Valentine’s Week: Some Words on Valentine’s Day

IMG_3616I have nothing to say about Valentine’s Day.

I have everything to say about Valentine’s Day.

….

I remember when Valentine’s Day stopped being something to look forward to.

The year before, my teacher gave my class the Social Studies period to decorate a shoebox, and then that Friday, the Friday before Valentine’s Day, everyone brought in folded up pieces of cardstock Tweety Birds and Power Rangers and big hearts on the front. For everyone. Sometimes people included candy, too. That was always great.

That year, though, the shoeboxes never happened. There was little candy and fewer Tweety Birds. The only people excited were the ones wondering whether the Monica CD they bought their girlfriends would get them something more than a held hand.

At the time, I was perfectly content playing with my Pokemon cards.

It’s really fun when you see friends or coworkers do Valentine’s Day the right way.

It’s even more fun when you get to laugh because of how horribly they did it wrong.

The people who complain about Valentine’s Day are the worst.

You have a day that’s dedicated to love. The best fking thing in the world.

Quite literally the single feeling everyone can agree needs to happen more often and should be treasured when it does. What should be shared, spread and acted in the spirit of.

The subject of more songs than anything else in the history of subjects. Something that transcends nation, creed and race.

There’s a whole day to celebrate that.

And people HATE it.

It reminds them that they can’t share with exactly one person that feeling at its most concentrated level. So sour grapes sour grapes rain on everyone else’s parade.

It’s ugly and spiteful and just stop it, you asshole. Get over yourself. Other people are allowed to be happy when you’re not. Let them have their day.

Moms are pretty awesome.

Oft a bachelor on Valentine’s Day, there have been a few years when the only valentine I received was from my mom.

A recognition of love, on a day celebrating the very feeling, from the person who’s felt that for you earlier than anybody who has ever lived.

Valentine’s Day is a good day to tell your mom you love her.

People always blame Hallmark when the origin of Valentine’s Day is discussed in spiteful terms.

I get it; surely they make a significant amount of dough on the whole enterprise.

But who the fk eats Whitman’s Samplers any other time of year?

Valentine’s Day does sting, sometimes.

It’s a perfectly reasonable reaction to see your friends and your enemies and the people you sit next to on the bus celebrating a mutual affection, then be a little bitter because you can’t say the same about yourself.

What, are you just supposed to ignore it? Pretend these kinds of things don’t affect you because you’re more mature than that and, besides, it’s a holiday invented by flower companies so let’s have a boys’ night and play some cards (also applicable: “a girls’ night and drink wine”, “a dog’s night and eat dinner while one watches the other as it wags its tail”)?

You don’t quite know what you’re doing wrong, and you don’t quite understand what others are doing right. But they’re doing it and you’re not. You can’t not see it happening. Try.

It’s frustrating.

You can’t really express that, though. At least, not without sounding like Garfield or a similarly negative cartoon cat who loves lasagna.

And nobody likes a complainer.

There’s usually a pretty solid selection of good-ass sugar cookies around this time of year.

On Valentine’s Day during my freshman year, I went to see The Vagina Monologues with two of my friends to support another who was performing.

I hated it.

I was 18 and had never really encountered anything like it before. I felt wholly and completely attacked for being male, and that my gender was being blamed for every problem that the opposite encountered.

At the performing friend’s apartment for post-show drinks, after offering platitudes on the performance (For the many problems I had with the show, the acting/performing was not one of them. The women on stage did a wonderful job.), I engaged in discussion with the friend about some of the parts of the show I disagreed with.

It started civil.

Started.

Soon, we were openly screaming at each other. The smarter of the two of us, she stopped the argument before it could get to the point that it altered our friendship.

I can’t remember what I said during that argument. Really, I can’t. All I remember is that we argued and she stopped it.

I’ve learned a lot since that Valentine’s Day. And, knowing what I know now and what I thought I knew when I was 18, I can guarantee this:

Whatever I said that night, trying to defend the universal “man”, has to have been some of the most ignorant shit that’s ever come out of my mouth.

It’s something I’m reminded of annually when I see V-Day ads pop up. Nostalgic embarrassment, if that’s a thing.

It’s a credit to that friend that she never held it against me.

When you think about all the holiday mascots, Cupid’s definitely the shittiest one, right?

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One thought on “Valentine’s Week: Some Words on Valentine’s Day

  1. […] you hate Valentine’s Day, love it, or are as confused as I was about it a year ago, here’s to all of us agreeing that this is pretty clearly a […]

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