With Valentines Day right around the corner (or at least at the end of this week), mixed emotions about the holiday are at an all time high. And for PonyTale, hating Valentines Day means loving it also.
It’s that time of year again — when you walk past florists’ shops that have dozens upon dozens of red/pink roses and find your teeth grinding against each other (other colors in the spectrum do not exist on this day!). That time when you feel that sinking feeling in your stomach as you spot those heart-shaped balloons bouncing around merrily in Hallmark’s card shops. That time when you approach cupcake stalls in the hopes that some sugar will soothe your anguish, but instead you turn away fuming because the price of two “cuppies” is less than the price of one; “It’s a V-day special for couples,” that annoying girl behind the counter informs you.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, it’s hard not to wonder — is there a man out there for me? What’s he like? Does he drive a Bugatti Veyron? Does love transcend all boundaries? And if so, should I bother waxing my legs and shaping my eyebrows? Romance is increasingly becoming like a parking spot during rush hour — disappointingly random. And I’m beginning to wonder (trying my best to suppress fear): “Will I ever meet a man with the right mix of look and personality?”
At this point you’d probably write me off as one of those unfortunate individuals that has never been in love and thus isn’t aware of what she’s talking about/missing out on. But that couldn’t be further from the truth! I have been in love. I am in love. Why I’m still sans relationship – well, it’s complicated. Maybe someday I will muster up the courage to tell him that my knees still go weak when we’re together, that dancing with him still takes my breath away and that my stomach still has that familiar swooping sensation when he looks at me even after all these years. (Warning: even cynics can sometimes fall prey to V-day mush.)
Then again, the thought nags, there is something quite special about Valentine’s Day. How else do you explain men taking women to unsettlingly expensive restaurants (the sorts of places where the menus have adverbs and French men named Maurice come out halfway through the meal to incoherently explain where the shallots are from)? And how do you explain how husbands can be so worried that another year of forgetting could cost them their lodging that they have standing orders at their local florists’ with an extra bribe for the delivery boy to throw in a card too? Or why women spend hours on February 13th “grooming” and then making creamy gooey chocolate truffles to lovingly put into heart-shaped boxes?
While it’s undeniably exciting, romance as an adult does seem a bit more stressful than when we were kids in middle and high school. They were more innocent times — when relationships revolved around shiny Harry Potter cards, when meals at T.G.I.Fridays were the height of romance (especially when he ordered their molten chocolate lava cake as a surprise), and when 3rd base was reserved for rare special occasions like these.
Of course, Valentine’s Day was slightly more superficial back then – the boy that I loved was the most popular in our class, with so many cards that there was a 15 minute waiting time to sneak them into his locker.
All in all, I guess the spirit of Valentine’s Day depends on who you’re with. For couples, it can be a fantastic opportunity to celebrate a loving relationship. But for single people, it does seem to do little more than make otherwise routine solo activities feel suddenly quite depressing — like ordering a lone cup of coffee to go or staring at just the one toothbrush in the mug by the sink. But that’s life I guess – and if Brokeback Mountain has taught us anything, it’s that the pursuit of love is rarely straightforward.
What do you love about Valentines Day? What do you hate?