I recently came across a fortune that I liberated from a cookie last summer. Not sure why I kept it other than to play the included numbers in that week’s lottery – because you never know. Here’s what it said:
Many people despise Valentine’s and resent all the canoodling that goes on. Others are depressed because they’re single. But those people have probably never been dragged out to dinner when they were extremely ill, in the dead of winter, just so this individual could tell his friends and colleagues how great he treats his gal. And then have to, during said dinner, make banal chitchat and compliment him on his divine choice of restaurants (where you can’t really find anything that you like on the menu, mostly because you just want to barf), and compliment him on the great effort it took to pick up a phone and make a reservation… while, the entire time, you’re thinking: “the only thing that could make me kiss this motherfucker right now is if I were the carrier of a highly contagious, extremely uncomfortable and untreatable virus that was transmissible by saliva….” For people who’ve never sat across someone who has become a stranger, Valentine’s is one hot, sexy romp with some chocolates thrown in – for the extra energy, *wink wink*. For others, it’s a day of showing remarkable restraint… because when it gets to that point, the scab has already bonded to the bandage, and tearing it off is done with great hesitation for fear of tearing off the scab and exposing the infected pus that oozes out of the raw wound that was your relationship.
There’s so much expectation put on couples, and that’s magnified on the 14th of February every year. It has to be dramatically romantic, it has to be lavish, it has to be… it has to be… and if it’s not, you obviously don’t care enough. Unless you’re in the early throes of passion (maybe the first two years, before you move in together and ruin a perfectly good thing), having expectations like these are a recipe for failure. The truth is, going all out with the ‘love’ one day a year doesn’t make up for being a prick or a bitch the other 364 days of the year – or 363 days, if it’s a leap year.
I propose we start a Reverse Valentine’s Day, where we do everything possible to show our loved one that we don’t give an absolute shit about them – just one day of the year that will make the rest of the dumb shit you normally do seem not so bad by comparison. We could call it Frankenstine’s Day (deliberately misspelled) – not because we’d be assembling random body parts, but because we’d be turning ourselves into little monsters for the day. Some of the following ideas are unisex offenses; others are directly targeted for persons of a particular sex.
- Offer to make him/her a coffee in the morning, and serve it cold.
- Take your shower first – and use up all the hot water.
- Offer to make him/her an egg salad sandwich for lunch… and don’t cook the eggs.
- Guilt him into watching back-to-back romantic comedies with you – not because you like them, but because you know he hates them.
- Make him sleep on the wet spot – this is something women often end up doing most of the year, so girls, make sure your honey gets this treat on Valentine’s.
- If you have a good mattress protector, pee on his/her side of the bed – preferably when s/he gets up during the night to go to the loo… this will make him/her think s/he wet the bed when s/he crawls back in… it’s all about the psychological damage today, so it’s okay.
- For girls only, for obvious reasons: If you can arrange it with Mother Nature, try to get your period that day – nothing says ‘I love you’ like having a crime scene in your panties on the ‘most romantic day’ of the year.
- If you’re a guy, you could maybe offer to do the laundry for your sweetheart… and throw in your red Star Trek shirt with her whites, or maybe throw her favourite wool sweater in the hot cycle and then the dryer. (I feel this would disturb women more because we tend to have favourite pieces of clothing and are, more often than not, relatively careful about laundry… guys seem to go with the flow with laundry and wear their pink socks and shrunken sweaters like a badge of honour.)
That said, I must confess that I do find it sweet when I see people showing affection for one another – not the tongue down her cleavage/hand up his ass kind of PDA, but the kind that emanates from someone’s eyes. The look that says, you’re special to me – the look that others intuitively understand just by catching a glimpse of it. It’s nice to see those elderly couples who still hold hands and enjoy each other’s company – they like each other. It reassures me that people still believe in love and that all is not lost.
By contrast, it’s also comforting, as a single gal, to see couples who hate each other and visibly demonstrate it with the contempt in which they glare at each other… that sentiment that Little Britain so eloquently expressed in their married couple skit, where the husband says to the wife: “I really am now just waiting for you to die… ”
Witnessing such destructively toxic couples reminds oneself that there is great beauty and peace to be found by going it alone -that it truly is better to be alone for the right reasons, than together for the wrong. It can be lonely sometimes, but it’s lonelier to be with someone and feel empty…
And so, this Saturday, while couples everywhere will either be in the throes of passion or plotting the ‘disappearance’ of their beloved, I will be celebrating with the ones I love:
My turkeys, from left: Sasha, Henry, Harley
I’ll serenade them with REO Speedwagon’s ’80s hit love ballad, Keep on Lovin’ You…
… and make eye contact while belting out the lyrics: ‘And I meant, every word I said/When I said that I love you/ I meant that I’d love you forever…’
At some point, I will probably dance with them while doing chores (Sasha likes to cha-cha; Henry likes to slow-dance), watch a couple of episodes of Pepe le Pew (the original stalker) and then probably watch Eagle vs. Shark . That has become somewhat of a tradition for me on Valentine’s: watching the former for the witty play with words and determination to find love; the latter for the sheer awkwardness/discomfort that sometimes comes with being in love.
At the end of the day, though, it doesn’t matter what does or doesn’t happen – what matters is that I’ll be spending time with the ones I love… wearing sweats and noshing on ‘reduced price’ chocolates, because that’s how I roll….