For most of my childhood, Valentine's Day was a mixture of dread and eye-rolling, since I really hated having to write the names of everyone in my class on one of those little fold-y card things but was secretly worried that I wouldn't get one from everyone else. I did enjoy decorating my shoebox, though. Then middle school came and, well, I blocked out a lot of that time period, so we'll just skip that. High school was different, since our school had this fund raiser where they'd sell roses (that only girls could receive). I got one every year, but that's because my dad bought me one, partially to keep me from being humiliated that I was boyfriendless. I appreciated the gesture, even if everyone knew that the rose wasn't from a secret admirer.
And then college. Oh, college. This was where I adopted my "I hate Valentine's Day" mantra. And I was in some type of relationship each time Valentine's Day came around, which I guess kind of makes it a little weirder. To me, my anti-VD rhetoric was a sort of feminist statement, both in terms of what gifts were usually given - all women everywhere like shiny rocks! - and also in regards to this attitude of "Well, I've been an ass for the other 364 days of the year, but who cares since I went to Jared!" Add in a little bit of embarrassment, since I couldn't really afford anything super fancy and neither could my significant other because we were fucking college students, and there you go.
After college, Valentine's Day gradually became another day to me, although my mom still chose to send me a little gift basket, usually consisting of toothpaste, tampons, and a bit of makeup*. I suppose I didn't really have to show my disdain for the holiday to anyone on campus or anything, but it was a little difficult for me to explain to people with whom I worked, whose desks were overwhelmed with pink teddy bears and red foil-wrapped chocolate hearts. Most of them assumed that I was unattached - not untrue - and instead tried to avoid speaking to me about it the majority of the time. A few brave women** would breach the topic, but I'd wave them off with a pissy, "Well, until gay people can get legally married, I just feel like celebrating Valentine's Day is wrong" or "Wasn't Christmas, like, two months ago??" My responses were usually met with eye rolls or gradual retreats, and I was okay with that.
When I met Three, I told him the truth: that I just didn't really care about Valentine's Day and that I'd rather we show each other on a daily basis that we loved each other. At first, he was actually impressed by my outlook on it and was like, "Cool! No visit to Kay's then." He'd been married to a woman who was kind of obsessed with tradition*** so my bucking trends was a relief. But then he had to deal with his coworkers, who seeded him with doubts about my sincerity, so we ended up going to an Indian restaurant the day after because there was no way in hell that I'd be going anywhere public to witness various marriage proposals and Jewelry Face****.
This year, my to-do list is as follows (in no particular order):
- Take Fancy to the shop to finally get that coolant leak fixed.
- Put shit together for a Goodwill run.
- Play a bit of Mass Effect 2*****.
- Wait for Three to come home from work.
- Make another attempt at getting pregnant because we're in my fertility window right now. You're welcome for that information.
- Call various family members to wish them a pleasant and love-filled Valentine's Day.
I know. Doesn't it just scream ROMANCE? I can just feel your jealousy right through the screen.
Even though I no longer dread or violently reject this day as I once did, I do side-eye it a lot and kind of wish it didn't exist. But then I wouldn't have anything to complain about in February other than the cold and the number of days, so I guess that's something.
* And before Mom can say anything, I really do appreciate this. It's not expected, like my Easter basket, though. I'm not even kidding. One year, my mother forgot to give my sister and I Easter baskets, and she might as well have killed puppies. She has not made this mistake since, which is in her best interest. [cracks knuckles]
** It was always women. None of my male coworkers seemed to care, unless I was dating one of them, but that's a whole other story.
*** His ex-wife and I would not get along at all. She felt that husbands and wives didn't need to be friends and only needed to tolerate each other so they could have babies and eventually slide into a life of passive-aggressive jabs and frequent affairs. She also told Three once that she didn't really listen to what he said but that he was nice to look at.
**** This phrase is courtesy of Sarah Haskins' Target Women series on the now defunct CurrenTV channel. The video below is actually in reference to Christmas, but it still applies. Also, watch the Target Women episodes "Doofy Husbands" and "Beauty Contraptions." Seriously. They're hilarious, and I'm still a little peeved that they canceled CurrenTV.