Monday, February 14, 2011
Love Day Diatribe
Maybe today isn't the best day for me to write this post. I woke up with a raging sinus headache that has literally left me speechless. If you know me personally, this is the kiss of death; I sure like to talk. My precious children are on a scheduled break from school despite having had only 3 full days of school so far THIS MONTH. And we're all about to go bonkers. In other words, I didn't just wake up on the wrong side of the bed. I dug a hole in the mattress and started growing roots.
I opened the dreaded facebook page to a smattering of Happy Valentine's Day wishes. Twitter was rife with the same well meaning drivel. All I could do was sneer. Bah! A pox on all these red hearts and "one of kind" corporately manufactured "sentimental" gold charms. Gag me.
To be clear, I have no problem with people expressing their love for one another. Fantastic. My problem with Valentine's Day stems from an early predilection for romance that has since been replaced with a deep and abiding love for myself and the people in my life.
Sure, sure. Romance is amazing. Who doesn't love the scene in "Pride and Prejudice" where Mr. Darcy confesses, clumsily, that the opinionated Miss Bennett has "bewitched [him]. Body and soul." Sigh. Sure, I loved the early days dating my now-husband of nearly 16 years. We couldn't wait to talk on the phone (people used to do that), we would pedal bikes through Pittsburgh snow storms just to be together. Delightful days, all. And yet, there is something so transient about those days. While now I can see, almost touch, something so adhesive about having come through the last 16 years together. And more.
But my abhorrence for Valentine's Day is more than just being content in my marriage. I can't help it; I'm disgusted with a culture that elevates couples and relegates singles to the sad little corner with their sad little single selves. It is not unlike the grotesque ideals of beauty women confront every day: thinner waists, bigger boobs, and a man on your arm. There is always someone telling us we are not good enough, pretty enough, or worth enough. The suggestion is that you're loser if you are alone today. And I will not abide that.
So, it comes to this. Women and men have value because they are inbued with it. Not because they've earned it. Second, people are of value, whether single, married, dating, divorcing, etc. Just simple fact. Finally, I love my husband every single day. I know he loves me every single day. I don't need card companies and jewelry makers to mandate my love.
I know some of you love this day and that's great. I will even smile if you tell me to have a nice Valentine's Day. As much as you can celebrate it, I can choose not to. So there.
I told you I was in a snit.