There is something about Valentine’s Day that is both appealing and appalling.
Appealing: It is old. Valentine's Day is not a “Hallmark” holiday, even if hallmark would like you to think so. I like that VD has history and stories and a mission. My favorite piece of VD history poorly paraphrased. Valentine's Day Numero Uno: a wrongfully imprisoned (guy named) Valentine sent a romantic and wooing note to a lovely girl—most likely his jailer's daughter—because she visited him and brought him little treasures during his confinement in prison. Before his death, he wrote her another love letter that he signed "From your Valentine," (because that was his name, duh). So that's where we get it from. How nice. And kinda of real and funny—He was in jail (what's not to love?) He fell in love with the only woman around (a young girl). And then, he was put to death for his crime. That’s my kind of rom-com.
I will admit that it is fun to celebrate love, and crushes, and likes-a-lot blinky-eyed mush, and to think about all the love out there. Love is better than the politics and war and criminals and Whitney-Houston-esque “tragedies” in our daily lives. Thinking about love, usually makes you feel better, even if it wistful and lackadaisical to do so—it’s better to think about that than to read the newspaper or Tweet about the Grammys. The appealing thing about VD is love. Love, topically, is nice and sometimes even refreshing.
Now, for the appalling part: Sometimes love isn’t enough. If you are alone on VD, you feel like you are in the middle of the dessert. If you are unhappy in love, you never got picked for the team. If you are far away from your love when the 14th rolls around, it weighs like a cinder black around your neck. For all the nicey, nice stuff—there are also people who feel sadder, more abandon, and more unlovable on VD.
Also appalling in an America!-fuck-yea! kinda way is the Valentine’s date night horror show—all pink and red and hearty and lacy and fluffy. No VD is complete until you ate too much rich, weird food—foam, mouse, fluff, etc—at Café Pretentiousness and are barfing pink candy hearts (“Eat Me!”), Red Hots, and dark-chocolate truffles into a swirl of Fuzzy Vodka and Champagne Shooters into a dead potted plant on the street in front of the “Voted Most Romantic” bar on High Street. The pressure alone can make anyone sick not to mention public displays of affection—which are never okay.
So, this year my Valentine resolve is to be nice to lonelyhearts and give my hubby a card. That’s it. (If I ignore it, will it go away?)