I think my abhorrence of romance is pretty legendary. Oh, there have been times, of course, in my life where I’ve been swept into some sort of giddy school girlish state of romantic idealism. I am a girl after all, and it’s nice to know that someone cares about you and doesn’t seem to have many qualms about showing it. But, it’s always with the tempered realism that I am behaving and thinking completely and utterly insanely. And, even then, I’ve never been the sort to invision roses and dancing and champagne…. well, maybe champagne. I am awfully fond of champagne. Particularly Martini & Rossi Asti (it’s a little sickeningly sweet, but I’ve never been one to say a bad peep about sweet things). But I’d be much happier drinking said champagne while sitting on the couch watching mildly amusing television. I don’t particularly like things having a lot of pretense to them; so it shouldn’t really come as too much of a shock to discover that I absolutely hate Valentine’s Day.
But, let’s back up a bit. Really, as far as I am concerned, all of February can go. D thinks it’s hilarious to say I’m in some way racist cause I wanted to get rid of Black History Month. I am certainly not advocating that. I think we can move it. Black History deserves a month that isn’t grey, weary, and rife with depression. Yeah yeah, it’s no secret that people get more depressed in winter months when there is less sunlight, and I only imagine the news that good old Punxsutawney Phil has seen his shadow only makes it worse. The Holidays are a faint memory, hardly any errant decorations are left (and if they are you’re probably grumbling with yourself that you need to take them down every time you lay eyes on them), and spring is just a little too far away. I honestly think that if it wasn’t a couple days shorter than the average month clawing through it would be near impossible.
So I do things to distract myself. Thankfully, the only successful party I have ever thrown was an ‘I Hate Febrary’ party. I plan little trips, such as my upcoming sojourn to my sister’s… erm, lovely place in Chicago. I pretty much just make sure that I am ridiculously busy because otherwise there are two possible outcomes. 1) I go rip shit crazy and start punching managers at work, or 2) I end up swinging from the rafter beams. Or stairwell I guess, this house doesn’t have rafter beams.
I hate February, loathe it even. And then, right in the middle of an already heinous month is the most accursed holiday known to man. Valentine’s Day. I could spew forth some sort of regurgitated garbage about how it’s a bastardization formulated by greeting card companies… and that’s true, but it’s really not the reason I hate it so much. I do have those problems with it. Like Christmas, Valentine’s Day has pretty much lost half it’s meaning to… well, retail. The restaurant industry is probably bat shit crazy about this sham of a holiday.
Here are several facts: 1) There’s more than one Saint Valentine who’s day this is (Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni). 2) Celebrating courtly love? That was pretty much down to Chaucer… who was obvious a pretty righteous dude. It’s almost enough to have me jump on board but… eh. Next time I am making a pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral that’s not by train or car I’ll consider it. Or I could just marry someone from Bath and tell bawdy tales. I like the second option better.
Really it comes down to the fact that I don’t think buying candy, flowers, dressing up and gazing into one another’s eyes is indicative of anything. Yes, there are days to celebrate all sorts of stuff; mother’s, father’s, secretaries… why shouldn’t there be a day to celebrate the one you love? Well, guess what, there already is and it’s called your anniversary. What’s more, it’s generally not on the same day as EVERYONE ON THE PLANET and therefore your chances of getting a reservation at that cool new place you’ve been dying to try are somewhat better. Though, honestly, I can’t see myself being big on anniversaries either. To be honest, I wouldn’t even know cause month anniversaries seem a bit droll and I’ve never managed to make it a year before, though I have gotten damn close. Mostly the whole thing is this; If you love someone they should know it. Maybe because you tell them everyday, maybe because you don’t have to, but it seems ridiculous to me to set aside a day every year to do that.
And that’s just what’s wrong with it when you’re in a committed relationship. God forbid you should have just started dating or, worse yet, find yourself in some absurd situation where you don’t even know where you stand with the other person. Then it’s like a landmine hanging out in the middle of the bleakest month of the year. Suddenly you have to start wondering Big Questions like ‘where is this going?’ and ‘do I even like them enough to be agonizing over this?’ It speeds up a process that probably shouldn’t be sped up if it’s meant to be at all successful. I mean, come on, there is probably nothing on this planet that is more confusing than love. It’s meant to be confusing because otherwise the propagation of this species would probably be completely out of control. In the animal kingdom mating is somewhat instinctual. Some animals mate for life. Like… ducks (though, apparently, female ducks are allowed to find someone new. It makes sense from a purely biological standpoint but it’s not very romantic). And some animals mate with everything they can find. Human beings… who knows what the hell we’re thinking. It could be argued that we mate for life, but it could certainly be argued that that is a bunch of hooey and the divorce rate is as high as it is because we really really just don’t. Plus, men wouldn’t have that overwhelming urge to a) spread their seed, or b) find a younger vessel in which to store it. Honestly, we probably aren’t meant to. The ones who make it are freaks of nature. But then of course, we all want to be freaks of nature.
All of this being said, let me be clear; I am in no way opposed to love. Love is cheesy and make even the most hardened people into silly smiley people every once in awhile. It’s embarrassing and you feel exposed and stupid half the time, like someone filleted your chest and people are poking about at your innards. Love’s really dumb and confusing and completely brilliant. I’m just not sure we need a whole day to commemorate that.