Roses are red,
violets are blue,
wine costs less
than dinner for two.
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, a day that proves florists are in cahoots with God and where people in functioning successful relationships flaunt their wellbeing before the rest of the world and generally mock the lonely and broken-hearted.
Generally, being alone is a little like having a bruise on your chest — it doesn’t hurt all the time, only when pressure is applied. Valentine’s Day feels like taking a sledgehammer to that bruise thus single people use Valentines Day to become manic-depressive and buy cats.
If history is anything to go by, irrespective of my relationship status I am more likely to spend the day shouting profanities than paying compliments and am more likely to give someone the finger than a kiss.
This year, however, I am changing all that.
After careful consideration, I’ve come to the realiziation that blindly throwing blanket hatred over the whole day is pessimistic and unhealthy and thus this year I am going to embrace St. Valentine and his chocolate shaped heart.
My newfound appreciation for all that is lovey and dovey has led me to investigate the origins of this most holy day. In summary, my research has found that Valentine’s Day was created in the 1700′s by St. Cupid, the patron saint of babies with wings and complaining about commercialisation; and along with Mothers Day and Fathers day, it is one of the most important festivals of the religious calendar.
Having a sound knowledge of the days history and significance leads me to my next obstacle: actually finding a Valentine. Gossip magazines inform me that Mr. Gosling already has plans, my puppy prefers to immediately eat the flowers I give him rather than be a participant in a dramatised ceremony of presenting them to me and my best other Valentine prospect is inconveniently on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.
But fret not, for I have come up with the perfect solution. You see, I have this friend who has loved me for years but whom I only pay attention to when the circumstances are right. They’ve been there through my laughs, my frowns, my ups and downs. I think we all know who this person is:
Sure, it may not have been love at first swig, but over the years we’ve built up a very loving and reliable relationship. I don’t discriminate against it; I don’t judge based on color or the size of its… bottle. And in return, wine doesn’t discriminate against me. It’s taken me for better or worse (progressively worse as a night wares on) richer or for poorer (mostly poorer), in sickness and in health, and I know it will stay with me as long as we both shall live. And that’s why wine is my Valentine, but I’ll make sure to treat it properly every day of the year, not just when it suits me.
What I’m trying to say is that people need to take a page out of my metaphorical book (written by Hemingway? He was a drunk, right?) and rise above their defensive instinct to just hate the day or believe they’re above acknowledging it. A day can’t authenticate or validate a romantic relationship so it can’t shed shame on singledom, either. If you put aside the irrelvant history of how the day came about and the extensive and unnecessary commercialism associated with it, what is the actual harm of just having a day that acknowledges and reminds us of all the different kinds of love we have in our lives? That’s all it is (or should be), a day to simply recognize love in all it’s forms.
If you’re lucky enough to have someone, use Valentines day as a reminder to celebrate your relationship. Then do that everyday for the next 364 days. If you find yourself single, replace the self loathing and sadness you feel in in your heart with warm positive thoughts and appreciation for the love you do have. Start an affair with wine, open a bottle of red and embrace the day. It’s better than spending the day being cynical, mocking others and wasting an otherwise perfectly good Friday. Not to mention it makes for a fun way to pass the time until Mr. Gosling finishes with his plans and runs into the sunset with you.