Awwww…I kinda wanna vomit
The ides of February are upon us like the dolor of an opium addiction, or the strange twinge that forebodes a sudden visit from the Bad Back Fairy. All around the signs of mandatory romance dot the landscape like infinite piles of frozen dog feces, that other February hallmark. If you are not already frantic in your efforts to prove your love through synthetic and superficial consumerism, you will be…you will be.
There are two kinds of people in the world who actually like Valentine’s Day. One are those couples who met New Year’s Eve and are attempting to convert an unfortunate drunken hook-up into a meaningful relationship. The other is a florist. Both are desperate to take an arbitrary midwinter date and capitalize on it through the next ten months.
The rest of us regard February 14th with the same enthusiasm of a pile of cold cat vomit our foot discovers during a light night bathroom run. You know, intellectually, an action is required. The question is how long said doing might be delayed. (At least with the vomit, there are no social expectations to top previous foot scraping and muttered curses with greater display of nocturnal disgust.)
Love, they say, is a singular experience, transcendent, transformative and required to validate your pathetic existence on this benighted mudball. That validation, we are further told, is measured not by how Love makes you feel, rather on the amount you are willing to spend on Love. Face facts, not even your Mother is impressed by your shitty homemade ashtray. (It’s nice dear, but we don’t smoke…) If you Love someone, you need to demonstrate it clearly by spending an exponentially larger amount on socially acceptable holidays, such as Valentine’s Day.
Women catch a lot of shit over Valentine’s Day, but you can’t lay all these excesses at THEIR feet. Frankly, if men occasionally did something romantic on random days the pressure to make up for 363 days of neglect might not be such a soul crushing experience. (Hey, fuck-o, maybe pick up your socks without being told…you might get laid.) Men decided throwing money at the problem infinitely easier than doing something crazy like, oh, being a decent significant other. Then, on the ONE DAMN DAY a year, with a requirement to act like they actually love the person they share their lives with, they write snarky blog posts about what a pain in the ass Valentine’s Day became.
If one is single, the Ides of February is more of everything every Ex ever said during a break-up fight. (“You are going to die alone, you selfish asshole!”–I AM going to die alone…I AM a selfish asshole…) The barrage of hyper-romantic imagery, the forced romanticism from every couple around you and the phone call from your mother where grandchildren accidentally come up, just little nudges over the cliffs of your sanity. Nothing makes you feel better than the reminder of what is missing from your life. Singles are also fairly easy to spot by the spitting on your roses while the flower vendor is wrapping the bouquet. (Smell THAT, bitches!)
So, this weekend while you are frantically trying to make reservations at any dining establishment with an incrementally better reputation than Arby’s on the mall food court, take a moment to ask yourself: Why am I really doing this? Is this what my significant other wants, or is it what I think they want? Is this pro forma affection or do I actually care? You learn a lot about your relationship from those questions.
As for me, I will be at a bar on Saturday night sipping on whiskey and waiting for all the bad Valentine’s Day dates to arrive. I will find the most beautiful woman, sitting alone and crying and walk up to her and say “Hey, it will be OK, you’re a good person and deserve better”. I will then pay her bar tab, say goodnight, good luck and leave without making a sleazy move. It totally freaks people!