As the years go by, I feel increasingly sheepish about my utter loathing for Valentine’s Day. It seems like such a stereotypical Gen X thing to do: sneering at candy hearts and sweet sentiments and sex. Who sneers at sex? Oh, so insufferable, my loathing for this day.
But I can’t help it.
For a while, I accused myself of snobbery. Do you think you’re better than people who buy pre-fab cards with rhyming poems in them and purchase pretty, sugary things for their sweethearts, who go out to eat and try to have a romantic evening? I would ask myself. Please remember that summer you earnestly, unironically, and devoutly followed not just the first season of The Search for America’s Next Top Model but the RERUNS of it. Please think on this before you imagine you have better taste than other people. Think of the moment you turned to your spouse and said: “She’ll never win. She doesn’t want it enough. She doesn’t have modeling in her BONES.”
But then I thought more about it and realized I was not looking down at people who did this. I was cringing, imagining myself one of them. The sense of obligation. Perhaps the oppressive idea by the less romantic partner (and I’ll just put it out there that I have had not one but TWO partners, unprompted, use the phrase “you are the single least romantic person in the world” with me. The exact phrase, word for word.) that no matter what she did it would not be enough. The melancholy feeling the more romantic of the pair might have, knowing full well the reservations, the candy, the little bit of jewelry, even the card will feel thrown-together and almost insulting.
But still, I scolded myself, plenty of couples seem very happily matched, romancewise. Why do you have to cringe up into a little prickly ball of grrrrrrrrrrr whenever this day is mentioned?
I thought back on my Valentine’s Days. The oppressive sense of obligatory romance or sex the years I was coupled, sure. But mainly the gloomy wonderment over whether something was wrong with me over the years boys just weren’t interested (and my complete lack of awareness that girls might be. My bad; can’t blame Valentine’s Day for that.).
I think this is a day that makes many people feel left out or inadequate. And you know what? As a person who feels community is my lifeblood, I think I’m okay with hating a day that makes people many people feel excluded or disconnected.
So. Fuck Valentine’s Day, my excluded, disconnected brothers and sisters!
And Happy Valentine’s Day to those of you who love it. I guess.