I wrote this blog two years ago today. I think it speaks for itself.
J. Geils Band – Love Stinks
I don’t think there are adequate words in the English language to properly show how much I hate Valentine’s Day.
Every day I tell my wife I love her. Usually more than once. Same with my kids. After work, I come home to my wife. Every night. We share a bed. Every night. I’ve been with the same woman and been faithful to her for over 22 years now. That’s only 22 Valentine’s Days, but actually more than 8000 days. I’ve helped raise two kids with her. We’ve laughed, cried, fought and loved each other without break for almost half my life and more than half hers.
UPDATE: Those stats have shifted to being with her over 24 years, 24 Valentine’s Days and almost 9000 days. So there.
Do I really need to buy her a card and chocolate to prove I love her? What utter, unmitigated bullshit. I mean, seriously.
I’m beginning to think this day was designed by women so they can lord all the screw ups their men make on this day over them for the rest of the year to boost their Birthday and Christmas booty. Just my thought.
A few years back, The Wife said to me, “You know, Valentine’s is a pretty artificial day. You really don’t have to do anything for me.”
Stupidly, I took that at face value.
In my own defence, it was earlier in my marriage, but really, I’d lived with the woman long enough that I should have realized what she was really saying was, “You know, Valentine’s is coming up. You better not listen to anything I’m saying and go out and spend good cash on me, dammit, because I live with you and I can make your life a living hell.”
On the day, I woke up happy and content. Ah yes, Valentine’s Day. No big deal, I got a woman who understands the artificiality of the whole thing. Life is good.
Then I got the, “I can’t believe you didn’t do anything for me!” speech. Which, perversely, left me speechless. Now I knew how all those people felt when they finally figured out they had just entered the Twilight Zone.
Yeah, shoulda picked up on that one. Didn’t. Paid for it.
So, going forward, I never made the mistake again. I always get her something. Got my bases covered, right?
This year, I was having a discussion at the dinner table about the ghosts of Valentine’s past, and I mentioned the above situation. The Girl piped up, “Oh Mom! You didn’t! You didn’t fall into that stereotype, did you?”
And I thought, yes! I’m bringing my kids up right. They understand the value of true feelings, that relationships don’t hinge on a card and chocolate one day out of the year, and are learning to despise crass marketing schemes. Good on me!
So, yesterday, in between running the Boy from guitar lessons to snowboarding lessons, I tried to get him to make like a Kleenex and put a little boogie in it so we’d have some time to pick up the Valentine’s crap. As usual, the Boy is incapable of doing anything at a reasonable speed (took him 30 full minutes to drink one mug of hot chocolate), so we fell drastically behind. In the end, I was able to get the Wife’s stuff, but I had to forgo the trip to William’s Chocolate in Whitby (they really do make some kick-ass chocolate) where I usually buy my son his chocolate “H” and my daughter her chocolate “M”. I asked how he felt if he didn’t get his, and he–being male–was okay with it.
Today, Valentine’s Day, I was driving my daughter to work and she had tears–actual tears–in her eyes because she didn’t get her M.
I came home feeling like a shit. And feeling like, after 47 years, I’ve learned nothing about the way women operate.
UPDATE: 49 years now. Sigh.
She came home from work and had a relapse. In fact, it was so epic, I think it may, in future, be referred to as The Great Chocolate Meltdown of 2010.
UPDATE: It has. Two years running now.
So I packed everyone up and took them out for dinner. And made sure my daughter got a chocolate lava cake for dessert. Apparently now that it’s been consumed, life can continue on again.
So, next year? Yes, I’ll be like every other man. I’ll get that same vague feeling that some card or candy confectionary has put a heart-shaped gun to my head and told me to get out there and prove my love for my girls through the purchase of perishable edible sugary treats and recycled paper goods with pithy poems. Cuz nothing says lovin’ like spending good cash, dammit.
In the end, I’ll leave the phenomenal Warren Ellis to provide some words of wisdom on Valentine’s Day that you can think long and hard on.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all. And to those who hate the day, I say this: Valentine’s Day is a Christian corruption of a pagan festival involving werewolves, blood and fucking. So wish people a happy Horny Werewolf Day and see what happens.
So, Happy Horny Werewolf Day to all!