Thursday, February 14, 2013
On the (Lack of) Importance of Valentine's Day
Three years ago we published a post wherein we talked about how an unattached female friend of ours threw a Valentine's Day party for single people, an anti-Valentine's Day party if you will, designed for single women to network with other single women for the purposes of analyzing their failed relationships, complaining about how they'd been screwed over by men, and presumably organizing some sort of hunting party and killing and dismembering either their unfaithful and/or emotionally distant ex-boyfriends or else successful couples that have the audacity to be happy.
It appears that I may have been hasty in my assessment of the party in question. First off, it apparently wasn't a women-only event. Couples might even have been invited, though at the time it didn't seem that way, and I know that Jill and I certainly didn't get an invite. But whereas I categorized it as a get-together for bitter, lonely individuals who can't get dates, much less find love, it was likely a low-key gathering of single people held for the purposes of deflecting societal pressure on that most Hallmarky of Hallmark holidays. I can't fault any single individual for wanting to be part of something like that. Hell, I can't fault the attached for it either. As someone who has no problem making grand gestures of love on random days throughout the year, I'm all for ignoring Valentine's Day.
Let me rephrase that: I would be all for ignoring Valentine's Day if my wife didn't have co-workers and friends whose envy motivates me the way revenge motivates the protagonist in a squalid 1970s grindhouse flick. Essentially, the holiday - sorry, "holiday" - does little for me; while I enjoy hearing Jill gush and brag about the dozen roses I had delivered to her place of work, I know that she doesn't expect them just because it's Valentine's Day. While I am comfortable being romantic on February 14 each year, I am also pretty romantic on February 13 and February 15, and for that matter August 29. I love the fact that my wife is aware that Valentine's Day is a corporate holiday designed to sell greeting cards, chocolate, flowers, and lingerie, and for that matter I love the fact that she refuses to go out on Valentine's Day as restaurants are overcrowded and often feature a limited and expensive prix fixe menu.
That doesn't mean that, to some extent, Jill doesn't want me to pull out all the stops on Valentine's Day. We may sidestep the issue of overcrowded and overpriced restaurants by having a nice dinner out several days beforehand - this year we celebrated Valentine's Day with a four-course dinner out more than a week in advance - but for us Valentine's Day still tends to include cards with heartfelt messages, gifts including candy, and hot sex that generally incorporates a half-dozen or more positions. But then all of those things are fair game on any other day. Jill just doesn't want to have to forego them on the one day a year that everyone she knows is openly talking about them. Except for the hot sex. Most of our friends aren't the sort to talk about that.
Getting back on topic, the friend who was responsible for that jaded anti-Valentine's Day party is throwing another one tomorrow night. We've been invited. Now, knowing the friend as well as we do, we are reasonably certain that we will not be tarred, feathered, and set ablaze. In fact, we will not be the only couple in attendance. Upon perusing the guest list, it appears that the couples-to-singles ratio is such that the couples could easily take the singles should they try anything. And they'd have to be crazy to try anything. We may be happy, relaxed couples and they may be on-edge, perpetually-pissed-off singles who haven't gotten laid in months (not saying they are, just that they might be), but the first sign of aggression will be met with swift and decisive action on our part.
Ahem. I'm not expecting a battle royale tomorrow night. Just some laughs, some dancing, and probably some magnesium hydroxide slipped into my cocktail by some single guy who wishes he was married to Jill. We'll keep you posted. Until then, however, we just wanted to wish you all a good day, whether you celebrate Valentine's Day, Singles Awareness Day, or some other fringe holiday or pseudo-holiday. (Did you know that today is my half-birthday? It is.)
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