Make your Friendivus one that you will never forget

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This was a Write to the Point column I wrote last week

Well folks, Valentine’s Day is two days away.

To some people, this holiday is a concoction conceived by the candy, floral and greeting card companies on Feb. 14 to make some extra cash. For others it’s the day to express their love for their significant other and shower them with affection, candy, chocolate, flowers — or in some cultures a chicken.

I don’t have a problem with Valentine’s Day. I like the bright colors, the candy and the core message of expressing the love and joy in our hearts. It’s something we should do more often.

I’ll admit that like most holidays we celebrate in the United States there is a lot of commercialism attached to it. While I do appreciate the core message of telling your loved ones how you feel though there could be alternative ways to go about it.
One of these is a new holiday called “Friendivus,” which is celebrated Feb. 14.

Friendivus is also like Festivus — a concept that originated from the TV show “Seinfeld” that has evolved into its own holiday — in that it’s for people who are tired of the commercialism associated with Valentine’s Day. It is also similar to Ystävänpäivä, a Finnish holiday that translates into “Friend Day.” Ystävänpäivä is more about remembering and celebrating friendships. Gather your compadres and start planning your Friendivus day. If you know someone who is coming off a break up, divorced or is single and you think they’ll be depressed because they are alone on Valentine’s Day, invite them along for the fun.

Friendivus starts with a traditional brunch at a local diner or restaurant. During the meal, everyone at the table gives a compliment to the person to their right. They can also share funny stories or embarrassing moments.

After brunch, the group heads to a local golf course to compete in the “Contest of Champions.” The contest is a winner-takes-all round of golf that ends at the clubhouse with a celebratory beer.

If the weather is terrible or golf isn’t your thing, substitute it for bowling, racquetball, basketball, boxing or any other sport.

If part of your Friendivus plans include attending a sporting event, such as the Eastern Washington men’s basketball game against Portland State, create a chant for your team to inspire them to victory. I have a suggestion for a chant for the Gonzaga Bulldogs when they host Pepperdine but it’s not age-appropriate for print and it will probably get you banned from the McCarthy Center.

For folks who are not into sports, they could try the “Reading of Sorrows.” The idea behind this activity is to stand on a street corner and recite bad romantic poetry to passersbys. If you do not know any poetry, try singing 1980s hair band songs. The Reading of Sorrows ends when a police officer or a security guard walks up to you and asks you to stop.

In the evening, you can partake in the Friendivus Feast which is a simple meal consisting of meat, potatoes, salad and drinks. Desert is optional, though encouraged.

While you are doing your Friendivus activities, keep an eye out for Sorbaccus the dwarf. Sorbaccus wears a kilt and carries a wooden barrel filled with footballs. A person who is hit by one of Sorbaccus’ footballs will have an uncontrollable desire to buy a drink for the next person they see.

I’ll admit that this new idea of a holiday sounds ridiculous and the different traditions and rituals sound like something out of a fantasy novel.
The point is that just because you’re not spending Feb. 14 with a special someone doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. In fact it’s more reason for you to do it.

Happy Friendivus and for those who do celebrate it, Happy Valentine’s Day.

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About Al Stover

I graduated from Eastern Washington University with a bachelor's degree in journalism. I currently work as a Staff Reporter for the Cheney Free Press. I have interviewed characters like cage fighters, drag queens and dungeon masters. I like Batman, coffee, MMA and beer.

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