I think deep down everyone kind of hates Valentine’s Day. From when we were little kids, sweating the possibility of rejection from our crush & hoping that we would get as many valentine’s as we gave, to adults who no matter what we do, always feels like we are chasing our elusive tails. It seems like everyone else in the world knows something that we don’t. (We probably shouldn’t have skipped that course on ‘how to live happy lives’… shit balls!) Valentine’s day never quite lives up to the hype. In essence, it is the mock holiday where everyone (ironically) feels a little bit like a deflated heart shaped balloon.
If you are single, you could easily feel like you are pressing your face upon the window of a life that you pine for, or conversely, wearing black and saying fuck love at Anti-V parties. If in a romantic relationship, you probably feel pressure to get the right dinner reservation, the right present, the right whatever the fuck it is. Either way, the path is rife with land mines.
But the problem isn’t Valentine’s day. Although, yeah, Valentine’s day, with it’s crappy chocolate and cheap teddy bears, is definitely tacky-ville, USA. The real problem is that we all, somewhere subconsciously, have this expectation of what love is supposed to look like. And we measure ourselves against this imaginary yardstick.
Hallmark and romance novels and every fucking romantic comedy have taught us exactly what romantic love should look like, and fuck-all-hell, if our relationships, no matter how healthy or happy, don’t match up. What if you don’t especially love his/her family or his/her friends or his/her music? What if shockingly, you get on each other’s nerves and/or argue occasionally? You must be doomed, right??!!
There is no room in this manufactured fantasy land for what makes real love and real relationships so interesting, intricate, and unique. Why do we focus so much on what it looks like on the outside as opposed to the foundation and the substance? Sadly, often we care more about the wrapping than the gift itself….
There is this (insane) idea that in heaven everything is perfect. And perfect relationships should be heaven on earth. Therefore in perfect (dare I say, Sears portrait type?) relationships, nothing goes wrong: there are no disagreements, no misunderstandings, and certainly no raging fights. And yet, what is more boring than a place where everything is immaculate and perfect? Heaven ironically sounds like my own version of hell: boring and unsubstantial. Not to mention… all white with harps? Who thought of that?! No Color? No Saxophone or electric guitar? Give me some dirt and mess and color & self deprecation & someone tripping over their own shoelaces. Now that is something I can relate to… That is something I can get behind.
Human beings are flawed. This is what makes us wonderful and hilarious and weird and special. Why (and HOW???) would intensely distinct individuals come together only to have these very cardboard cutout relationships and lives? Why would any of my relationships look like yours? I mean, they could…, but why do we assume that they should necessarily? And why would we want that?
So fuck the conceit of love and look at what it really means to love. Loving is messy. It is like giving birth (over and over again). No baby got here without a little gore. But what is more glorious? Now that is love. To love is a warts and all kind of endeavor. Forget what it is supposed to look like. Forget what you have been taught. Forget what your friends and family think. Look at the person (or persons) that you love – whether a lover, or a mother, or your cat!… and revel in the joy of just loving. For love in and of itself is a small miracle. And miracles don’t have a form and can’t be captured in a Hallmark card.
Thank fucking God.