As is the case with far too many things in my life, I have conflicting feelings about Valentine’s Day.
There is a part of me – a larger part than many realize exists – that wants to just tell Valentine’s Day to go fuck off. The reasons why are myriad: any real meaning – whether historical or romantic – has been commercialized and marketed to the point where it’s become nothing more than a sanitized, shrink-wrapped, saccharine celebration of “perfect love”; its now overwrought “meaning” dictates a certain way that men must present this “perfect love” to their mates, especially if their mates are of the female persuasion – anything less than chocolates and flowers and wine and jewelry and candlelight and the men are found to be wanting in their love for their women; and, perhaps not all that least, my ex’s birthday is Valentine’s Day, which faintly colors everything associated with the day – while I don’t hate him, there is still a fine thread of bitterness that runs through my thoughts of him, as I’m someone who has a lot of trouble forgiving those whom I feel have done me wrong, no matter how hard I may try.
I am, in my deepest heart of hearts, an unremitting and unapologetic romantic.
I don’t know why. Perhaps this is one area in my make-up that is seriously driven by my astrological influences. Not to get too far into it, but I’m a Taurus, ruled by Venus, and I have a hell of a lot of water signs in my chart. For those who know a thing or two about astrology, y’all know how emotional that can make a girl.
(For those who are atheists or have a super-scientific bent [and you know who you are], stop your snickering and indulge me, m’k?)
Or maybe, in this respect, I am by nature a serious girly-girl, no matter how I may fight against it. I love flowers. I love chocolate. I love jewelry and music and candlelight and cards and all of the other hokey trappings of what our society has defined as romantic love. I’ve got a traditional streak that runs deep in me that my rebellious side can’t seem to overcome.
Or maybe I just want to say, “Fuck you,” to my ex and reclaim the day as rightfully mine, declaring that no one can take this hokey, over-commercialized day from me, dammit. I’ve gone through far too many Valentine’s Days without a valentine. Now that I have one – for the second year in a row – I want it to be a day for us, with no ghosts intruding. Even though I honestly believe that we don’t need a designated day to demonstrate our love and that our love doesn’t need to be perfect. It just needs to be ours.
Or maybe it’s all of the above. My mind, as usual, wars with my heart when it comes to this issue. Neither seems to realize that this is a war that cannot be won. A truce must be struck.
Karl Elvis is right. HSTeacher is right. Love isn’t about pretty pieces of paper. Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be about pre-packaged sentiments, much as my unwavering romantic heart thinks it might be. If it’s to be about anything, it should be about sweaty, messy love with all of its imperfections. It should be about passionate companionship, whether that takes the form of hanging out in the same room while nerding out on separate computers, rubbing your loved one’s shoulders and neck and back to help relieve the stress of a bad week or engaging in screaming, grunting, tear-down-the walls sex that keeps your neighbors up as you call each other’s names out into the night.
Still, if that passionate companionship is accompanied by chocolate or flowers or cards, well, my Venus ruled heart won’t turn them away.
(Happy Valentine’s Day, HSTeacher. I love you.)