Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Day of Birds and Martyrdom. Or Something.

Okay, so I'm one of those people who hates Valentine's Day. I know, you've stopped reading already. But I'm not saying this because I'm bitter and alone or think it was invented by candy companies (for God's sake, Chaucer writes about it in the Parliament of Foules and it obviously has something to do with Saints.) In fact, not only do I love candy and the color red, I'm not typically alone on Valentine's Day. The problem isn't so much having disappointing Valentine's Days because I'm watching romantic-comedies alone in my room, crying and eating a tub of ice cream and generally being a female stereotype, but having disappointing Valentine's Days because the boys I've dated tend to not listen.

A particularly memorable year was with a boy I stayed friends with when we broke up and could possibly be reading this. And though he'll probably remember, I'm going to call him Fabio, because that will give everyone a stunning visual. This is me in high school:
It's not a unitard.
And now just imagine I'm dating Fabio. Yeah, we were a pretty special (as in weirdly dysfunctional) couple.

Fabio had a thing for Valentine's Day and it didn't matter how many times I explained to him why I didn't want to celebrate (which I actually think is more romantic than Valentine's Day, thank you very much.) We were 15, and he probably thought I was trying to get out of giving him a present, or fake protesting. In any case, relationships are about compromise so I told him we could celebrate it alone, over the weekend, but not at school, under any circumstances. No. Fucking. Way. He agreed, I baked cookies or something, and then Fabio and I watched Monty Python sketches.

On Valentine's Day I dressed in black in silent protest and when I walked in I saw girls walking around, carrying roses (ick,) balloons (embarrassing,) candy (delicious,) and large stuffed animals (so embarrassing it strays into the pathetic and vaguely upsetting category.) But everyone was so goddamn happy I was just kind of going with the general mood of things, until I saw Fabio across the quad and what he was holding.


I was too mad to be actually mad. I immediately got amped up into vindictive mode.

I sauntered over to Fabio, or sauntered as well as a socially awkward 15-year-old girl can saunter, and smiled sweetly as I accepted my gift. But then, with giant eyes, I looked up at him with an expression than drifted from happiness to pure, unadulterated horror.

HYUG: F-f-f-f-fabio. I can't believe you would give me such a cruel present.

F: Whaaaa?

HYUG: I can't believe you would buy me...this. This bloodthirsty creature.

F: Whaaaa?

HYUG: Fabio, do you not understand? This animal has a HUMAN HEART. IT ITS MOUTH. IT KILLED SOMEONE RIGHT BEFORE YOU GAVE IT TO ME.

F: …

HYUG: I'm going to name it Serial Killer!

F: Whaaaa?

I flounced away, feeling victorious, and stowed Serial Killer in my locker. At mid-morning break, I walked up to Fabio sans-Serial Killer, and got what was coming to me.


HYUG: I put him in my locker, I'm not going to carry around a huge stuffed dog all...


Fabio tore across the quad to where my locker was and started to pound on it and talk to Serial Killer through the slots. People had cleared out around him by the time I got there. He made me open the locker, and continued to croon things like “Mommy didn't mean it Serial Killer,” as he cradled the goddamn thing in his arms.

Touché, Fabio, touché.

In the end, I hate Valentine's Day because if I care about someone and they care about me, we goddamn better be able to show each other every single day. I get it, I do, a day to celebrate love really is a wonderful thing. I just never want to be someone who needs to have a day like that to feel validated. I know a lot of people can just enjoy the hearts and candy and such without over-thinking it, but I'm never going to be one of those people so the person I'm with should be able to accept that and celebrate with me by not celebrating at all.
My sentiments exactly and literally.
Last Valentine's Day I was sick and Boyfriend brought me food. The response he got for his “Well, Happy Valentine's Day” was, “Yeah, it's good I don't celebrate this holiday,” as I fell asleep, probably drooling on him because I couldn't breathe through my nose. Sorry about that. This year? So far, he hasn't said anything. BEST VALENTINE'S PRESENT EVER.

P.S. Fabio, if you're reading this, my apologies. I know how well-intentioned Serial Killer was. Here is a belated thank you, from a less-bitchy version of me.

Amazing Valentine's Day card courtesy of this place.

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