Thursday, February 14, 2013


Hey, guys.

Valentine's Day is a strange one, isn't it?

I was going to have a good old fashioned ramble tonight. However, I know that I'd just be adding to the many, many piles of words that already exist about Valentine's Day and that resurface on Valentines Day if I were to say any of the following things:

  • Oh my gosh, pals! Valentine's Day is just one big marketing ploy! 
  • Valentines is such a waste of time! 
  • Just take your lady out any other day of the year! Don't make it a token gesture because you fucking have to, guys
  • Everything's twenty thousand times more expensive on Valentine's Day! Don't be a chump! 
  • Laydeez, why the fuck do you care if your SO gets you something shiny on Valentine's Day??

So I won't say any of those things, because they've been said about a million times before, in ways and words far more articulate than I can be bothered mustering up at this hour of the night. 

I will say this though, and I'll try to keep it brief. The day puzzles me. It really does. I tried to explain as much to a few of the guys I'm working with at the moment, and I got a response along the lines of, "Are you just being a grinch because you're single?" to which I became suitably enraged because my argument was reduced to being the gripe of some pissed off singleton. 

It just seems like a giant waste of time to me. It seems like the time to wheel out a token gesture from the guys, and a shitty excuse to expect something shiny from the more princess-y girls. Dude, take your significant other out for dinner any other damn night of the year. I can say this honestly - every time I've actually had someone to spend Valentine's Day with, I've not wanted to do anything. In fact, if I remember correctly I actually think I spent a Valentine's Day a few years ago not with the guy I was seeing, but with a friend, watching shitty movies. 

I actually think I declared the February 14th to be "THE WHO RECORDED LIVE AT LEEDS ON THIS DAY IN 1970, SO IT'S WHO-DAY SHUT UP" at that point. Which is silly, but you know. 

Put it this way: if I were with someone today, and they suggested we go out of a romantic dinner, I actually think I'd almost be disappointed. Why are we going out for dinner? So we can be overcharged and be amongst all manner of insufferable couples? Please. I'd rather stay at home and hang out.

This is almost an exact quote, said yesterday by a guy I know. "It's good, I only have to take her out for dinner twice a year - Christmas and Valentine's Day. After tonight, I'm halfway there." I just think that's one of the stupidest statements I've ever heard, on a variety of levels. 

And before you say it - no, I'm not just peeved because I'm single. I do have the capacity to be hopelessly smitten and disgustingly enamoured. And I do have the capacity to appreciate romance. Sure, I can't abide public online declarations of love (EVERYONE LOOK! LOOK AT ME!), but I definitely appreciate romance. Hell, When Harry Met Sally is one of my favourite movies of all time. Case in point: today on the train coming home I watched the girl sitting in front of me grinning at her phone, attempting to stifle giggles at what were obviously messages from her significant other. That actually brightened my mood immensely, especially after having to deal with the usual peak hour public transport cluster fuck. That feeling of being shockingly smitten is an amazing one, and to see it physically manifested on someone's face - that put me in a happy place. What also put me in a happy place was watching the hoards of be-suited men carrying armfuls of flowers (and one guy with a bear almost as big as he was) onto the train. That made me legit laugh out loud at one point, but that's entirely different. 

What was definitely heartening and cause for rejoicing though, was the fact that upon leaving the office I realised how genuinely excited I was for a night by myself, watching a movie and having time to cook up a storm. I'd been invited to a "I Hate Valentine's Day" party by a friend from high school, but honestly - the thought of buying a bottle of wine and turning a mass of lentils into a mass of MY BITCH was too attractive to push to the wayside. Besides, I was fairly sure Miguel and Jaz were going to be out having a romantic night, so I'd be able to do all of the above in my underwear, while listening to Glen Campbell unaffected by shame. 

They're not, just FYI; walking into the house singing along to Tears for Fears I realised Mike was at home. That fact was initially somewhat irritating, but only for a split-second. As I finished off my dinner, Mike gave me a run-down of the bazillion course meal that he planned to cook for his lady, and I congratulated him with genuine applause. His Valentine's Day romance comes from a genuine place, that much is clear. He dumped about twenty thousand shopping bags full of ingredients on the kitchen bench, and I gave him a mental thumbs-up. But you know, if we're being honest ... I'm listening to the Louvin Brothers at the moment, REALLY LOUD. If you know what I mean.

That's totally not the point of this post though. The point I'm trying to make is thus: over the past couple of years, I've rediscovered how much I really, really enjoy my own company. If I'm being honest, I'd rather hang out with myself than most people. I don't have a significant other, at least in part because the thought of spending that much time with someone else isn't the least bit attractive. In years gone by, I'll have filled my time with friends and company because I didn't want to be by myself for that sort of extended period of time. Now though, I'd rather go to the movies by myself than with most other people. Having someone else in my bed means that there's less room for me. Other people talk during TV shows, and that I just cannot fucking abide.

I've had that realisation a few times in recent months, but it was nice to have it reaffirmed today. Seeing dudes carrying bundles of flowers, and watching a guy at work scramble to secure a booking at a restaurant, and watching the cavalcade of posts on Facebook, the overwhelming thing I felt was being torn between what movie I was going to watch upon getting home. That thought makes me happier than any thought regarding a significant other, and thank god for that. I'd be a shitty girlfriend. 

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