Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Otherwise, you're a jerk

You can't turn on the tv this week without being bombarded by commercials guilting reminding you to go out and buy expensive baubles, overpriced flowers, juvenile stuffed animals and tacky lingerie to give to your Significant Other because otherwise, you're a jerk if you don't.

I really hate the marketing concept that designates a specific day of the year to declare your affections for another person and unfairly leads people to expect tributes of "love" and then dashes their expectations when these tributes aren't up to par.

Any time I've been in a relationship, when Valentine's Day rolled around, I'd start fretting.  Would he get me something?  What if he doesn't get me something?  What if he gets me something like a stuffed animal dressed up in a dominatrix outfit that says, "I'm Whipped!"  What if I get him something?  What WOULD I get him?  What if I get him something and he doesn't get me anything?  Should I just play it safe and mentioned casually that a gift isn't necessary and what if he tells me that he hadn't planned on getting me anything anyway and then I feel totally stupid yet hope that he's just saying that and that he really DID get me something lovely but wants me to THINK that he didn't get me anything and then V-Day comes and goes and I find out that he wasn't kidding and then I feel all hurt and think that maybe he doesn't really want to stay together and maybe we should just break up and see?  This is why Valentine's Day sucks.

Three particular Valentine's Days stick out in my memory.  One was good but the other two were bad.  Very, very bad.

The good one was TheManTheMyth's and my first V-Day together.  We'd been going out for a couple of months and his first Valentine's gift to me was a dirt bike.  Yeah, yeah, and they say that Romance is Dead but this was a great gift because it was something we could do together.  Dirt bike riding.  It was a good little bike, a Suzuki DR125 and when we went out to the desert, I no longer had to sit back in camp, twiddling my thumbs while everyone else went for a trail ride.  TheManTheMyth's next gift to me was to have A/C installed in my truck.  Hands down, the best gift I ever received. Those may not have been "romantic" gifts to most women but they screamed "LOVE!!" to me.

Bad V-Day #1 is tied with #2 for Worst Valentine's Day EVER.  I had been with M for almost 2 years.  To celebrate V-Day we went to dinner with a bunch of friends and everything was fabulous and wonderful and my inebriated little brain thought that Valentine's Day was the logical day to exchange declarations of love for the first time.  Boy was I wrong.  The next morning I woke up to both a hangover and a cold and empty pillow next to me.  And a cold and empty house.  And a "Dear Kelly" letter stuffed into my purse.  

In a panic, I called his house and his brother had the uncomfortable task telling me that M refused to come to the phone and didn't want to talk to me or see me again.

To use an old-fashioned term, I literally "took to my bed" in hysteria and grief for an entire week until my mom got fed up with my dramatics and made me get up, take a shower and go back to work.

Bad V-Day #2 was when a friend of the guy I was crazy/sick in love with, let slip a few days before Valentine's Day that "Somebody" had bought an expensive piece of jewelry for a special lady.  How giddy was I in the days before Valentine's Day? At first I wasn't concerned when the Object of My Affections called to tell me that he had to work on V-Day because there wasn't anything unusual in his working on a Saturday.  I figured I would get my present either the day before or the day after.  V-Day came and went and no bauble was presented to me along with a declaration of love.  Maybe his buddy was wrong but how do I say, "Hey E!  Where's the jewelry J said you bought for a special lady?" because it was supposed to be a surprise.

Oh, I was surprised when someone else innocently asked me if I had seen the gorgeous bracelet C got from E for Valentine's Day.  Wait.  What?  Yeah, that was how I found out that E was a two-timing ratbastard.

Years, decades later I can feel my blood pressure start to rise remembering these two debacles.  Yes, they were jerks.

I hate Valentine's Day.


  1. We really don't do anything for Valentine's Day, that's what 23 years of married bliss does, it makes you say, "Yeah, I'm not a sucker."

    I refuse to let my husband give me flowers on that day. Not only are the prices jacked up, but it's just so typical. I like flowers when I least expect it, just because.

    We don't go out to eat on that day because who needs the aggravation when everyone else is out wining and dining. Besides, I have a man who takes me out to eat a whole lotta lot, because I hate to cook and he's fine with that. Now, that is a good man.

    We celebrate in so many other ways all the time. Yeah, Valentine's Day is pretty much worthless. And those gifts? I love them.

    When you were telling that second story, I was wincing as I read, knowing that it was going to be really awful.

  2. Pretty much the same as Joann, we don't really celebrate Valentine's Day. We wish each other a happy one and that's about it, we refuse to get caught up in the expensive hype.

    I love the idea of a dirt bike and A/C for gifts, that's true love.