I really hate Valentine’s Day.
Even when I am in a relationship, I hate it.
The cheap chocolates,
The tacky red and pink hearts everywhere,
The way restaurants, spas and hotels deliberately boost their prices that week and the way my local wine outlet mysteriously has no sales going on that week.
I find the whole thing to be contrived and another stupid scam to convince people to buy stuff they don’t really need in order to “show someone you care.”
And to the Corporate Man behind all this, I say, “Fuck you.”
Seriously, you know how you show someone you care?
First of all, it’s not just about February 14th. It’s not a date on the calendar. It’s a state of mind.
It’s not by buying cheap heart-shaped Hershey chocolates wrapped in red tin foil.
It’s by just being a friend and being present for them when they need you.
It’s by taking him out for a few rounds of pool when you know he’s had a bad day and not badger him with questions until he’s ready to talk about it.
It’s by secretly sowing seeds for wild violets all over the yard so come springtime, she’s in for a surprise. Why? Because she mentioned that violets are her favorite flower while you both were on a weekend drive last summer.
It’s not by buying some generic cookie-cutter diamond ring. It’s by boning up on Art Nouveau/Art Deco because you found “Art Nouveau/Art Deco Jewelry” one day on your Google search bar.
It’s by wishing him an awesome time if he decides to go to the pro-sports game with his buddies, even if you hate pro-sports yourself.
In short, it’s about PAYING ATTENTION AND LISTENING.
That’s how you show someone you care. Seriously, the biggest turn-off there is, is being with someone who isn’t paying any attention to you, doesn’t really hear anything you say because they’re too involved in themselves and too busy listening to the internal dialogue going on in their own minds and too busy figuring out what they want without a moment’s consideration of what you may really want or need. I think people forget relationships are two-lane roads.
It’s not just Valentine’s Day either. It’s dating and relationships in general as well.
These days, dating is about as safe as crossing a field full of landmines.
Even if you’re not interested, there are people who can’t seem to pick up a clue. I’ve tried online dating in the past with mixed results. The biggest problem is that (and I’m writing from a female perspective) men don’t really read profiles. They look at pictures, think you’re half-decent looking and send mini messages like “Hi” and clearly did not demonstrate that they even remotely paid any attention whatsoever to what you wrote.
You can write “No kids” and a balding divorcee saddled in alimony debt with three kids suddenly pops on your screen. (If he doesn’t pay any attention to what you wrote on your online profile, do you really think he’s going to pay any genuine attention to you in real life?….)
This video has many examples of this type of self-delusion or one-way hearing:
Even if you do decide to take the risk and meet someone for coffee, they still don’t get it. One time I met someone and it was pretty clear from my profile I’m not into “Casual Encounters”. We met for coffee for a quick 30 minute meet’n greet to suss each other out, found out we had a lot in common, nice guy, pretty good-looking, interesting but no personal chemistry whatsoever but I could see this person becoming a friend. We exchanged a couple of emails sharing information based on the topics we talked about when we met, mostly about music. There was no discussion of anything even remotely intimate or physical.
Not even three days later, I suddenly get a phone call AND a text message at 2:38am. I had my ringer off because I actually have a job I have to go to and need to wake up early for so I slept right through it but in the morning when I saw the messages, it was fairly obvious dude expected a late-night booty call. He tried calling first and since I didn’t answer, he then sent a text message asking “to make plans” for the next evening.
In the middle of the week?
Can’t “making plans for the next evening” wait until the morning?
This is what I mean about not listening properly.
Dude did not “hear” that that there was no chemistry on my side.
Dude was too involved with his hormones to really understand that not everyone is on the same page as he is.
Dude just naturally assumed that because he wanted something from me, I would therefore just as naturally and automatically want the same thing from him too and that just wasn’t the case. He assumed too much and he blew it. We could have been friends. Who knows? Maybe he would have gotten that booty call later on if the friendship eventually caught on fire in the fullness of time. We’ll never know and I don’t care.
That’s one thing I love about getting older, you start seeing through people much better and much faster.
Which is why I think Valentine’s Day is a formulaic shortcut for lazies who normally can’t even be bothered.
This Valentine’s Day, I’m going for a session of ear candling, to improve my hearing.
I wish more people would do the same.