valentine’s Day”

By the numbers

Number of hits on Google for the phrase “I hate Valentine’s Day” on Jan. 13, 2004: 794. Number of hits on Google for the phrase “I hate Valentine’s Day” on Feb. 13, 2004: 1,130.

More Valentine’s Day numbers:

  • The U.S. Census Bureau reports that marriages spike during the month of February. But so do divorces. Happy Valentine’s Day.
  • “A large portion” of the 24 pounds of candy each American eats in a year is consumed in February, the Census Bureau says. Most of that is chocolate. Chocolate is a prime culprit in weight gain, being one of the densest confections of sugar and fat. Obesity contributes to more than 300,000 preventable deaths every year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. Happy Valentine’s Day.
  • The majority of flowers sold on Valentine’s Day are imported, and most of those come from Colombia, the largest exporter of cut flowers to the United States, according to government trade figures from 2003. The Drug Enforcement Administration reports that one of the favorite ways Colombian drug cartels sneak cocaine into the United States is to hide it in pallets of fresh roses. Happy Valentine’s Day.
  • And in shipments of chocolate. Happy Valentine’s Day.
  • The Black Hearts Party — an annual New York gathering of anti-Valentine’s compatriots devoted to fighting “the army of fluffy white teddy bears that advance marching lock step from every convenience store and gas station” and resisting “the rising tide of Monica & Chandler memorial plates and Julia Roberts movies” — has become so popular that it has had to restrict its attendance to 400 invitation-only Cupid haters. “Our eyes have been opened and no amount of Meg Ryan showing us her gums can close them again,” the party’s largely anonymous organizers say on their Web site. Happy Valentine’s Day.

It’s Valentine’s Day

And I didn’t get no chocolate

It’s Valentine’s Day

If I had a heart I’d hock it

It’s Valentine’s Day

All I have to say

I hate Valentine’s Day

— Jewel, “I Hate Valentine’s Day”

The obligatory equal-time section

Not everyone, of course, hates Valentine’s Day. Have we got the woman for you.

Trish McDermott is the vice president of romance — that’s really her title — of Match.com, a Web personals site that claims responsibility for arranging hundreds of thousands of relationships. That means, she says, that she’s in charge of the “somewhat daunting task of overseeing the love lives of the 12 million people” who use the site. (MSNBC is a joint venture of NBC and Microsoft, which uses Match.com to power personal ads on its MSN Web portal.)

This is a good time of year for business, McDermott says.

“In the middle of January, we see a bump [in new memberships] in terms of people who know Valentine’s Day is coming,” she says, adding that “the season starts January the first, and it begins with New Year’s resolutions.”

“The single people have come through the winter holidays once again being single,” she says. “They’ve felt some pressure or prodding from their families and friends about their single status and commonly make resolutions to change that. In fact, the No. 1 resolution that single people that we survey year after year make is to do something about my romantic life next year.

“I think what happens is if you are a living, breathing person in this society, it is impossible to not be exposed to messages about love and romance and happily-ever-after during the period just after New Year’s. To a certain extent, these social trends and media and businesses do our jobs for us.”

Still, she says, “how you meet and fall in love is not important. It’s that you do meet and fall in love.”

Notable Valentine’s Days through the centuries

2003: Dolly the cloned sheep dies. Survivors include four children and her fathers, David Welsh Mountain and a medicine dropper, respectively, and one of her mothers, a test tube.

1990: Perrier Water recalls 160 million bottles of its product after benzene, which causes cancer, bubbles up in some of them.

1989: Iran’s revolutionary leader, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, throws the book at British writer Salman Rushdie, announcing a $1 million bounty for his death after finding his novel “The Satanic Verses” to be blasphemous to Islam.

righttrue

So sue me for seeing a bunch of men who are happy because they can get in some chick’s pants just because he paid 50 bucks for a dozen roses and took her to some restaurant so she could play ‘dress up.’

‘Jen’s Pita’ Weblog

1989: Union Carbide agrees to pay $470 million in a settlement of cases arising out of the leak of 40 tons of methyl isocyanate gas from its plant in Bhopal, India, which killed 2,000 people five years earlier.

1971: Let us be perfectly clear: President Richard Nixon installs his secret taping system in the White House.

1962: President John Kennedy announces a change in policy for U.S. military “advisers” in Vietnam, authorizing them for the first time to fire in self-defense, thereby launching, to all intents and purposes, the Vietnam War, Vietnam War protests, Barry Goldwater, tie-dyed T-shirts, bad trips, Country Joe & the Fish and George McGovern.

1946: ENIAC, the first computer, is switched on at the University of Pennsylvania. Residents of Philadelphia experience electrical brownouts. Thus is born the computer age and, eventually, spam, IRQ/BIOS/RAM alphabeto-gobbledygook, pop-up ads, Clippy the Microsoft Office Paper Clip, online pedophilia and really bad tech support.

1929: Seven members of the Bugs Moran Gang are gunned down at 2122 North Clark St. in Chicago on the orders of Al Capone, in what would be come to be known as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Save us the trouble and insert your own joke about symbolism here.

1899: Congress authorizes states to use voting machines for federal elections, leading, in the end, to the Florida recount, hanging chads and President George W. Bush.

1866: Jesse and Frank James steal $57,000 from a bank in Liberty, Mo., giving birth to the daylight bank robbery and, eventually, John Wayne, Patty Hearst as Tanya and “The Wild, Wild West” (the bad Will Smith version).

1779: Capt. James Cook, the English explorer, is killed by natives of Hawaii. A couple of centuries later, Hawaii is made a state anyway.

1670: Emperor Leopold I expels the Jews from Vienna.

1633: Galileo arrives in Rome for his trial before the Inquisition. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition, but you could see the Roman one coming a mile away.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

It’s Valentine’s Day

And I hope it finds you healthy

It’s Valentine’s Day

I’m glad your stinkin’ girlfriend’s wealthy

It’s Valentine’s Day

I just love to say

I hate ----in’ Valentine’s Day

— Jewel, “I Hate Valentine’s Day”

The author wishes to make it known that he is happily attached and stresses that readers should consider this essay a satiric exercise. Especially Jenny.