(UPDATED to include “addendum” at bottom of post)
I’m almost through my 33rd Valentine’s Day, (though for the first 2 or 3 I wasn’t aware of much more than how nice my toes tasted and how much I hated pacifiers, let alone a diapered arrow-slinger, so maybe they don’t count).
So far, today, except for the color scheme of red-white-pink in every parking lot, and prisons of straw and cellophane keeping treats and plush figures away from grabby hands, I haven’t seen much regarding the traditional Valentine’s Day.
Then again, I’m hanging out in a coffee shop, away from all that. It’ll probably be a slow night, too, since people will have booked crazy expensive dates for tonight.
I’m not looking forward to the gushing or sob stories regarding great/terrible dates tomorrow.
Thankfully, this V-Day has been a muted one. I’ve grown sick of the commercialism of it all–hell, I was tired of it back in elementary school. Granted, it’s only 2pm as I write this and if I stay here and drink more coffee (and tea) throughout the day, will it get worse? Since it’s a Tuesday, perhaps it won’t be so nuts.
I am single this year–again–but not unhappy about that. I never liked when girls in junior high would be getting oodles of candy-grams or carnations ($1 each) and I almost never had one. Being left out sucked, but the stupid thing is you could usually figure out when a girl just bought a lot of them for herself and then put “from a secret admirer” to inspire jealousy. This was a pointless move, though, because some of her “best competitors” had the same idea.
Valentines Day treats might’ve been the most successful school fundraiser each year, now that I think about it.
It smacks of another day I hated in school: the friggin’ Homecoming Game Day. Girls (or just as likely, their moms) did their best to outdo each other with the biggest or prettiest mums. Some were so big they’d give you a Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction if you kept it on more than five minutes. They had to hang from around the neck. The ribbons streamed several feet, and the BELLS! Good gravy, when the passing period came, it sounded like a herd of cattle had taken over the school.
And I bet anything only about 1/4 of those girls ever kept those things. All that money wasted on ostentatious ribbon displays and a temporary status symbol. Gah!
But the V-Day would make all kinds of tension happen, girls giving their not-so-secret-crushes or boyfriends hints that they should get something for them, and boys rolling their eyes, thinking “I guess I gotta give her something.” I just rolled my eyes every time. I mean, if you like somebody, get ’em something whenever you feel like it.
It’s not just high school, they get stupid in College and the Real World, too. We’ve all seen it–you get the crazy good tickets to the show, or crazy good seats at a hard-to-get-into restaurant (which probably jacked up the price a bit for the hell of it). It’s sad because I knew a girl in college that put her heart and soul into Valentine’s Day, and it was like the best day of her life. I suspect it was because it was the one day she seemed to have her husband’s full attention (and he hers). They lived together but worked so hard apart all the time. After their practically day-long date, it was like they were back to “normal.”
I wasn’t surprised they lasted only a couple more years before they split.
I mean, if you like/love somebody, why do people wait for one certain day to show it? Why not get them something they’d like whenever they don’t expect it? Honestly, I find that gesture more romantic because it smacks of knowing each other well and not “forgetting” each other.
Why do so many people go crazy on V-Day, and they make so much effort and spend so much money? If someone has to rely on a certain day of the year to show their affection, it doesn’t surprise me that the #1 day divorce petitions are filed in this country is the DAY AFTER Valentine’s Day. One last hoorah, one last grasp of the marriage, and then it’s done.
I find it sad, really.
My best Valentines Day was probably my “brokest” one. I was 18 and the day was full. I had work in the morning and class that evening, so just a few hours to kill in between. Now, I did have a boyfriend (it would be more accurate to call him a puppy love crush, we were like best friends who kissed), and we were both broke. I didn’t want anything (being overweight I groaned at the very sight of chocolate boxes–still do), and we had no money or time to really do anything.
In short, my favorite Valentine’s Day included work, school, my boyfriend, and us watching Fight Club at his house over a bag of Hershey kisses, laughing and nerding-out. All in all, the “date” cost just a couple of bucks and a little gas for the movie run. I loved it, and it was all we needed.
So, I did find it a little bizarre heading to class that night and some of the girls had little heart-shaped boxes of chocolates they munched on during the lecture, and others looked at their watches repeatedly, trying to get through the evening so they could go do their V-Day plans. I’d already had mine, and it was fun.
So, unless somebody gets proposed to in Starbucks tonight, or somebody comes in with a trillion balloons, or a high-school date goes overboard, I don’t anticipate a crapload of red-white-pink in my line of fire here.
ADDENDUM: I forgot why else this might just be the 2nd best Valentines Day in my memory. Hollywood got it right this year. I mean, if a guy wants to impress his girl and treat her, he’s got the option to take her to that damned 50 Shades Darker movie. But now, if a girl wants to impress her guy, she can treat him to John Wick: Chapter Two.
Something tells me John Wick will get more viewership with the singles (hee hee).