Men, this Monday is all about you. And meat.
One month after Cupid went out and partied, it’s time for Guy Valentine’s Day, otherwise known as Steak and a Shoe Shine Day.
Invented, or at least claimed, by a Boston radio host circa 2002, S&SSD is designed as a day to show that special man in your life how much he truly means to you.
Because really, what says “I love you” better than red meat and squeaky-clean loafers? If you want, you could even cut the steak into the shape of a heart and make things extra special.
“Combining the holidays of Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Ramadan, while tossing in a bit of Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, doesn’t even come close to equaling the total and complete man victory that is Steak and a Shoe Shine Day,” said a friend, who is a self-proclaimed man’s man. “In fact, if Steak and a Shoe Shine day were represented by [action star] Jason Statham in a fight against representatives of every other holiday of every other culture and religion, the fight would only be fair if you cut off Jason Statham’s arms, legs and head.”
But not every man feels quite so victorious. A former professor of mine said he finds the need for such a day objectionable on several levels: the notion that Feb. 14 is a one-sided holiday or is to only celebrate couple love, and the fact that he finds it degrading.
“The whole premise is asinine,” he wrote on my Facebook page. “I’ve never — ever — once thought of Feb. 14 as a one-way street. Or for simply one’s other of significance ... so the ‘need’ for this sort of an event doesn’t exist.”
And the hope, certainly, is that V-Day would have been a holiday of mutual affection, or spreading love to many, but the honest truth of the matter is that it often becomes a day fraught with unrealistic expectations, dashed hopes and what one male friend called “emotional blackmail.”
“Guys act like girls get all the glory on Valentine’s Day,” one of my lady friends said. “And maybe in a lot of situations they do ... but ... I will gladly partake in Steak and a Shoe Shine day when my Valentine’s Day has the same amount of care, time and effort put into it.”
I told her the amount of water her argument holds depends on whether she plans to cook the steak herself or not.
One wise friend did point out that the holiday is a bit of a letdown for vegetarians, but even without the meat, it’s still quite a lulu, eh, boys? It’s at least better than those boxes of Whitman’s chocolates.
Of course, you could always adjust the menu, but “Eggplant Parmesan and a Shoe Shine Day” just doesn’t sound as manly, does it?
Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...