Valentine’s and Halloween share many things in common. They are both co-opted pagan festivals, they both involve some amount of “treats,” and they both have become commercial successes in terms of consumer dollars spent.
They share another quality too. They both involve a certain amount of “pretending.” At Halloween, guys get to pretend they are really cool things, like pirates, monsters, or superheroes. On Valentine’s, we get to pretend we’re romantic.
Personally, I think modern society has improved upon the pagan Halloween festival. The parties are better, the treats sweeter, and the women sexier…and there’s even something in it for the kids. Valentine’s Day…well, not so much. What was once basically a drunken orgy celebrating fertility is now all sweet words, expensive flowers, and the need for a dinner reservation.
Look, I’m a writer and by nature that makes me a romantic. But, I’m also a guy…a married guy…with five grown children…and by nature, that makes me a little bitter over the whole Romantic Requirements of February 14th.
Which brings us to Episode 3 of the Writers After Dark Series: Valentine’s v. Halloween, in which, S.K. Anthony and I discuss the pros and cons of these two celebrations. A comparison that puts the fine points on the differences between Romance and Horror, Women and Men, and The Married v. The Single.