According to the Chicago Tribune, the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre went down as follows: “On this frigid morning, in an unheated brick garage at 2122 N. Clark St., seven men were lined up against a whitewashed wall and pumped with 90 bullets from submachine guns, shotguns and a revolver. It was the most infamous of all gangland slayings in America, and it savagely achieved its purpose–the elimination of the last challenge to Al Capone for the mantle of crime boss in Chicago.” (As a former journalism student I have to love the imagery of this lead.)
So, given the time of year, you probably read the title of this post and thought one of a few things: she’s single, she’s a wicked feminist, she’s in a neglectful or unhappy relationship, or she’s bat-shit crazy. At least three of those things are untrue. But I have, through a series of life experiences and what I like to call “growth opportunities” (AKA: shit happens and you have no choice but to cowgirl up and ride on), developed a serious distaste for Valentine’s Day. I probably don’t quite hate it just yet, but I’m working on it. I’m very persistent.
First allow me to set the stage, inspired by but not based on the imagery of the SVDM story lead above: it’s a cool but warming Friday night, I’ve just had a warm bubble bath and am now comfy in my pink/grey jammy pants on my purple-and-gray-clad squishy bed, puppies snuggled not far away, listening to the Glee Cast station on my Pandora account. I even have a pink bedazzled iphone case (my veteran status should get me back a few cool points). I’m all girl – but I have to draw the line somewhere, and Valentine’s Day is that line.
A few weeks ago I was texting with someone about this topic (whilst having a particularly craptabulous day, immediately followed up with what I’ll underwhelmingly call disappointing news). I wish I’d saved the convo because, while I’m sure I sounded a touch on the psycho-angry-uber-fem side, I think I made some sound points about the hypocritical suck-fest that is this Hallmark holiday draped in clashing pink and red.
Here are my issues:
First, if you love me then love me every day. Don’t phone it in. Do you think one day of over-priced flowers and poor quality chocolate makes up for a year’s worth of so-so conversation or practiced sex? That kind of empty effort is just cheap – no matter how much money you spend. Do you think I believe that 364 days of giving in to my workaholic and introvert tendencies will be erased by a dinner out or a “romantic” hike through Maroon Bells? Yeah, no. A little advice from someone who admittedly has no idea what they’re talking about: Men, women want to feel wanted and beautiful and sexy all the time – and YOU have that power! Yes, YOU! (As if any man read this far…) Talk to her, listen to her, hug her when you come home, say I love you when you leave for work, kiss her good night every night, tell her when she looks pretty to you, keep the door closed when you use the bathroom (pretty sure there’s a blog somewhere in the this last piece of advice). And, Ladies, think like a man. More specifically, think like YOUR man. Make him feel confident, give him a back rub after a rough day at work, make him feel like you need him around – I’m not advocating submission or neediness here, just recommending that once in a while you might find a way to remind him that life would suck without him. And of course anything involving boobs & BJs will probably be a winner.
Second, romance can’t be forced. And V-Day is all about the forcing of “romance.” Real romance is like true love – it isn’t planned, it isn’t contrived. It’s genuine, and it’s either there or it isn’t. Romance is different for everyone I supposed, but for me? It’s there in the way he looks at me, the way he blurts out something stupid because I make him nervous, the way he makes me walk on the inside of the sidewalk away from traffic, fist-bumping in celebration when we hear screaming kids in the mall because we don’t have any, or when we have entire conversations in half a sentence or just a look. It’s kicking myself during the day because I keep thinking about him at the most inappropriate/inconvenient moments. It’s the thing that’s there when someone you love – really love – loves you back just as much.
Third, you never workout on a full stomach! (Grandma, if you’re reading this, stop right now, okay? That’s why I put this section last. I promise – it’s for your own good.)
What do I mean you don’t workout on a full stomach? Who works out on V-Day??? Here’s what I mean: This is a day where we, as a people, are expected to indulge in rich, decadent, seven-course French dinners (or whatever equivalent – I tend to prefer tapas), booze, and gorge on chocolate and sweets, and then…and THEN…it the brownchickenbrowncow. That’s right – you are obligated to have sex! Eat your heart out, bloat from the salt and alcohol, and then perform the equivalent of a few hours-worth of P90X without vomiting on your partner (I mean, unless you’re into that kind of thing – I’m not here to judge). I’m reminded of a day in basic training where we were ‘rewarded’ for a good day of training with a huge spaghetti dinner. And then promptly run outside to do front/back/goes, bear crawls, roll left/roll right, sit ups, and whatever other manner of physical torture our Drill Sgt. could come up with. Best of luck, ladies. Me? I’ll have the salad.
And then there was V-Day 2012 I spent in the hospital waiting for my dad to die. We’ll get to that later…
For now, I’ll simply challenge you to ask yourself how much you show the people you love – not just your SO (significant other), your lover, your crush, whatever – but ALL the people you love that you do, indeed, care about them and think about them every day. Did you do it? Did you ask yourself? Got an answer? Okay…now try to improve on that.