Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Prelude to a Kiss

(Just because I love PreRaphaelite Art. So there)

Shocking revelation: neither Annie nor I celebrate Valentine's Day. It's true. And it's not because we're anti-love or even anti-commercialization, but for our own, unique reasons that we share with thousands of other people (who also consider themselves unique and probably have tattoos to that effect).

I don't celebrate because I already am the mushiest, gushiest person ever to cross the face of the planet and I should not be encouraged. But really because it promotes a pseudo-gynocentric view of romance that perpetuates the myth that women crave candy and flowers and it is incumbant upon men to provide these things, once a year. How many sitcoms did we watch growing up where Tim Allen was watching a football game in his wife's lapel pin while they were having a mandatory romantic dinner because it was Valentine's Day? Urgh! On the other hand, that's not an excuse to ignore me to make a point. I mean, just because I'm low maintenance doesn't mean that giving me a hug on this day would suddenly transform me into a diamond-grubbing, flower-crazy harpie. Hug me, damn it! Not to say that people who like Valentine's Day resemble harpies. I'm all about an excuse for chocolate. It just doesn't do it for me. And also it's a justification for bad behavior (Miss Manners would never condone a Hallmark-mandated demand for sparkly gifts.)

I asked Annie why she doesn't celebrate. Her initial response: "Because it's Christian. Like your mom." (Please NB, my mom is not, in fact, Christian.) Luckily for all of us, she expounded, "No, for real. It is a Christian Saint's day and the holiday observances are in no way seperated from that fact: orgies, drinking, and banquets are all traditional ways to pay homage to saints/gods. Maybe not so much with the orgies. Besides, we have Tu B'av, which is much less lame, and doesn't involve two colors that are as incompatible as navy and black [she’s referring to pink and red]. Also no lingerie, which I am generally a fan of, but not for the sake of enticing men. You should wear things to make you feel sexy; the difference between object and agent."

I, on the other hand, like to be objectified.

More tomorrow!


babytyrone said...

Five years ago, I was dating a lovely woman who came to me with a dilemma: she hated all the objectification of Valentine's -- though she loved being pampered, she liked equally to pamper, and the idea of having a set-aside day on which it is the man's obligation to do the loving and the pampering and the purchasing of material goods rankled her every 3rd generation Socialist, 3rd wave feminist nerve. On the other hand, she felt that sitting home and doing nothing at all for Valentines, trying to ignore that there was this day on the calendar was, well, dull and sour-grapesy, and she didn't want to be that kind of wet-blanket intellectual snob. After thinking for a minute, I suggested to her that we stay in for Valentines, and we donate the amount of scratch we would have spent on presents and/or dinner to day-appropriate charities. I gave mine to a domestic violence helpline. She gave hers to Planned Parenthood. (And we watched Donnie Darko on DVD.)

In the few years since, as Valentines has approached, if I am involved with someone, I have proposed to same to her. Even those women who I can assume would otherwise have felt slighted without at least a gesture of romantic planning for V-day have agreed to keep up the tradition.

Sarah said...

I love babytyrone's idea. Justin and I decided not to do Valentine's day because we both thought the whole thing was a little blown out of proportion. Last year, however, we noticed a special chocolate tasting at a local chocolate bar and decided to go...nice experience, less nice to share it with eight billion other couples. This year I have Hebrew class, so it's all about pizza on Thursday and coke with two straws. I like being gushy on the 15th.

For the record, my mom was due to give birth on Valentine's day. My mom is the least sentimental person to walk the face of the earth, and apparently hurled when the nurses said "aww, cute, a Valentine's baby." And considering the redhead factor, it's probably very good that I was four days late.

JT said...

Harley, it does not seem like you dont celebrate V-day today. It seems like you just celebrate it every day. And women in my experience do crave candy and flowers (or at least the attention/affection that gifts like that imply.)