Thursday, January 20, 2011

St Valentine would be proud, I'm sure.

Oh sweet Valentines Day, your origins are as clandestine as your palette is unvaried; our card racks here at the smith have been taken over with red, pink, white, the occasional chocolate brown. I get lost in the stacks and have to yell to whoever card and gift lass is working to "get the pole! I'm being sucked into the undertow again! Gaah hearts! Script! SNUGGLING ANIMALS" Seconds later, I am revived by a coworker with smelling salts and a book of Goya paintings; something uncute to jog me back into the "now".
Its Valentines Day. Its gaudy, its saccharine, and its coming for you.
Ones relationship with Valentines used to be different. As kids, we experienced valentines day as a celebration of cards and little chalky hearts, with a vague knowledge that it was a day somehow connected with love. Not for us, not even by way of schoolyard crush, because even that had yet to begin. For the most part I remember still being an asexual being during the years of the quarter page cardboard valentines card, perforated edges separating each slightly different holographic Power Rangers image from one another. All the messages are affectionate without being embarrassing: You're Powerfully Cool! Hope Your Valentines Is A Red-Letter Day! With the red ranger in power stance over the Official Power Rangers font (tm). You crafted a construction paper mailbox in class, the teacher allowed for fifteen minutes of hysterical mayhem as you delivered the cards to one another, and that was it. Maybe you munched on some candy hearts or Hershey kisses, but that the was extent of any potential funny business.

Then later, for most of us, Valentines day began to represent something ugly. It began to represent the absence of love, instead of the presence of it. In high school some of us (going through our dramatic phases from which we suspect we have yet to outgrow) wore black and stormed angrily around all day on the 14th of February under the guise of "making a statement". A year or so ago, as I prepared to drink a bottle of champagne and watch "The Notebook" by myself (not because I'm a sad sack but because I love that movie and I love champagne, so get off my back already ok?), I got a call from a group of guy friends and the night ended with watching three drunken dudes start a dance party in the Model all by themselves. It was like watching a baby deer take its first furtive steps, except way less adorable and inspiring. That was a Valentines day that went down in infamy.

Whatever you choose to do, or not to do, remember to be safe and have fun, and try not to be too bitter. If you're gonna buy cards, I recommend the sweet little Hammerpress cards we carry, the handmade ones on the creme card stock because they are smart and always made me laugh. If you're going to buy candy, don't bother with those chocolate cherries with the cordial, nobody likes those, they taste like grandma. And if you're interested in grabbing a bottle of Andre and watching Gosling woo McAdams, you know where to find me.

No comments: