Up until 2001, I spent every year single. It sucked hard. Worst of all, every girlfriend I had that seemed like a potential prospect would break up with me. I even had a couple that got back together with me after Valentine's day.
Now, many of you are probably thinking "Yeah, yeah, being single on V-day sucks. Get in line." But stop to consider the horror of my predicament. When you mention you were born on the 14th of February, EVERYONE immediately says "Aww! Valentine's day! That's so cute!" You always get at least 1 box of those candy hearts that taste like chalk. And, perhaps worst of all, your mother STILL thinks it's cute to ask you to be her valentine.
The only thing that could have made my already depressing teenage years worse would have been Catholicism.
Somewhere in this time, a thought began to percolate. Namely, why call it Valentine's day at all? Not just an anti-Valentine's day, but something that simply isn't Valentine's day. Period.
Forget the annoyance which is Valentine's day. Forget Hallmark and everyone else who turns everything red and puts up hearts on any flat surface. Forget the fictional story about the Catholic saint who left a note behind. Throw all that away and replace it with:
Now, I know it doesn't have quite the ring to it, but I haven't yet found a religion that I'd approve of canonizing me (the classic Groucho Marx problem, you see). Still, I'm working on that.
So what is this PHILDAY about? Anything. Nothing. If you want to go have an expensive dinner and a soak in the hot tub with your SO, you'll find no objection from me. If you want to catapult water balloons at Greyhound buses, go for it! If you want to spend the day attempting to break your record time for sustained head stands, this is your day.
Failing anything else, doesn't it make a lot more sense to celebrate a day which happens to be my birthday, rather than a made-up day for a made-up person with a made-up story?
In fact, to that end, I'd like to propose a contest. Write a story about PHILDAY that invents an origin on the way. You may use myself and any of my acquaintances as need be.
I'm open to suggestions on prizes. Preferably something computer related. A shiny Pentium-150 with Linux perhaps? Maybe some software that I can churn out.
Stories will be judged by me. Since there is no set genre, it can be assumed that the one which holds my interest the best will be selected.