Last year, something caught my attention on my drive home. A sign outside a drugstore read something like this: Did you forget Valentine’s Day? Don’t worry! Roses, chocolate, stuffed animals, butt plugs, all half off. It was February 14th. I’m lying about the butt plugs. I mean, life’s not that good.
Seriously, fuck whoever bought their girlfriend or wife anything from that place on actual Valentine’s Day. Do you know what that says about that person? First, they actually care about this holiday. Second, they also forgot. They’re a spineless piece of shit.
Hey, I’m really sorry if you did that. You’re not a piece of shit. There’s time to repent. You could do something real this year, like take your spouse to a concert or something. Or make plans for a nice dinner. My lovey dovey and me are going to a concert this Saturday. We might fuck. I don’t know. It’s been a terrible week for us both. We might just make out and feed each other Breyers. Well, who am I kidding? We’re both in our 30s now. Frozen yogurt. Less guilt.
Why should we fuck Valentine’s Day? For starters, Valentine’s Day was started by Hallmark to sell worthless shit like cards, flowers, jewelry, and chocolate. I’m not a fan of jewelry. I have a hashtag necklace and some other nerd stuff, and that’s about it. I didn’t mean all of that. Chocolate has value. Not that I can remember the last time I ate chocolate. Except last week when I ate some cereal with chocolate chips. I’m a grown up. I swear.
I’ll tell you something embarrassing. When I was seven, I developed a huge crush on a boy in my homeroom. My first-grade class made a huge deal about Valentine’s Day. We talked about it for days. Our teacher even had us make V-day “mailboxes” out of construction paper and glitter and shit. We held a contest over who’d made the best one. On the 12th and 13th, we had several hours to make each other cards. Our parents bought candy for us to put in our cards. Some of us begged our parents to buy us extra cards with different themes. Even back in the 90s, you could buy Barbie-themed cards, Spiderman-themed ones, Batman-themed ones.
This is all going somewhere, I promise. So, the boy. His name was Blake. He was beloved by all. I wanted to marry him. I told him that. And what happened? He actually called my parents one night, and then he proposed to me on the phone. Yeah, married at 7. That was sometime in very early February.
For some reason, we cooled off real fast. We planned a ceremony that never happened. And he quickly developed a crush on someone else. I was clueless. I thought we were still in love. His attention for Kimberly was a temporary thing.
On the 14th, Blake showed up with a shit load of cards and candy. Including one giant heart-shaped box of chocolates. That big one was meant for our teacher, the little brown-noser. But I was convinced he’d bought those for me. So instead of waiting, I pulled the box out and hugged it while he was talking to some friends. I ran up and kissed him.
He made a face and wiped his cheek and told me, in first-grader language, to fuck off. So I ran into the bathroom and cried.
Yeah, my first experience with love. Not my last.
Let’s jump forward about twenty years. I’m dating the adult version of Blake. A hot guy who happened to be a bit of a brown-noser mama’s boy. Pattern? Yeah, but I’m over it now. The adult version of Blake was named Ryan or something. We were almost engaged, talking about marriage. We dated for a year before he went to law school in another state, and I tried to handle the long distance thing. One February, I tried to arrange a Valentine’s Day date with him. I was going to drive up and spend the weekend with him. We hadn’t seen each other for a couple of weeks. When I described my plans, he sighed. I could practically hear him roll his eyes over the phone. “It’s not a good weekend,” he said. “My parents are coming, and I have an exam.”
“But…it’s Valentine’s Day…?”
Another sigh. “So what? It’s just a corporate holiday that doesn’t mean anything.”
Here’s some advice. If your spouse does happen to value a stupid corporate holiday, you’d better play along. When her feelings are on the line, that’s a bad time to grandstand.
We didn’t break up then, but a couple weeks later we sure as hell did.
Now, here’s another confession. I actually don’t remember Valentine’s Days past at all, except for the bad ones. That’s right. I remember the bad ones, the ones when I was single and feeling unloved. There’s the one I spent studying at a Barnes and Noble bookstore after a crush told me he wanted to spend it chilling with his “guy friends.” He was going to hang out at this sports bar. When I suggested I might drop by, he discouraged me. It might be weird, he said. It was just a guy’s night. What an asshole. And to think, I would’ve fucked him. I had such terrible choice in guy’s in college.
Anyway. There’s the one I canceled on purpose because this one boyfriend was being an immature dick. He was hanging out with this other girl who said she wanted to date him. I asked him to stop, and he said, “I just want to be her friend. It’s cool.” So I punished him. Heavily.
And there’s the one where my car broke down on my way to a blind date. Happily, that’s the guy I’m dating now. He’s great. I would kill someone for him. I’m not kidding. I’m kidding. (I’m not kidding.)
The happy V-Days? There might be 3-4 of those, and I just don’t fucking remember them at all. This tells me that Valentine’s Day is not meant for lovers, or people in stable relationships. This day helps mark all my heartbreaks, all the times I didn’t have someone. Those are the ones I remember. Hell, I’m not even sure I’ve ever had sex on Valentine’s Day. And trust me, I’ve had a pretty decent amount of sex for a non-pornstar.
Maybe I’m weird. Maybe you have all kinds of great Valentine’s Day stories about Paris and Niagra Falls. If so, please tell me so I can hate you a little.
You know, I think people get more action on New Year’s Eve than they do on Valentine’s Day.
To be honest, though, I kind of liked those lonely Valentine’s. I enjoyed the cycle of feeling sad for myself, realizing my life was actually decent, and learning to accept my value as a human outside of relationships. Or something like that. I guess we also call it Singles’ Awareness Day for a reason.