Stephanie (collacentaur) wrote,

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On Hallmark, hypocrisy, holidays, and a brief romp through Wonderland

I've never been a fan of Valentine's day. Even in elementary school, I hated it. Sure, everyone had to give a valentine to everyone in the class - but you could tell whether you were getting the good ones or the bad ones, and somehow the unpopular kids never did get as many as the kids everyone liked. Once we hit the hormone-fueled years, Valentine's Day felt like a personal attack, rubbing it in that I was fat, unattractive, too smart and too geeky. I was the one with stringy hair and glasses - "Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses." I was no one's valentine, no one's sweetheart.

Besides, I'm allergic to the color pink.[1]

Mostly, though, I object to it on principle. I mean, obviously I'm all about telling people I love them, and showing them. However, I believe that it's a year-round activity. I think that romantic gestures, or complimenting friends, or any of the other expressions of love, are meaningful when they are spontaneous and heartfelt. To me, waiting for a certain calendar day or until the TV ads remind you just robs it of meaning.

And then there's the merchandising, advertising, commercializing. The summers at Hallmark left me very antagonistic to certain holidays, the ones that would have little meaning at all without the stuff. This is the worst offender. Buy a card, chocolate, flowers, a teddy bear. A negligee, a new car. Don't even get me started on the diamond commercials![2]

So, after a while, I became proud of being unattached on Valentine's Day. In fact, in my last relationship, I always declared myself to be temporarily single and refused to see him at all that day. I don't think he ever understood, but he humored me.

And yet, I'm annoyed by my own hypocrisy. Despite being very sincere about my dislike of the day and its traditions, I still want it anyway. I am jealous of the happy couples. I want romance, flowers, the whole deal. Oh, I claim to be anti-romantic, but let's face it, I'm just a big liar. I want my friends to tell me how awesome I am and how much I mean to them. But I don't want to ask for that, because if you have to beg to get compliments, then how great can you really be?

It's just as well I'm headed to northern Virginia for the weekend. I'm spending Valentine's Day with my favorite sweetheart, my godson Sammy. He's nine months old. He doesn't know any one day from any other. His hugs and smiles and love and trust are as spontaneous and honest as can be. He'll be the best kind of valentine.

Monday, meanwhile, is Presidents' Day, also known as "hey, two great dudes had birthdays too close together" day. I'm glad I've got the extra day to travel on. I hear rumors that there's going to be more snow on Monday, unfortunately. I will have to keep an eye on the weather.

Then Tuesday is not only Mardi Gras, but a very special day for me. (Here's where Stephie turns four for a paragraph.) It's my Unbirthday! Oh, I know, any day that's not your birthday is your unbirthday. February 16 is my half-birthday, though, so it's as far away from my birthday as it gets. Oddly enough, I'm far more likely to remember it and celebrate it than my actual birthday. (cue the Alice in Wonderland music)

Alice in Wonderland seems to be the running theme lately. There was a Malice in Wonderland dance (which I didn't attend, although I was curious) at Arisia. The Mad Tea Party is the theme of Wicked Faire the weekend after this one. I'll be heading there that Sunday, to see what I can see. Then, just this morning, my last post prompted some Alice quotes from my friends. I take that as quite a compliment!

Anyway, Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, putting those of us who are Christian into Lent, a season of repentance. I'm sure I have a great deal to repent and atone for, although I'm not sure at present just what. Perhaps I'd better squeeze in some sinning, just in case.


[1] Hyperbole, of course.

[2] Admittedly, I particularly dislike diamonds because I find them unattractive. I might bitch less if it were all about a prettier stone.
Tags: holiday

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