An Open (Love) Letter to Bennett Madison, a.k.a A Roundabout Review of “I Hate Valentine’s Day”

Dearest Bennett,

Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

I bet this is super creepy

Since I don’t really know you.

I love your book

And everyone should read it, hooray!

It’s just a small shame

that Wikipedia, and your book, confirmed you are gay.

I can’t say I’m surprised that we wouldn’t be able to make sweet, sweet V-Day love.

Mostly because of other inhibitors, like the fact that we don’t know each other at all, I’d be borderline actually stalking you if I found out where you lived, and that every single one of my romantic ventures in the past 2 years have come to a screaming, terrifying halt almost immediately. But it would have been nice. We would have been nice for each other! Want to know why I think that? Here’s some reasons:

  1. We’re both kind of funny
  2. We are both V-Day optimists 
  3. We both Love PBR

If I could whisk you away tomorrow to my cozy studio apartment, I would. I would absolutely cook you some dinner and give you the cheesiest card I could muster (probably literally covered in cheese), make sure your every footstep was matted by a doily, and have PBR and Jack Daniels aplenty while we listen to the city roll by, to college kids get drunk and yell at each other, and watch The Great British Baking Show or all two seasons of The Magicians. And then the next morning? Probably never talk to you again.

I would do that for you. Why? Because you wrote an amazing book and you are my fucking hero. In a lot of ways I feel like I’ve been searching for you my whole life, Bennett.

“Valentine’s Day is almost here guys!!!!!!”

I repeat, every day with a little more fervor. February 1st means it’s time to start preparing because there are only two weeks until the big day. I am bursting at the seams with excitement. And I am greeted with groans of people who just don’t understand.

But you? You get it. You understand that, “…once upon a time – probably about a trillion years ago – V- Day had something to do with Love. That’s Love with a capital L, as opposed to the obnoxious, lowercase form of love popularized in diamond commercials.” (25)  And THAT’S what I try to spread every year. That’s what started the all night ding-dong-ditching escapade with my amazing friend Madeline. We wrote cheesy, stupid love poems on construction paper, attached lollypops to them, and drove around town leaving them on the doorsteps of our friend’s homes.

THAT is why I love Valentine’s Day so much. And your book, “I Hate Valentine’s Day,” is like a beacon of hope. I am so honestly surprised and elated to find that someone else with V- Day Enthusiasm exists. AND you’re a fucking writer.

Truth is, you’ve done an amazing thing, Bennett.

Your witty, jarring, honest account of people’s attitudes towards Valentine’s Day is ceaselessly interesting. It’s also hilarious. I brought your book to the gym because it distracted me from the agonizing monotony of being on the arc trainer for 45 minutes. It made me laugh out loud through beads of sweat, and I don’t even care what the lady next to me was thinking.

So, Reader, STOP what you’re doing and read “I Hate Valentine’s Day,”

Encased in this slim volume is a hopeful account of not only how to improve a single holiday, but humanity in general. The blunt hilarity of Madison’s outlook on life keeps the narrative moving. You honestly won’t be able to put it down. Not only is this book a nice “brain break” for your hectic daily life, it’s also full of some pretty good advice. Madison will show you how to Love again in a few simple steps. Chances are, you could probably use this advice in your life beyond V-Day. Follow along, and have a good time.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t deserve to be hated. What society has turned it into is a gross, sappy, stressful explosion. But Madison brings it back to the important part: Love. You’ll be surprised to see how much better you’ll feel after reading this book. Whether it’s the comic nature of his analysis of V-Day happenings or his relatable stories, you’re bound to fall in love with Valentine’s Day. 

Or, if you’re me, you’ll fall in love with the author.

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY TO ONE AND ALL!!! And remember, we love you.



PS: Bennett, I mean, if you actually read this just, you know, I mean, would you…want to be my Valentine?

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