Other than a New Year’s Eve kiss at midnight, on what other date is so much pressure placed on being a couple? Yes, it is different for girls. Valentine shamed when no large vase of long-stemmed red roses appears on your desk at work–the horror of glaring singleton status on Valentine’s Day. Mind you, those red roses probably sold for twice their usual price on February 14. Whoah, he must REALLY love you.
Because this is how love is measured on Valentine’s Day.
Well, I am here to tell you that I might have to call bullshit on this heart day myth. I’ve had wannabe boyfriends, real boyfriends, lovers, husbands, and even former husbands compete to show an expression of love for me in varying degrees of this holiday of hype. And I’ve also observed the male species struggle with the perfect gift dilemma trying to meet this pressure to please.
Are flowers enough?
Delivered to work? At home?
If I buy my own flowers and vase, does this count?
Can I give her candy if she’s on a juice diet?
Oh gawd, is this a jewelry occasion?
Dinner. Fack, you need reservations?
I loved the years when I was fussed over as if I were royalty–because I am indeed a princess. My enlightened men recognized this right away. And I remember so fondly the clever ones who created handmade cards with heartfelt pledges of undying forever love.
Forever turned out to be not so forever, but the sentiment tore at my heartstrings.
Nowadays I run on the single path. There will be no red roses for me at work. No cards or romantic dinners. Just another day just like any other. I usually buy a package of colored candy hearts and write dirty messages on them like, “Blow Me” and mail them to other single friends. It amuses me and has become my Valentine’s Day tradition. Perhaps this year I’ll expand my candy production and send a few out to some of those former boyfriends, lovers, and husbands. I laugh myself giddy thinking of the message possibilities.
It is too bad we had to leave the simpler times of a big box at the front of the second-grade classroom, when everyone was guaranteed a Be Mine Valentine card, and we dreamed of who might have sent this oh-so-romantic sentiment.
But life moved on to the grownup holiday that somehow morphed into a Couples Competition. I actually don’t miss it. I’ll likely spend the day binge-watching Downton Abbey, ordering random things online for myself and having them gift-wrapped.
“I know you’re really going to love this!”
So, in honor of this upcoming holiday, I celebrate my singledom in the face of Hallmark pressure and say here, have a candy heart …
Happy Valentine’s Day. Bite me.