My newsfeed is full of pink hearts and roses. Most people would assume that this fills me with rage, but here’s a dirty little secret: I’m actually a romantic. Not in the awful tear-inducing movie way, mind you; I still like my movies full of explosions and giant robots. But I do love love.
And even though Snowman and I don’t celebrate today*, I still like Valentine’s Day. Because once you strip away all the pseudo-Christian bullshit and the cards and chocolates and Diamonds of Obligation, it’s still about love. And there’s worse things to celebrate than that.**
Not just romantic love, either. What about the love you have for your family? Your friends? Hell, for yourself? Ever think about taking some time today just for you? And then there’s all the other things we love: books and music and movies and food and activities. Geeks in particular are good at this: when we love something, we really love it. And want the entire internet to know.
More in keeping with this blog, nothing keeps writing–any form of creativity, really–going like love. Love for what you do. Love for the idea. Love for what you’re making, out of nothingness and brain squeezings and fairy dust and fear.
But there’s a feeling of fucking obligation that overhangs Valentine’s Day. You have to do something for your significant other, if you have one. If you don’t, there’s a not-so-subtle undercurrent of what the hell is wrong with you seeping through all those ads for candy and jewelry like untreated sewage.
Two bits of advice here:
1) Try not to run your life based on ads. The ad industry*** is not on your side, and only makes money when you in some way feel inadequate.
2) Who’s to say what you can and cannot celebrate? If you don’t like the popular message of Valentine’s Day, then change it. Make it what you want. It doesn’t have to be about some chubby bastard of a god chasing people around with a Hunger Games weapon.**** Spend time with your friends or by yourself. Watch that movie that always makes you laugh. Pull out that book that puts a smile in your heart. Write that One True Pairing slash-fic you’ve always wanted, and damn the canonical relationships. Make something you love special.
Yes, it would be nice to do that stuff for the people and things we love every day. But we’re busy, and human, and hesitant, and we fuck up. So I don’t object to a set day every year when it’s okay to show how you feel. Better than not doing it ever, right?
Or just treat it as another fucking Friday if that makes you happy. And enjoy all the half-priced chocolate tomorrow.
*Years ago, we moved Valentine’s Day to better coincide with his out-of-town work schedule. Between the empty restaurants and cheap chocolate, it worked so well we never bothered to move it back.
**For fuck’s sake, people still celebrate Victoria Day. If that undead old bitch can have a day, surely having one devoted to love isn’t a big deal.
***Look, I’m sure there are many nice people in the advertising industry, but I’m sure there were many nice people who worked on weaponized smallpox, too.
****Does anyone else wonder if Cupid’s arrows are tipped with roofies?
4 thoughts on “Arrow-Filled Death From Above: Some Thoughts On Valentine’s Day”
Any holiday that involves chocolate is a-okay in my books. Which is almost all of them, come to think of it. Except Victoria Day. I’ve never seen a chocolate Queen Victoria. The marketing guys really dropped the ball on that one.
Next from Godiva: Chocolate Queen Victoria
I like that when you mention the obligation of v-day, it’s like a (perhaps unintentional) metaphor for how writing can sometimes feel like an obligation. Not that I don’t enjoy writing but I go through dry spells and there is always this underlying sort of guilt or impetus to write whether I feel like it or not.