Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Most guys don’t love Valentine’s Day. It’s a holiday designed to trap them. If you’re dating more than one woman, you’re dead. If you get the wrong gift, you’re dead. If the gift is too cheap or too elaborate, you’re dead. If you get her a humorous card with Bush on the front you’re dead (although in that case you deserve to be).

Or worse, they love the gift and card too much. Then you’re REALLY dead.

My problem with Valentine’s Day is that it’s also my birthday. Try going out to a nice celebration dinner when every restaurant is packed, all the prices are jacked way up, and everyone is trying so hard to create a “romantic atmosphere” that when their date isn’t looking they’re popping Lexapros like Tic Tacs.

Still, not to be a cynic I would like to offer an explanation for what love really is. It comes from that font of romance -- an episode of TAXI (written by Ken Estin).

Louie is trying to win back his girlfriend, Zena. He asks if she loves him. She says she doesn’t know what love is. He tells her she’s in luck because he does. And he’s the only person alive who can say that. He’s read what everyone else says love is and they’re always wrong. She finally asks him what it is, and Louie says:

“Love is the end of happiness!

The end. Because one day all a guy’s got to do to be happy is to watch the Mets. The next day you gotta have Zena in the room watching the Mets with you. You don’t know why. They’re the same Mets, it’s the same room…but you gotta have Zena there.”

That to me expresses more heartfelt love than any bouquet or bling or blowout dinner. Maybe you should change your plans and just get together in her apartment. Especially since I still don't have dinner reservations and would prefer not celebrating my birthday at Taco Bell.

Thank you and happy Valentine’s Day.


Kitty Sheehan said...

I think I'd like to use this as my Valentine's Day FB status, thanks, Birthday Boy!
Happy Birthtine's Day.

RikerDonegal said...

I'm gonna use it as my FB status, too.


Happy Birthday!

Dhppy said...

Perhaps, I'll just use Danny's picture as my Facebook profile, I'm sure that can't hurt a girl's chances.

Happy Va-Levine's Day!

John said...

Ken, have you seen the Mets and how they've finished the season the last three years? To be happy, a guy watching them has to have pills, a straight razor, a noose and a chair. And possibly a gun. And a toaster. In a tub full of water.

Fitz said...

Nice. In the big coincidence department as I read your entry I was watching Heist on the Netflix feed. Probably Danny's all-time best line.

"Everybody needs money. That's why they call it money."

Bless you, David Mamet.

rob! said...

Happy Birthday Ken! Enjoy all the 50% off candy, now on sale!

Debby G said...

Happy birthday!

Hey, the VD birthday can't be as bad as my husband's Dec. 21 birthday. Unless you actually got VD on your birthday.

When my husband was a kid, he got the Hanukkah/birthday combo gift. Now, everyone's out of town or stressed out or at a holiday party on his birthday. And his ingrate wife (oh wait, that's me) always complains about having to shop for his birthday when the mall is crowded and she already has a bunch of holiday gifts to buy.

WV: audis. Something Ken is getting for his birthday?

H is for hOWIE said...

Happy Birthday, Ken. Nice post.

YEKIMI said...

Happy birthday!

The only thing Valentine's Day means to me is it was the day I was adopted. And it was really nice when I get told a few years later that the ONLY reason I was adopted was so the old man could claim me as a deduction on his income tax.

RikerDonegal said...

Once again, Happy Birthday Ken!

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone else!

My FB status:

Ref said...


WAULT...where DisneyCorp's owners keep their money.

Shannon O said...

Happy Valentines Day!

What an entertaining post. While I complete disagree that it's a day designed to trap men. I don't believe that most women look at a gift and worry about how much it cost.

Valentines Day is all about love and thoughtfulness, not the price tag.

Too bad about the birthday thing though - means your birthday is never completely about YOU.

I love you definition of love, how true.

Happy Birthday and thanks for sharing,
- Shannon | Confessions of a Loving Wife

Lairbo said...

Happy birthday, Ken. My grandfather's birthday was also Feb. 14 and his parents made "Valentine" his middle name. If your middle name isn't Valentine, you got off easy.

WV: horticsp. Hooker with hiccups.

Rose Vanden Eynden said...

Happy birthday, Ken. I hope your day is filled with everything you love. No irony intended. :-)

denzdenizens said...

If your heart isn't in it,you're dead,romantically or otherwise!

denzdenizens said...

Oh,by the way,what does 'WAULT' have to do with Valentine's Day,anyway?

denzdenizens said...

P.S.Them Gorditas @ Taco Bell are quite heart felt,too!

Alice said...

Happy Birthday!!!!


Emily Blake said...

I think any writer would be lucky if just once in a lifetime they came up with dialogue that good.

Janice said...

Happy Birthday, Ken! Make a wish and blow out the candle on every romantically set table tonight.

SharoneRosen said...

That looks like my FB post to me!

Thanks Ken and have a very happy B'day!

Beth Ciotta said...

Got one thing to say to that..

Happy Birthday, Ken!!

Oh, and ... why not make the best of your birthday and Valentine's Day? Order dinner in, watch a fave romantic movie, drink champagne and snuggle on the couch with your wife. Bliss. :)

Cameron Yarde said...

What a brilliant post Ken. Love it!

Fred said...

Dear Ken,

I hope that on your birthday you get back half of the joy and laughter you brought me through your blog over the last year. You would have a raucous birthday!

So, thank you and have a very happy birthday.


A. Buck Short said...

Informal survey:
How many also opened cards this morning that read the equivalent of:
“We may not always agree on everything…
and what’s the ratio we have to attain for another sign of the apocalypse?

Because nothing says "love" like an appropriate string of qualifiers.

Would have gotten her a nice sparkly something, but we’re pretty tapped out from all the new diamond jewelry "concept" gifts that Zales, Kays and the deBeers cartel have created to move product and drive demand beyond the typical engagement ring necessity. The 3-stone “Hearts of Fire” anniversary ring. The 5-diamond “Journey” diamond I still love you pendant, the don’t worry I will always love you “Infinity” diamond necklace, the intertwined “Eternity” diamond prenup ring.

Thank God our union has been strong enough to resist those brand-centered merchandizing efforts. Plus I think I’ve already responded sufficiently to the jewelry industry’s manipulation by consenting to the Presidents’ Day diamond pendant in the shape of the bullet that wasted Lincoln, the Labor Day industrial diamond broach, the Columbus Day cubic zirconium “she’ll mistakenly think she landed a diamond,” and, of course, the Purim pierced diamond earrings.

BTW, for a day of love, they couldn’t come up with better initials than VD?
Happy birthday.

-bee said...

Nice of you to give US a present when it's YOUR birthday.

Thanks for that classic bit of dialogue, and hope you're having a great birthday.

Tom Quigley said...


Happy Birthday!... And just keep telling yourself that it could have been worse... You could have been born on April 15th...

Charles H. Bryan said...

Happy Birthday, Ken! I hope you have the birthday you'd like, and that whoever is counting on you for Valentine's Day gets the V-Day they'd like.

(V-Day? Sounds like the end of a war -- and with any luck not the beginning of one.)

BTW: @Ref -- I think "Wault" is where DisneyCorp keeps not its money, but its founder.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you go marry a man then if you hate women so much.

45 is the new 30 said...

Happy Birthday, Ken!!! Hope your day (and your dinner) were fabulous, and that this is just the start of a superlative year for you!

(Still shaking my head over the post by anon 2:48 PM ... wtf??)

Roger Owen Green said...

Happy natal day. You should be pleased that they invented a holiday to celebrate your birth.

Mary Stella said...

Happy Valenbirth Day, Ken!

You know, there's a lot of pressure on women for Valentine's Day, too. So it might not have been as bad with today being a Sunday, but during the week? Hoooboy, the anxiety.

Will he send flowers? Will he drop by the office with flowers. If so will they be nice from a florist or did he stop at the gas station or supermarket? Will they be nicer than the ones received by the skinny beyotch in the next cubicle?

Tonight.. cook a romantic meal or angle to go out to dinner? Get a new dress or wear the one you think he really likes even if you suspect it shows something that isn't a baby bump? Is the lingerie sexy enough? Will that time of the month hold off another day? Total pressure.

A Buck Short said:
the Columbus Day cubic zirconium “she’ll mistakenly think she landed a diamond,”

Holy hell, that's funny!

bella said...

Happy Birthday, Ken. Hope there wasn't a line at Taco Bell.

Paloma said...

Happy Bday Ken!

Chris Riesbeck said...

That was a good Taxi bit (so many to choose from), but for me, love is this story from the StoryCorps project:

JimBriggs said...

"I couldn’t tell you the status of one other athlete."

That's because, in typical NBC fashion, they pick the athletes they're going to focus on and beat you to death with information about them until someone else does something truly noteworthy. If you watched their promos, the only U.S. athletes competing were going to be Lindsay Vonn, Shaun White, and Apolo Ohno.

The same thing happens Michael Phelps and Tiger Woods. Great athletes, but we get oversaturated with coverage about them until they ARE swimming and golf. Then, the media wonders why no one is interested in anyone else, or why ratings for non-Phelps/Woods events are down.

I'm tired of hearing about Vonn and she hasn't even raced yet.