Thursday, February 14, 2008

Hate the Day for Lovers, Love the Lover

God, I hate V-Day. I just...the Love Industry seems to make single people feel like shit for having 'failed' so far in finding their partner for life (and I as their happily married friend feel bad that they're made to feel that way) and not-single people scurry around trying to "do something" for their loves whilst dealing with cloudy skies and post-Holidays exhaustion. And wondering if the "something" they've done is enough. If the money they've spent on flowers and whatnot is proof enough of their regard. I mean, serious potential spousal fray right there, right? What if the guy thinks he's being wonderful and buys carnations or something and the lady wigs because they're not roses?

[Aside: think it's time to be over the holidays? I don't disagree, but people around here still seem to still be recovering financially and psychologically from the whole thing, Yours Truly included. And I didn't even trouble myself to bake or send out cards.]

Anyway. The frantic marketing behind this day for lovers grates on my nerves like the industry behind Hallowe'en, Christmas and Easter combined can't, for some reason. I think that the biggest difference for me is that for the three big holidays, we're buying things for different reasons. Let's break it down:

[Disclaimer: I know there's Ramadan and Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and such and herald the day when they get as much or more attention, but I'm focusing on what are, for now, the three biggies in the Great American Holiday Marketing Machine. In my mind.]


Things bought: costumes, liquor, decorations
Purpose of purchases: partying, reveling in our dark side, love of the orange and black - all things I can get into.


Things bought: decorations, gifts for others, baking/cooking supplies, greeting cards
Purpose of purchases (agnostic's viewpoint): bringing families (of one kind or another) together to eat and drink good things, give gifts, revel in the Spirit of the Holiday (generosity, love, forgiveness), love of red and green, sending love to loved ones far away. Fantastic.


Things bought: little frilly dresses/suits, lilies for our Mamas, chocolate, ham, eggs, egg dye, fakey green grass that you have to keep your household pets out of, etc.
Purpose of purchases (again, not going with the church thing so much here): celebrate Spring, fertility, the sight of well-dressed little ones scurrying through the garden with chocolate-stained mouths. Also awesome.


Things bought: chocolate, diamonds, flowers, cards, lingerie, cuff links, dinner reservations
Purpose of purchases: romantic obligation, not being alone on such a day, the frail and desperate prospect of getting laid (yes, I know that the right answer here is: To Show Our Loved Ones Love, but I'm being bitter and jaded here. Work with me).

You see? V-Day is empirically and inherently evil and not-constructive for all concerned. It has been decided. Doff your red clothes and slink home in shame.

Fine. OK. I'll give myself ONE PARAGRAPH to not be horrid about this day. The truth is, I get a little icky in spite of myself on V-Day, missing Ramon while I'm at work, snuggling relentlessly with him when we get home, etc. But I also don't buy him a gift, generally, and I don't flip the dining room table over if he doesn't buy me something, either. And sex is entirely optional on this night (TMI? Just you wait...).

7 days ago marked our 10-year engagement anniversary, which means that we're six months away from our 10-year ANNIVERSARY anniversary. It also means that we've been one flesh for 10 years (I speak carnally, brothers and sisters. THERE'S your TMI - bathe in it). Those things are a big deal to me. Not chocolate (oh, I never thought those words would leave my lips) or roses or god-awful jewelry that's too shiny and makes you terrified to lose it.

Anyway, I don't know where I'm going with this, other than to say that although I HATE this day and what it does to people (I can't count how many fights R. and I have had on this day in the past because something Went Wrong), I love my Monchito more than my own life and want to say it here, again. And if you're reading this, chances are good that I love you too. And I wanted you to know.

Be well, my sweets, and eat all the chocolate you can stand today.



Blogger ~beth ♥ said...

"Serious Potential Spousal Fray"
***Great line***
Yes, well ... avoided the ex yesterday who (no big surprise) decided not to be responsible and show for parent/teacher gig. Yay me! Spent rest of evening with boys making hand made b-day cards for a friend. Not too bad overall.

2/15/2008 8:38 AM  
Blogger Cerise said...

Oh, thank god. I was worried for you.

2/15/2008 11:25 AM  
Blogger Aly said...

I guess I'm not virulently pro- or anti-V-day (tho I'm just not that into hearts and flowers), but Ash and I had a fantastic day. We cooked at home, ate out by the firepit and drank a lot of good wine. It was the nicest evening we'd had in a long while, probably because it wasn't fraught with unfulfillable expectations. I wasn't expecting diamonds, he wasn't expecting bondage gear. Everybody went to bed happy.

I hear you, though, on abhorring the fetishistic marketing of romance. I read recently that V-day has become the second-largest retail holiday (next to Christmas, of course) in the U.S. That seems crazy to me. We don't even buy gifts (see no diamonds/bondage gear above).

2/19/2008 2:53 PM  

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