|What the hell is wrong with me? Have I been possessed by aliens?
||[Feb. 13th, 2009|02:11 pm]
I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. As a little kid, there was the pressure of picking out the “right” valentine, and then who would you give them to, who would you get them from. When we were really small, you got and gave them to everyone and that was cool. But then, the onset of cliques and the pressure of being liked, being likable...when suddenly there were kids that you knew were “uncool” and you weren’t supposed to really be friends with them, but frankly they were the kids you WANTED to be friends with, so you were and suddenly you found yourself on the outside of the chain link fence, looking in at the cool kids and thankfully, you didn’t suddenly realize that you were, socially speaking, done. Course plotted for your entire elementary and middle school career. That crept up on you slowly. The only way you were getting back in was through either a steady campaign of sycophancy or by embracing your uncoolness and carving out some punk/goth/brain/weirdo niche. The latter taking even longer and with an uncertain outcome. |
Anyone who prattles on about the innocence of children..harrumph, yeah, until they can talk. Then it’s a jungle. Filled with CUTE little predators...like the Koala, all cute and precious until it bites you or looses a stream of eucalyptus-scented urine on your head.
The middle years, before I thought of boys as anything more than people who were getting harder to arm-wrestle every year or, in the later stages, as people who were taking a bizarre interest in me for no reason I could discern. (O, late bloomer does not even BEGIN to describe me. I didn’t even have a “hey, whatcha doing” phone conversation with a boy until I was fifteen, my friends, much less a date.)
Until then, Valentine’s Day was pretty much conversation hearts, wasn’t it? Chalky, nasty flavored…except for those orange ones…but I’d eat them anyway. I don’t like Necco’s, but I still would eat those hearts if they showed up on my desk. (tap, tap, tap...waiting...)
Past middle school it got all complicated. Fraught with drama and trauma – and with most things fraught with drama and trauma (I just like the way that rolls, so I wrote it again. Again!) I usually tried to ignore it. (Go ahead, someone ask me why, if that’s really true, I work at a Renaissance Faire. Epicenter of drama and trauma. Probably just so that one day, in my blog, I could write that phrase ONE MORE TIME. Again! Sorry. My inner toddler's come out to play.)
But it was never great. Valentine’s Day is just so forced and so focused – and I can’t stand that in a holiday. I mean, Halloween is my favorite because there are no obligations. You can spend it with anyone you want and the only thing you’re sort of expected to do is eat candy and dress up. Or give out candy, which gives you a free pass for not dressing up. Options! Second favorite is Easter, but that’s mostly because I’ve cobbled together my own holiday which revolves around setting a pretty table, eating lamb and coconut cake with friends. Christmas would be right up there, as it’s just about family, friends, gifting and decorating the tree – but it’s a lot of work and logistics, so it only gets third.
Valentine’s Day – drama and trauma. (Again!) You’ve got all the pissed off, bitter singletons, the pissed off, bitter unmarrieds, the pissed off, bitter halves of couples who resent that just because of the calendar, they have to produce candy, over-priced flowers, jewelry or BJs. The pissed off bitter halves of couples who wonder why it’s so difficult, for one freaking day of the year, with plenty of reminders on television, radio, sides of bloody buses, to produce said flowers and candy. (That would be me, for most of MY marriage.) The tiny subset of romantics getting ripped off in restaurants, jewelry stores and florists.
So, as I’ve done with most holidays, I went ahead and pulled out the parts I like, and discarded the annoying bits. On Valentine’s Day, whether I’m alone, in a loveless marriage or with someone I love, I eat really good food. At home, where no one’s trying to rush me out so they can get another seating out of my two-top. There will be either champagne or Framboise or Cherry Lambic. Or a really nice wine. Or all of them. And I will break out the crystal. An extravagant, but easy to fix meal. A dessert that was made by someone else and involves chocolate. Even if it’s all by myself. Because I deserve it. I also order the kind of chocolates that I really like. If I don’t think anyone else will, I will buy myself flowers. Flowers that I like and will last and make the house smell good. Not overpriced roses that will just deaddroop.
Sure, easy for me to say. I’m going home to a man whom I love very much and he will give me the chocolates and flowers that I like. And I will bring him salted dark chocolate caramels, as well as the aforementioned dinner/dessert. Because it’s Valentine’s Day?
Actually it’s Friday the 13th, which is worth celebrating anyway. We’re busy Valentine’s Day evening and will probably devote the evening paying attention to others, not EACH other. But really, it’s nice to have an annual reminder that no matter how much you love someone, you should make a point to let them know more often. And, that's really, ALL this holiday should be about.
And if you DON’T have someone to share that with right now, go look in the mirror and remind the person in front of you how much you love them. How worth loving they are. For heaven’s sake, bring them home some chocolates and flowers. You deserve it.
I've checked. I still have a navel. I have NOT been possessed by aliens from Planet Sappy. Unless that's a holographic navel...