I hate Valentine’s Day. I hate it like I hate pap smears, daytime TV and automated phone calls.
I walked into Barnes & Noble to get a planner on New Year’s Day, and BAM!! A Valentine’s Day table!!! I wanted to puke all over the display. Or maybe pull a PETA and throw a can of paint on it.
I know I sound bitter. Jealous. But Valentine’s Day is not a real holiday! It’s not a real holiday. If we are going to pretend it’s a real holiday, at least give me halfway through January before you start forcing those chalky, tooth-breaking heart candies down my throat. People were still hungover from New Year’s and these nervy booksellers already had “I love you’s” and “Your mine’s” arranged in towers of girlfriend bait. It’s Valentine’s Day, people – not the second coming of Christ.
Since I am single, couples tend to look at me with concern when we discuss February 14th. They don the sad eyes. Like I am going to end up with my head in the oven clutching roses I sent to myself. The answer is: no. I promise I am not sobbing into a box of See’s Candies while watching You’ve Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle with my inflatable boyfriend. Although. Tom Hanks is the perfect man, and were he not married, I can think of no one else I’d rather spend Valentine’s Day with.
I’m sort of anti-love lately – I admit it. Like frightening, Carrie-style anti-love. The engagement announcements blowing up my newsfeed make me feel like I wandered into a bad Disney movie. I am keeping my mouth shut, but if I hear this phrase one more time: “fairytales do come true,” I cannot be responsible for my actions. I’ll probably black out from too much cuteness, only to wake up foaming out the mouth in front of Fatal Attraction with a shredded wedding magazine in my lap. That said – best wishes, congratulations, and whatever else you’re supposed to say.
Can we talk about OkCupid for a second? OkCupid is seriously scary sometimes. You wish Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind were real so you could memory-erase Slayercortex from Santee who weighs 500 pounds sending you this message, “Could I put it in you? :)” True story. It’s the kind of scenario that makes you want to put anti-bacterial gel in your loofa and take 18 showers.
There are some needles in the haystack, but 9 times out of 10 there’s something wrong with them. They have a rattail, look like Matisyahu, or are 45. About 5% of them are cute, the right age, etc. and then you just hold your breath. Now… DUH DUH DUH you have to go through their profile. There it is – Ku Klux Klan. Crossfit. Overalls. Raw vegan. Shirtless mirror selfie where you can almost see his penis. Has a son. Divorced. Jehovah’s Witness. He “meditates in libraries every day” (yes, all of these are for serious). He writes sentences like this one: “I feel i often immerse myself in deep thought. Which i guess would be a nice way to say i dwell and space out, but I do think about a lot a whole lot.” You think about a lot a whole lot? That is so deep, brah. I think I just had a spiritual breakthrough. I’m mean, but seriously, pick a lane, buddy – you’re either capitalizing your “I’s” or you’re not. Or how about this one: ”Hey, I’m thinking about robbing a bank then driving off a cliff to fake my death. You in? P.S. There will be scuba gear and snacks in the trunk.” ???? Come again? Maybe lay off the Mescaline for awhile.
Sometimes I think it would be nice to not have histories. Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind-style. When I try to imagine how that would feel, it feels great, but then I wouldn’t have those memories that were happy at the time. I carry people I used to know around with me every day, and it makes me wonder. Do they do the same? I hope they do, because I do. I’ve always had a hard time letting go, though. I don’t think I miss them that much, and then I’m crying on my run because a certain song struck a nerve. It’s harmless, more of a “Part of me will always love you and I hope you’re doing well” kind of thing. But sometimes its heavy. Like get off my back. I don’t want to be thinking about you this much.
Where change is concerned, it always comes back to the same thing, right? Holding onto things loosely, and when you’re in the moment, you’re all there.
“The real reason why human life can be so utterly exasperating and frustrating is not because there are facts called death, pain, fear, or hunger. The madness of the thing is that when such facts are present, we circle, buzz, writhe, and whirl, trying to get the ‘I’ out of the experience. We pretend that we are amoebas, and try to protect ourselves from life by splitting in two. Sanity, wholeness, and integration lie in the realization that we are not divided, that man and his present experience are one, and that no separate ‘I’ or mind can be found…
There is a contradiction in wanting to be perfectly secure in a universe whose very nature is momentariness and fluidity. But the contradiction lies a little deeper than the mere conflict between the desire for security and the fact of change. If I want to be secure, that is, protected from the flux of life, I am wanting to be separate from life. Yet it is this very sense of separateness which makes me feel insecure. To be secure means to isolate and fortify the “I,” but it is just the feeling of being an isolated “I” which makes me feel lonely and afraid. In other words, the more security I can get, the more I shall want.
To put it still more plainly: the desire for security and the feeling of insecurity are the same thing. To hold your breath is to lose your breath. A society based on the quest for security is nothing but a breath-retention contest in which everyone is as taut as a drum and as purple as a beet.” -Alan Watts