Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Valentine's Day

I hate Valentine's Day. Yes, I know that it's more than a month a way, but since the stores have put up the pink heart decorative cholocate crap a month early, I feel perfectly justified in bitching a month early.

Who is this holiday for? That's my question. People in love, who know each other, respect, like, and trust one another, and know in their hearts, minds, and bodies that it will last the long haul, don't need to show it with roses (or carnations, depending on your budget) or candies or pink plastic crap. They show it with day-to-day courtesey, foot massages, wiping out the inside of the microwave without being asked, putting their dirty socks in the laundry shute, picking the kids up from school, yelling at them for not doing their homework, sitting at the same table and sharing a meal, and saying "goodnight" at the end of the day. For couples like that (my parental units come to mind), Valentine's Day is a trivialization of their relationship.

Then you got the other kind of couple. The ooey-gooey, blushing, nauseating, sighing, shit-eating-grinning, eye-batting, sparks-flying, gag-me-with-a-dozen-roses couples (like Marley and Miss Happy), who love chocolates and carnations and pink plastic crap, but are so arse-over-tea kettle in love that they don't need an artificially constructed Hallmark holiday to pursuade them to purchase said trinkets of their affection. For them, every day is Valentine's Day, and god bless them for it.

Finally, there's the rest of us. I'm not buying any chocolates or flowers this year, and no one is going to buy any for me. For me, all this holiday's ever been is a painful reminder of just how single I am. I can't even watch the evening news without seeing four million comercials for diamonds, weekend get-aways, viagra, FTD Flowers, automotive stereo systems, bridal expos and baby food, all featuring attractive couples in love category #2. I ask you again, who is this for? Couples don't need it and singles don't want it.

The best gift (translation: only gift) I ever got for V-day was from my dad. I love my dad. He's the kind of man who doesn't ask you what's wrong, or if there's anything he can do, he just knows and does it. When I arrived home from England and was depressed from missing my friends, he went out and bought a bunch of flower bulbs for me to plant in the garden. We didn't need any more tulips or crocuses, but he wanted to give me something to occupy my time, and he knows I always feel better when I've had my hands in the rich earth for a spell. When I was just learning to drive, I had to make a really stessful trip with my dad. It was dark and raining and we were on a really dangerous stretch of road. Dad told me to pull over so we could call mom from a pay phone and tell her where we were. While I was making the call, he went a bought me mozarella sticks, just because I like them. And he's always the first to notice whenever I lose a few more pounds and congratulate me, not on the result, but on my effort.

So back when I was in high school, and fed up with going to school on V-day and watching all my friends' lockers fill up with flowers and candies and cards while I got exactly nothing, dad went out and had a pair of earrings custom made for me. They're dangly, procelain hearts, about an inch tall, and they're black. I love them. I wear them every year in mourning for my own sorry love life, and for what our society has done to love and romance. I mourn all the people who think that getting a neon pink teddy bear on V-day means they've found true love, and I mourn all the coniving pricks who have convinced them this is so. I mourn all the people who think that circuses like "Married by America" and "The Bachelor" are romantic (Brief tangent: I'm sick of the Religious Wrong in this country making a stink about gay people getting married and delcaring that it's a threat to the "sanctity of the institution of marraige." Frankly, I don't see how any two people, whatever parts they've got, loving and comitting to each other can be a threat to the sanctity of marraige. I think "reality" TV shows that base unions upon ratings rather than love are the real threat. But I'm old-fashioned that way.) and aspire to get on the shows so they can find "The One." And I mourn all the people who think that love and fashion magazine beauty have something to do with one another.

So a little more than a month from now, on February 14, I'm going to wear my black heart earrings and think about how lucky I am; lucky enough to not have to delude myself about the nonexistent worth of a meaningless relationship with a shallow person based on sex and trinkets; lucky enough to know that I'm a whole person as I am, and though I want to share my life with someone else, I don't need to in order to be complete; lucky enough to appreciate that I would rather have love without marraige than marraige without love and have the sense to recognize the difference.

oh, and take a mo. to check out the new link: Laser Monks-- gotta love it.

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