Amazing but true confessions from a Valentine-a-phobic

Valentine's Day is this Saturday. I hate Valentine's Day. Is it because I don't have a date for Saturday or is it because I have yet to find my true love? Mostly it's because it's one more day the stores have stretched into an entire month-long celebration of giant stuffed bears, lacy boxes of chocolate and potpourri.

I have a suggestion for Eckerd's and Walgreen's: Ease up on the dried flowers and perfumed fig bark. I'm still smelling the pine and dried cranberries from Christmas. Forget anthrax, I have a feeling Saddam Hussein's been stockpiling canisters of rose petals.

What exactly do giant stuffed bears have to do with St. Valentine? I seem to remember reading that the Roman festival called the Lupercalia began the tradition of a holiday devoted to lovers. It was then turned into a day commemorating St. Valentine after the conversion. Nowhere do I remember reading of how Marc Antony wooed Cleopatra by presenting her with a giant stuffed animal. I have yet to see a hieroglyph depicting such an occurrence.

Why should I be forced to buy a heart-shaped box of chocolates? What happens to the thirty dollars once the candy's eaten? It turns into a face-full of zits?

Enough with the potpourri, stuffed animals, chocolates and Celine Dion love songs. My love token of choice is the ever-popular Valentine's card. I'm not talking about any fancy tri-fold Hallmark card either. I'm talking about the "Super-friends" variety pack.

You can't go wrong with witty sentiments such as "You're SUPER," "I'm BATTY over you," "It's no WONDER I dig you," or "News FLASH! I think you're cool." What a perfectly non-committal way to say you really, really like someone. My personal favorite has always been the card with Wonder Woman, what with her lasso and all.

Does everybody remember how, back in elementary school, the teacher would give the class a few minutes to put these little cards on each others' desks? When the swapping was over you'd look at who gave what, throwing out the one that said, "Be mine," because it came from another guy.

You'd count to see how many you'd gotten and whoever got the fewest would be taunted and "wedgied." Then he'd be forced to go up in front of the class so the teacher could lecture the class and instruct them to make the kid a Valentine's card because he hadn't got any.

The kids would then call him a teacher's pet and ostracize him for the rest of the school year. Then he'd walk home alone, cursing the idiot who came up with Valentine's Day, promising himself to get back at all those brats.

Remember? Oh come on, it couldn't have been just me. Could it?

Uhmm ... anyway, Valentine's Day is ... you know what? It's a good holiday. Love the one you're with and ... oh geez.

No, it's all right, I'm okay. Let me just go drown my sorrows and, er ... have a cold one. Or six.

Who's cutting onions?

De La Garza, a junior political science major, is listening to the Titanic soundtrack at edelagar@bayou.uh.edu.

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