Happy worst commercial holiday of the year to you! My friend Lucy adores this day, whether she’s single for it or not and it makes me feel like a Love Scrooge when I express how much I dislike it.
I’m not about to piss on anyone’s fire though, I don’t really go in for that. Especially during a national lockdown/almost one whole year into a global pandemic. People should be free to find their joy without me or anyone else poo-pooing it – and I’m glad there are people who live for a day built on love.
Or if not built on (I have a sneaky suspicion, as learnt from My Bloody Valentine (2009), that there might be a slightly dodgy origin story there), then structured around it. What the world needs now and all that.
My beef is with the fact that I don’t want or need flowers, giant teddy bears and jewelry. Nor red underwear or anything with tiny hearts stuck on it until Valentine’s Day ticks around. Then Barb in Accounts gets two bouquets delivered to work and I find myself fuming at my husband for not spending the money he doesn’t have on something I don’t want.
You see? The poor man can’t win and it’s all a construct. It’s all made up shit to get us to spend and I’m usually all for something that separates me from my money. Luckily, VD (coincidence?) falls on a Sunday this year so we’re spared the misplaced jealousy over what everyone else in the office is doing. Is it just me?
After much pondering of this unreasonable hatred I have for a supposedly positive holiday, I got to thinking:
Why am I buying into this day as if it should only be about romantic love?
We’re currently kicking it in 2021 and we all know by now that love is a many splendoured thing that comes in all shapes and sizes. Not all love is hearts and flowers – or sexual or romantic – so why not embrace that?
Galentine’s has been a thing for a while and it can spread outwards to whoever we decide in whatever way we please. If we decide to celebrate at all, which we sure as shit don’t have to if we don’t want to – that’s a legitimate option too.
I exchanged cards with Glynn this morning because I like picking and writing them – but I also sent them to my best friends because fuck it, I love them a lot too. I got the most perfect horror themed cards and I’m especially chuffed with myself this year.
I sent poetry to Mum – and a book I really love to my sister-in-law, Mads. I’m cooking a slap up roast tonight and the cat will get extra tummy tickles for being the most handsome man in my life.
But probably the most important Valentine to think about on a day like today is: ourselves. Yep, I’m here to preach classic self love again but that’s because it is the most important form of love there is. And I don’t mean in the well-meaning but outdated “How in the hell are you gonna love somebody else if you can’t love yourself…” Drag Race kind of way. Believe it or not, fucked up train wrecks are deserving of love too! But that’s a whole other blog post.
I’ve been looking at Valentine’s Day all wrong since for ever. I used to dream of having someone to share it with back when I was still an eye patch-wearing, Heather Shimmer lipstick loving teenager and that was fine. Then I became a serial monogamist (actually how many counts as ‘serial’? I’ve had two) with men who just weren’t/aren’t into it and the vibe was killed. I’m not blaming them for it, I’m just saying. To find out Valentine’s in a couple wasn’t as fun killed it.
I’ve always thought it was for single people anyway and I enjoyed it more when there was that tingle of hope and wonder in the lead up to the 14th. Does anyone fancy me enough this year to send me a card?
I mean the answer was always no but at least my Mum went to the effort of buying us cards, writing them with her left hand then going to tremendous trouble to pretend they’d been hand-shoved through the letterbox by someone in the ‘neighbourhood’. I always knew it was her but allowed myself 5% doubt just for the thrill of it.
This is an incredibly long post about how I’m reclaiming Valentine’s Day. I’ll carry on doing what I’m already doing but the focus in future is going to be on myself. I won’t dread the day if I know it’s all about the kind and loving things I’m going to do for me. Even if that is only buying myself flowers and luxury chocolate – and watching the holy trinity of VD horror movies: the aforementioned My Bloody Valentine, the 1981 original and of course, 2001’s seminal slasher Valentine.
You see? I feel better already. And, I think it was my blog wife Jill who once said, it’s always the day after – when all the Valentine’s candy goes on sale – that is the best day anyway. So Happy Valentine’s Day, all!