It truly is a holiday that blesses the single. Although the media may make some feel otherwise, what reason is there to be melancholy on Valentine’s when unpaired? The image of the despondent individual walking the grey streets
through beaming throngs of couples cuddling their way down the avenue is a depiction better suited to the reality of a naive water head heavily medicated on lithium. In reality the representation should be that of a carefree
individual, wallet overflowing with disposable income, whistling with a hop step as s/he maneuvers through the overflow of blind minded people who would rather pretend all is well than face up to one more disastrous attempt at making it
work. Because honestly, Valentine’s is for people who still have the sunny freshness of new sex wet across the top lip, or rocky couples floundering for a reason to stay together. Perhaps a few paper hearts, a bouquet of flowers (the
most strangely honest symbol of a relationship: temporarily beautiful but prone to decay and inevitable death), some sweets, and we can stir up that old sense of when we first fumbled into each other’s arms.
...when there are still bills to pay, but she almost outright insisted on flowers, so you have
to put the phone bill off one more week to get just the right kind of roses... which also meant no cigarettes today, though that sounds like a petty gripe until you realize it’s only the tip of the iceberg; and now the cost
calculations won’t stop coming. Dinner, $135.47; The cardboard bullshit with lace trim you could have made yourself for a buck fifty except you kept putting it off till the last minute and had to scramble into Walgreen’s for what’s
supposed to be your heart; The hours of soft intimacy you’ll have to endure because it’s Valentine’s which means we should make that sweet kind of love with gentle caresses, whispers of affection, and slow rhythm rather than the hard
flop slap vaginal spray because she’s juicing and your working it like a jackhammer hoping to leave a mark before you expire.
We’ll act as if you bought that dress to make me see you again for the first time... as if I’ve forgotten that strange cluster of dead skin you never seem capable of cleaning off your ankle groove. Over wine, that won’t kick in fast enough, we’ll try to make idle chit chat over the din of the crowd. Because for some reason, I can’t imagine why, this place is packed to the gills. And everyone seems to be having the same conversation.
Accurate paraphrase, "I love you. I mean it. Let me recount some reason I have for caring about you because I can’t just say it, live with you, help with the bills, comfort you when you’re sad, or clearly enjoy sex with you. I need to provide a
deeply meaningful account of the personal characteristics you own which make my heart beat."
The only upside to all this being that only the most supremely dysfunctional couples will fight
on Valentine’s -- the lucky bastards. Most folks succumb to the inane defense, "You know what? It’s Valentine’s Day. I don’t want to fight." As if that ever stopped a war.
Time, money, dignity. It all vanishes on Valentine’s. Unless you’re single. In which case the road is open. And if you truly feel that it might be a good idea to connect with humanity on this most auspicious of fake holidays, there’s always someone walking the grey line to suicide town -- the easiest people to bed. Just look for the slumped shoulders; the isolated girl in the prettiest dress; people sighing on street corners; the runny mascara at the end of the bar; the sidewise
glance from the guy with greasy hair trying not to gawk at a couple in a restaurant window he assumes is happy because he can’t hear her talking about her ex-boyfriend and how he never did anything romantic for her which is why she
loves you more than him though she stayed with Brent for three years because the sex was the most leg liquifying orgasmic experience of her life... present company included, "I love how hard you try."
But then there it is. Valentine’s is for people who need constant reassurance in the face of overwhelming routine. The one day of the year when the mundane is forced to transmute into romantic par exsalonce. Which is, for the majority: dinner, gourmet booze, mass printings of clichés on cardboard, and sex. At least the food will be good.