Valentine’s Day is Tuesday and given how my life has been going (inefficiently) I thought I’d do my Valentine’s day post today. Plus I have about twelve other things I should be doing, and procrastination by blogging is second best only to procrastination by cleaning (I’m coming for you, vacuum cleaner).
Ahhh Valentine’s. We love to hate you, don’t we. People who are single hate Valentine’s Day, people who are just starting to date hate Valentine’s Day, people in relationships hate Valentine’s Day…. in fact, at this point, the people I know in relationships might hate Valentine’s Day more vehemently than anyone else. The expectations! The cost! The impossibility of getting a reservation! The false notion of loving someone more on an arbitrary day of the year! The pressure not to fight, not to squabble, not to complain! The idea of waking up and watching the person you love as if there are flying, buzzing hearts like little tiny non-stinging bees flying about their sleep-addled, puffy, same-as-yesterday face. Plus, it’s February, so they probably have a cold and are in the process of excavating snot out of their nose.
Whereas single people everywhere have been effectively shamed out of hating Valentine’s Day. Who wants to be the girl running around in tears on February 14th bitching about how no one will ever love her? I’m pretty sure that at this point, no one ever wants to be that girl. (And sometimes it happens, I get it, look, you just want someone to come over and open every jar in your house before listening to that weird sound your car’s making and then sexing you up good). And then collectively everyone’s decided that it is a hundred times worse to be that girl on Valentine’s Day.
Look, if you’re going to watch Dear John alone on your coach with a bottle of wine and a box of tissues to yourself, you keep it to yourself at this point. Also, let me suggest Mean Girls instead and a box of Girl Scout cookies to help wash that wine down.
Personally, I find Valentine’s Day way less stressful than other major holidays— like New Year’s Eve. God, shoot me now. At least on Valentine’s Day there isn’t a DESIGNATED KISSING TIME. In which it’s acceptable to maul strangers? Potentially? Except that never happens. So then we’re all disappointed we’re not being sexually assaulted. It’s a seriously twisted holiday.
And now that we’re all adults and once we admit we like each other we can make out, or….you know….just make out kind of whenever…we sort of don’t wait for Valentine’s Day to roll around. So I’m pretty sure the idea of having a “secret” Valentine that you didn’t know about has been eliminated.
Right? Like if you’ve got a stalker, you already know. I’m pretty sure the last time I got an anonymous Valentine was in 6th grade– which, by the way, totally backfired. If it’s ANONYMOUS, how was I supposed to KNOW who it was? What did he think would happen? I would dust for his fingerprints on the cut-out letters he pasted in there? (Super sweet. Also rather assassin-y.) Nerds. Too smart for their own good.
By the end of the school day, after listening to me whisper to my girlfriends all day about who it could be, he finally walked up to me, turned a fantastic shade of red, flipped his rattail over one shoulder, and said, “It was me.”
I said, “Oh.” Then I said “Thanks” and got on the bus, trying not to throw up.
Those “valegrams” came with these terrible caramel-apple suckers and I must have eaten about 8 of them that day.
But don’t worry, guys! About 7 years later we dated for three months. V. romantic. My guess is he would say the awful, awful anxiety he must have felt all that day and the days beforehand and the days afterward totally paid off.
Basically, everyone’s agreed that having a first romantic interaction on Valentine’s Day is up there with hitting on someone / being hit on while you have food poisoning. There’s a reason classic sitcoms like to have people forget it’s Valentine’s Day and accidentally make a first date for the 14th. Because it’s ripe for comedy! Of the horrible, awful, cringe-inducing kind.
All of which means that the best-case scenario for finding “love” on Valentine’s Day is if you’re the sort of someone who will go mope about the day in a bar by yourself, and happen to find a fellow moper, and then you can have mopey, droopy sex that will result in a relationship that will last a good 3 hours longer (of sobbing together) than the 2 minutes of idle chitchat it was meant to. For god’s sakes, stay home and keep yourself STI-free instead, ok? Have a caramel-apple lollipop. It’s hard to cry around those things, because your teeth spontaneously fuse together.
All of which does not mean that we should walk around hating Valentine’s Day! It means that we should eat some good chocolate, make ourselves some good food, be sweet to people we’re sweet on, and wait for my sister’s annual homemade Valentine to show up in the mail and make me feel inadequately crafty but also loved. Plus there’s usually a pun on it, and I love puns.
Anyway, it’s much better to retroactively focus your anger on New Year’s Eve.